Missionary Frederick M. Reinhardt retires from 18 years of service in Africa!!
Dear friends in Christ,
God tells us in Eccl. 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The verses that follow (2–8) list all sorts of things in life that each have their season and time. For me, there were 42+ years of labor. Now, at age 60, I will receive a time to relax and re-position, also known as “retirement.”
With some minor health concerns, and the need to concentrate some time and energy toward monitoring my health and getting in better shape, I can now retire with greater peace of mind regarding who will continue the labors in Francophone West and Central Africa. I can look back upon my 42+ years of labor (almost 18 of them in God’s mission overseas!) with gratitude and satisfaction. Thank you for your prayers, moral support, and tangible gifts and support all along the way.
God greatly blessed me during my time as the area facilitator for Francophone West and Central Africa. For several years, I was the only French-speaking LCMS missionary in Africa, which was an exciting challenge! In recent years the Lord of the harvest answered our prayers and sent quite a few new and returning French-speaking missionaries to this large and populous field.
Looking back over the years, God provided many and various ways to serve. I taught both regular and intensive courses at the Lutheran Center for Theological Studies (CLET) in Togo. I visited and worked with Lutheran church leaders from Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burundi, The Republic of Congo and The Democratic Republic of Congo. I visited and met other church and seminary leaders from Cameroon, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Senegal. I assisted African vicars in completing their vicarage requirements, so that they may be ordained. I helped organize and attend ordinations and other important events. I hosted, drove and translated for visiting U.S. short-term team members. I translated English to French at theological conferences for French-speaking participants. I preached, baptized, administered Holy Communion and confirmed partner church Lutheran members when asked. I experienced eight different two-month long “home service” periods in the U.S.! I have lived in four different countries: Togo, Senegal, Kenya and Burkina Faso. I even helped new LCMS missionaries get settled into their French-speaking fields!
What an experience! What a blessing to have been used in God’s service! Who knows what God may yet have in store for me in continued service in the upcoming years? I look forward to serving in one way or another in the years to come. Please continue to pray for me and the entire LCMS Africa team, and our partner churches in Francophone West and Central Africa. Prayerfully consider continuing to support LCMS missionaries. To discuss options for transferring your support, please contact Mission Central and Brent Smith at 703-713-2851 or Gary Thies 712-882-1029.
“What gain has the worker from his toil?” (Eccl. 3:9) God gives us an answer in 1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Amen!
In Christ’s great worldwide harvest mission,
Rev. Frederick M. Reinhardt