Wolf (Kenya) Update – December 2023

Greetings in Christ. Please find our latest Sending Seven newsletter below, or download a printable version from our blog. Thank you for your support of God’s work throughout Africa.   -The Wolf Pack


Planting, Building, & Harvest

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:11)

    Power lines marked the way along a long stretch of straight road on the three hour journey from the airport.  Furrowed fields divided by tree lines with the occasional driveway to a home were reminiscent of rural Nebraska. However, the oxen-pulled plows, tin-roofed mud homes, and the kids (both children and goats) along the road revealed some of the character of this part of western Tanzania.
In May, John travelled to Shinyanga to visit the South of East Lake Victoria Diocese (SELVD). For a number of years, this confessional branch of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) has trained its pastors through the help of LCMS visitors, and now is prepared to train pastors with their own instructors in their own seminary. John’s visit was part of a site survey to discuss plans, timelines, and resources that by December is resulting in the construction of facilities to house and train pastoral students in an area that is eager to hear and share of salvation through Christ alone, through scripture alone, through grace alone. 

In April, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guinea began construction of their seminary campus following the purchase of land last year. The Lutheran Center for Theological Studies-Guinea (CLET-Guinea) has since 2018 trained pastors in a borrowed facility to enable program development before construction.

  The trip to Tanzania was one of five construction projects that John was involved in this year, to help established seminaries construct their first buildings, add new facilities, or replace damaged ones. Those seminaries are in Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya, South Africa, and Guinea.  Plans, budgets, stakeholder engagements, and schedules had to be in place before our family travelled stateside for our home service. 

For many years, the Matongo seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya has held daily chapel services inside a lecture hall. After many years of planning, construction for a chapel facility began mid 2023. Now in December, preparations are nearly in place for the installation of the roof. 

Home Service 2023

  Why is the Lutheran church growing so much in Africa? Are traditional religions still practiced? Do you feel safe?

  Lots of questions were asked at bible studies and gatherings to share about work & life as missionaries in Africa. During home service this past summer, we enjoyed each stop to visit congregations and friends to share in person about the peace many Africans find in Christ.

  In June, John and Sean returned first to visit our home congregation of Hope/Aurora CO and spend time with our oldest son Ian. Travels to southern Nevada and California allowed opportunities to connect with congregations and meet new pastors.

  In July, the rest of our family arrived in the US to head out for visits in Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Wyoming, and Nebraska. In August, Jenn and the youngest two returned to Kenya to prepare for the next school year while John, Sean & Thad continued on to Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

  Although we couldn’t get to every supporting church on Sundays, we were grateful for the midweek bible studies and events that sometimes allowed more time for questions.  It was good to show congregations how their brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa know there is a God above all gods who knows we can not do enough to earn his favor or salvation, but who loves us so much, He sent His only Son to redeem us and that it is through Him that we have eternal life.

Planting churches

  Since 2015, when it started as a VBS mission offering, the Tin Roofs for Africa project has helped over 100 new congregations put roofs onto church buildings they built themselves. During home service, we were able to share stories about some of the growing churches that started other congregations as they share the Word of God.

Map of LCMS supported tin roof projects since 2015. Below are photos of current roof projects in Malawi and eastern Tanzania.

Wolf Cubs 

Between visits with congregations, we were thankful for the opportunities to spend time with family and friends, help grandparents, and explore some sites (especially museums).

    During this season of Advent, we look forward to the coming of our Savior.  Thank you for your prayers and support as you walk with us to share the Gospel in Africa.
   In Christ,
       The Wolf Family

Prayer Requests

  For God’s continued wisdom and guidance that pastors trained in newly constructed facilities will be able to learn and profess salvation through Christ as they share within their communities.

  For humility and God’s wisdom as new elected church leaders assume leadership in their respective church bodies.

In Praise

That God granted safe travels for African pastors to visit and strengthen their congregants recently dislocated by conflict to other parts of the continent.

That relief support could be distributed to those in need to provide clean water following seasonal flooding in Malawi.

 Walking together with African churches takes many resources. We want to Thank and recognize those new congregations that are walking with us, including saints at: Ascension/Littleton CO; Immanuel in Estherville IA & David City IA; Cedar Hill Lutheran MO; Concordia/Frohna MO; Good Shepherd/Bowling Green MO; Luther Memorial/Erie PA; Peace/Alcester SD, Redeemer in Delta CO, Sarnia ON & Nashville TN; StJohn/Yankton SD; StMichael/Winchester TX; StPaul in Austin TX, Hinckley MN, Ronan MT, DeerPark WI; Trinity in Mequon WI, Merrill WI, Wisconsin Dells WI, Riverton WY;  Zion in Hiawatha IA, Arapahoe NE, RedCloud NE, & Shickley NE

   If you are not already, please prayerfully consider partnering with us via on-going support.  You are an important part of our Mission team!

Support Information.  To support the LCMS through the work of the Wolf Family, please consider a recurring or one-time gift securely through one of the below Give Now buttons


Make checks payable to LCMS or Mission Central. Write “Wolf-Kenya” in memo to send a tax-deductible gift through one of the following:

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
P.O. Box 66861
St Louis MO 63166-6861

Mission Central
40718 Highway E-16
Mapleton IA 51034

Reach us in the field at:

(correspondence ONLY- no checks)
John Wolf Family
PO Box 22
Karen 00502 Kenya

Facebook: JJ Wolf (lives in Nairobi)

Corn is a staple of the daily meals in eastern Africa.  Between farms and gardens, sometimes creative ways are used to transport corn mills. 

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LCMS – Wolf/Kenya

c/o LCMS Office of International Mission

1333 S. Kirkwood Road

St Louis, MO 63122