Needed: Missionaries of Any Age

by Paula Schlueter Ross

2007 Feb Cam.Sidebar pageMissionary Chuck Groth, 58, calls his work in Cambodia “great fun” and “the hardest work you’ll ever love.”

And he invites fellow American Lutherans of any age to come join him, for a year–or even a week–of hands-on, cross-cultural ministry.
“If you want to feel really good about yourself, try ministry over there–you won’t feel unneeded,” he says.

Chuck and his wife, Jeanette, 59, say several Cambodian schools are asking for Christian teachers to teach English as a second language, and no education degree is necessary.

“If you have the heart [to serve], God helps you and we help you,” says Jeanette.

Adds Chuck: “You get the experience the first day you’re there.”

Volunteers also are needed to work with local organizations and Christian groups on water projects, AIDS education, Bible studies, eyeglass clinics, and other endeavors.

Perhaps most important, missionaries don’t have to be young, says Jeanette, who worked alongside an 80-year-old American volunteer in Ghana, West Africa.

“Our church is made up of a lot of gray-haired people these days” who have a lot of experience in a lot of life skills, she says.

“There are a lot of opportunities for people who think there’s nothing to do in life, or no purpose. We’ve got purpose for you.”

Peg Wolfram, another LCMS missionary in Cambodia, turned 70 last month and says she plans to keep serving “as long as God wills.”

“As one gets older, time seems to go by rather quickly,” Wolfram says. “And for me, what better way to spend your later years than serving God and using the gifts He has given you!”

For information about serving as a missionary in Cambodia–or in 30 other countries worldwide–call LCMS World Mission at (800) 433-3954 or visit its Web site at (click on “Service Opportunities” at left).

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