by Rev. Dr. Gary Rohwer
POBLO–People of the Book Lutheran Outreach Is a mission movement which allows the Holy Spirit to work through congregations, individuals, and ethnic Christians desiring to bring the Gospel to those Muslims. Since 1993, POBLO Ministries has trained and sent dozens of ethnic missionaries to work in the U.S. mission field.
This report of what was accomplished in January is basically divided into human care ministry and field evangelism outreach. Please remember, however, that all human care programs started by POBLO and the Rochester churches lead directly to meeting, loving, and sharing the Gospel of Christ with those who are connected to them.Human Care Ministry
The POBLO Outreach office was set up and made ready for human care programs as follows:
The office was cleaned and furnished
- Needed tables, desks, and chairs were set up
- The office made functional with telephone, internet, and copy machine
- ESL (English as Second Language) classrooms made ready
- Computer lab room made ready. Ten donated computers were tested and set up for students
Met with Catholic Charities to learn about immigration needs. Were welcomed by them and informed that they have a steady flow of arriving refugee families from Somalia, Iraq, Nepal, Sudan, Burma, etc. Catholic Charities agreed to send us new immigrant families so that we can resettle them in partnership with the congregations.
Missionary Mesgana Morris and Rev. Paul and Bonnie Haugen have communicated with 16 volunteers who have committed to teach English or would like to attend the English teacher workshop.
Mesgana distributed fliers advertising POBLO human care programs. Fliers have been taken to a number of ethnic businesses. The owners expressed enthusiasm and agreed keep fliers for customers in their places of business.
A workshop to provide training for ESL and hospitality ministry was set for February 23 from 9:00-12:00 at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Cynthia Khan will conduct the training. She will be in Rochester from Feb. 21-26.
The target date to start English classes and computer classes has been set for the first week of March.
- Gave Mesgana Morris additional training in field evangelism and theology. Together, Pastor Khan, Pastor Rohwer, and Mesgana were out in the community meeting, getting to know ethnic people, and getting their contact information Rev. Paul Haugen has been assigned to mentor Mesgana as a missionary, and to work with him as a coordinator with the local churches. Paul and Mesgana meet or talk daily. This has been a big help, as Bonnie Haugen is also working in connecting to church members who have volunteered to serve or have donated computers, desks, etc. for the work.
- Met people in the ethnic community and handed out human care program fliers:
Met Mr. Talila, a Christian man who has worked among Somali immigrants for the past 10 years. He is providing vital information about the Somali community, their needs, their use of English vs. their own dialect, their family patterns.
Met Christian owners of The Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant. Gained information about the Ethiopian community.
Met Mr. Salah. He promised that he will bring all his family members to our human care programs and tell others.
Met a former leader of the downtown mosque. Got his name and number. He agreed to help us promote the human care programs
Have gotten to know Abdullah, the owner of a local café as have visited there a number of times.
Personal contacts have been made with the following nationalities: Kenyans, Somalis, Sudanese, Senegalese, and others
Mesgana is making regular contacts at the following public places. He has made 30 personal contacts including those made at:
- Muna Hallal Grocers
- Kings and Queens Restaurant
- The Blue Nile Restaurant
- Wal Mart Rochester Community Technical College
Contact information is always the goal for Mesgana so that he can revisit or call these individuals, updating them about the start of the human care programs. There is a very positive indication for outreach in that Mesgana and other POBLO workers have been received with great friendliness and openness. It appears that there is an easy access into these communities and into the lives of individuals and their families.
Goals for February
There are two major goals:
- Equip and train enough volunteers from the churches and make sure the human care classes have all the tools needed to begin
- Get more fliers out to the community about upcoming human care programs, and meet
- as many people as possible
- To interview a local Rochester resident, a Lutheran, to serve as replacement for A.G.Paul. This interview will take place on Feb. 11 and 12th. A.G. Paul is unable to serve in Minnesota, due to personal family issues which had never been revealed to POBLO.
About the author: Rev. Dr. Gary Rohwer
Director of Missions
Rev. Dr. Gary Rohwer, with his doctorate in missions, has spent 16 fruitful years of ministry among Iranian Muslims and other immigrants. Dr. Rohwer’s passion is to help committed American Christians see that through love, hospitality, and friendship they can be a powerful witness to their non-Christian neighbors. Pastor Rohwer serves as the Director of Missions for POBLO International Ministries.
Rev., Dr. Gary Rohwer has been blessed to be part of numerous cross-cultural ministries; six years in Nigeria and ten years in outreach and church planting among Iranian Muslims and American born Gypsies in California.
Since serving as Director of Missions for People of the Book Ministries in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Dr. Rohwer has worked to train and deploy missionaries from various ethnic backgrounds to share the Gospel with Muslims and others. Dr. Rohwer is blessed with his musically gifted wife Grace and four children: Anna, Amy, Rachael and Nathan.”Seeing God work in the heart of a single Muslim person who comes to faith in Christ is a beautiful thing to witness. Many are coming to faith, but we simply need more workers to bring in the harvest. That is my prayer. That is my dream Rev. Gary Rohwer, Phd