Global Links March 2022

Latest news and stories from Global Mission

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March 2022
Celebrating International Women Leaders
From left to right: Naomi Mbise, Dora Houma, Marina Fomgbami

This Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. We take this opportunity to celebrate and support the remarkable women leaders in our global Lutheran community — leaders such as Naomi Mbise of Tanzania and Dora Houma and Marina Fomgbami of Cameroon. All three women received scholarships from the ELCA’s International Women Leaders program, which allowed them to study at ELCA colleges and universities. Now they are paying their opportunities forward by opening doors for girls in their home communities.

Mbise, Houma and Fomgbami have launched the African Girls Scholarship and Mentorship program, which will enable girls in Cameroon and Tanzania to earn high school diplomas while being mentored by accomplished women from all walks of life. Participants will receive support and mentorship in such things as leadership, self-love and life skills. The program is operated in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, with additional support from Women of the ELCA and others.

“By empowering women through education,” Houma says, “we can help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to stand up for themselves, as well as the self-confidence necessary for them to participate fully in the development process of their communities and countries.” Follow @agsmp2020 on Instagram for more information and updates.

Learn more about the International Women Leaders program here.

News Around the World
News Around the World
Global Mission personnel are working with partner churches and organizations to empower women around the world. Several years ago, the EPES International Training program in Chile offered advocacy training to women in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. In fall 2021, several of these women leaders gathered virtually to assess the lessons they had learned and share how they had put them to use. Grace Mose, a participant from Nairobi, noted, “When we empower women, we are empowering the community. Women are the foundation of our communities and for change.”

Learn more about the work of EPES here.

Mission Personnel

New missionaries
In early March, Global Mission staff will gather online with nine new missionaries to begin orienting them to their global service calls with the ELCA. We welcome: Jordan and Adam Miller-Stubbendick, Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) country coordinators for Jerusalem/West Bank; Jessica Geroux, YAGM country coordinator for Argentina/Uruguay; Mytch Dorvilier, YAGM country coordinator for Senegal; Cory and Sarah Driver, directors of graduate studies in Egypt; Vola Ranaivoson, ESL teacher in Japan.

Mission Personnel Reflection

Remembering Mark Jacobson
The ELCA mourns the loss of Dr. Mark Jacobson, who dedicated his life to serving congregations, health care facilities and communities in Tanzania and other countries around the world. Jacobson and his wife, Linda, began their missionary service in Tanzania in 1985. During his time there, he transformed several rural dispensaries into Selian Lutheran Hospital in Arusha. He also led the planning, funding and construction of the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which is recognized as a leading health facility in Tanzania. In 2018 he extended his service to Juba, South Sudan, to reach out to women who suffered from obstetric fistulas. Jacobson also initiated hospice and palliative care for HIV and AIDS patients in Tanzania and served as a founding member and board chair of the African Palliative Care Association.

The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director of ELCA Service and Justice, said that Jacobson’s greatest accomplishment was his Christian witness: “Together he and Linda handed on their faith to their children, raising them to be good stewards and servants of the gospel of Jesus Christ, while demonstrating God’s love to thousands of Tanzanian children.” Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jacobson family and their friends.

Get Involved
Get Involved

  • In honor of International Women’s Day, a generous donor is matching all gifts to International Women Leaders (IWL) up to $50,000. The IWL program provides full-tuition scholarships to ELCA colleges and universities, as well as scholarships for advanced graduate studies and gender justice seminars. If you make a gift now, you will double its impact on the lives of emerging women leaders and their communities.
  • ELCA World Hunger invites you to study, pray, reflect and give during 40 Days of Giving — for our families, our neighbors and communities around the world. Visit for resources including a calendar, a study guide, an action guide for congregations and a weekly email series.
  • Lutheran Disaster Response is accompanying companion churches and ecumenical partners in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to respond to the crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. To support the response, give here.

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