“Next question!” quizzes the global mission advocate at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago.
“The average person in Suriname lives on how much per day? $20? $50? Or $2?”
“Two dollars!” pipes up a little girl in the third row.
Members of Resurrection are proud to provide financial support (and plenty of prayers) for Kevin Jacobson, who serves as the ELCA mission personnel in the small Caribbean nation of Suriname.
Kevin is pastor at one of the five Lutheran congregations in the country. He was called by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname to help it in its goal of leadership development.
Resurrection celebrates its partnership with Pastor Kevin every year at its highly anticipated Global Mission festival.
Tasting Surinamese cuisine, praying for Pastor Kevin, swapping stories and taking the ever-popular “Suriname quiz” are just some of the ways the festival helps Resurrection members feel a bit closer to their Suriname brothers and sisters.
A mutually rewarding relationship
Members are quick to report that the relationship is mutually rewarding. There’s something about cheering on Pastor Kevin in his work in this tiny tropical country that gives Resurrection members a boost in their own outreach at home.
St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, Sarasota, Fla., is another ELCA congregation that sponsors Pastor Kevin.
Members Richard and Sandra Carlson decided to help their congregation learn more about the ministry in Suriname by going straight to the source. They planned a trip to Suriname that included “shadowing” Pastor Kevin.
After four days “on the ground,” Richard sent this report back to St. Armand:
“Sandi and I spent four days visiting four of the congregations and attending worship services in three of the churches. All services were in Dutch, the language of the country. Membership (in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname) totals about 200 now, with many youngsters. And, recently, a full time Surinamese Pastor has been added! It was very rewarding.”
A trip back to Suriname next year is already in the works.