It’s a long road to become a pastor. For Jordan Massiah, it’s 12 years of schooling in three different states over an international border from his hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“Studying for the ministry is tough, but the feeling of knowing that you get to be there in a person’s life helping them to learn of God’s love through Jesus is something that keeps me motivated,” says Massiah, a senior at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.
Massiah also has had a lot of encouragement along the way, including support from Lucas Bitter, pastor at Intown Lutheran Church, a home mission congregation in downtown Atlanta. Bitter met Massiah in 2011 when Bitter served as a vicar at Hope, Toronto, where Massiah is a member. “I remember writing him a note in his confirmation card saying, ‘You should really be a pastor. I can tell you would be good at it and this is what you want to do,’ ” says Bitter. Massiah decided to attend Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich., one of WELS’ worker-training preparatory high schools, and Martin Luther College.
TELL (Think, Evaluate, Learn, and Lead) uses English to reach people through social media, self-led Bible lessons, and live video classrooms. Dan Laitinen is the full-time TELL missionary, meeting several times a week with students from Africa, India, and the Philippines. He also works closely with several national pastors in fellowship with WELS who help create culturally appropriate and diverse online content.