LEAven Blog


We Are Not Alone

I didn’t have many expectations of the summer Olympics this time around.  I couldn’t imagine the “games” happening without the tens of thousands of live spectators, local stories about interaction between residents and athletes, and the energy generated globally by congregating in Japan.  The pandemic certainly threw a curve into this year’s Olympics!  That’s pretty much the way we have all been feeling about the world in general and education in particular.

To my delight, however, the opening ceremony in Tokyo renewed my confidence in our world’s ability to come together.  Athletes from 206 countries made their way into the stadium, as proud as ever to be representing their homelands.  Their anticipation of their competition in 339 events during the two-week period was as authentic as ever.  Despite last year’s delay and all of the challenges facing them, one factor was clear:  they were in this together.

None of us is alone when it comes to Lutheran education!  Regardless of our role or location, we are privileged to serve side-by-side with fellow educators, active communities, and supporting organizations (such as LEA!).  Many don’t realize, however, the extent to which we are part of a much bigger world of educators in ministry worldwide! 

Did you know that ….

  • Lutheran education is formally present on six continents?
  • Organizations such as LeadAChild and the Mission of Christ Network formally help to train and support individuals to serve in dozens of countries.
  • Several organizations in other parts of the world exist to help develop schools and support educators in Lutheran schools: Lutheran Education Association of Ghana, Asia Lutheran Education Association, Lutheran Education Association of South Africa, Association of Lutheran Christian Educators of America (Central America), to name a few.
  • The LCMS is involved with the operation of three international school in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Hanoi.
  • Dozens of national Lutheran church bodies support extensive systems of Christian schools, employing thousands of educators.
  • LEA hosts a Global Lutheran Education Symposium every three years prior to the LEA Convocation (the next one will be October 5, 2022 in Milwaukee).
  • Many congregations and schools in the USA support and interact with fellow educators in schools throughout the world.

I suspect that YOU and your school might be involved with Lutheran education on a global level in some way.  If so, please share with us ….

  • Are you involved with running and/or supporting a school in another country?
  • Have you ever served in a Christian school located outside the United States?
  • Do you or your staff have specific connections with educators in other countries?

Please share anything you wish in then “Leave a Comment” box below.

We thank God for all who serve in Christian education ministry globally and rejoice in the fact that we are not alone!

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Jon is the Executive Director of LEA. He has served in that position since 1997. He previously served as Director of Education at Concordia University, Ann Arbor and 15 years as teacher and administrator at schools in Texas and Michigan. Jon is actively involved as a speaker, consultant, board member, and collaborator with schools and organizations on six continents.


  1. Lillian Renee Kahre on August 25, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you for this article. After serving in Lutheran schools in Louisville, Kentucky and Houston,Texas, I accepted an unexpected call to serve in 2019 overseas with the amazing staff, faculty, students, and families who make up the Concordia International School Hanoi. Although, the unrelenting Covid virus took the world by storm in early 2020 during my first year overseas resulting in sometimes challenging days navigating not only a new country, but new ways to teach over Zoom, I have been so blessed by my time here and the family that has welcomed me in Hanoi and my heart is filled joy for the ministry that I serve here. As I start my 30 year of education and my 3rd year here in Hanoi, I know that we all make a difference wherever God places us- even if He challenges us outside our comfort zones, He is so faithful- so if you hear Him calling to serve outside of the US push yourself and watch the ministry grow. Blessings as you all start your new school year!

    • Jonathan Laabs on August 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks so much for your sharing this, Lillian. CISH is, indeed, a wonderful place to serve! I am excited about your being there, even though I am aware of the tremendous challenges associated with being abroad during COVID. LEA played a part in the initial launching of CISH as we introduced Steve Winkelmann and several staff members about to start their ministry there at the 2011 LEA Convocation in March before the school started in fall. The assembly also used their offering to support the effort. It’s great when our community of Lutheran education comes together on a global level! I look forward to the many ways that this can continue in the future as part of God’s plan. Many blessings in your ministry at CISH this year!

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