Keeping Up with the Ludwigs
Spring 2019 - A Letter from the Ludwigs
Dear First Presbyterian Church Ann Arbor,
We want to thank you and share our recent encouragements with you. Lately it seems we’ve been sharing about how life in Niger is difficult for us despite all the advantages we have that the majority of the population does not. The place has a way of wearing most things down. But this month we’ve both received some much-needed encouragement from different groups we attend. Rachel was recently moved at her Bible Study when reflecting on the encouragement to stick with the tasks that you’ve been called to. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). At the same time Michael was leading a devotion for CHE training for the regional trainers and was struck by the encouragement to not lose heart as you are a part of a larger community that is setting its eyes on Jesus, who himself endured so much (Hebrews 12:1-3).
So, we give you this thank you for your financial contribution to our sending and support with a renewed sense of encouragement. We know that you are an important part of this community of people (“great cloud of witnesses”) that are gathered around the Perfecter of our faith with us. Your prayers and presence with us are a big part of our not losing heart and of any fulfillment or success in the work we’re attempting to do. Please take these encouragements to heart in your own life of faith!
Rachel and Michael Ludwig
October is a huge month for the EERN (our partner church in Niger - Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger). They are planning their first ever leadership conference, where they hope to gather all 163 of the pastors and evangelists across the country to focus on Christian leadership. Following the conference leaders will attend the EERN General Assembly and discuss budgets and planning.
Please pray with us! For our children’s health and school needs; for the Church as they are transitioning in leadership; for peace; for crops in Niger (with unreliable weather and famine in part of the country); for the evangelists (who have an extremely difficult job in the least developed country in the world and a majority Muslim context). All our love and prayers, Michael and Rachel Ludwig.
About Michael and Rachel's Ministry
The November 2014 Mission Committee meeting voted to accept a report from the Mission Co-Worker Selection Task Force to support Rev. Michael Ludwig and Rachel Ludwig and the people of Niger.
Michael and Rachel work alongside the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (EERN), helping them develop a literacy training and evangelism program. Niger is among the world’s poorest countries, has a literacy rate of only 29 percent, and experiences frequent famines.
“It’s captured our hearts as a place of great need, where people with skills in language and teaching can make a huge impact in the lives of ordinary Nigerians through literacy training and exposure to the gospel," they write. “We believe this program will help the church grow in reaching out to its non-Christian neighbors, helping them physically through teaching and spiritually as they read the good news of Jesus.” (Source: PC(USA) Ludwig prayer card)
About Michael and Rachel Ludwig
The Ludwigs, who will be accompanied in Niger by two children, anticipate their life will be full of opportunities and challenges. “We expect to encounter joys of close and friendly family life, vibrant worship, and excitement at helping people learn new skills that help them, but we anticipate challenges of dealing with very hot conditions, malaria risks, learning multiple languages, dealing with different time expectations, and answering the needs that God wants you to focus on instead of answering every need,” Rachel explains.
Michael, a native of Holland, Michigan, was an associate pastor at Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio, for four years prior to entering mission service. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and a master’s degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He also has done graduate study in the classics at the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of Scioto Valley Presbytery.
Rachel grew up in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, and has spent most of her professional life as a middle school math and science teacher. She has taught in public school systems in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the College of Wooster in 2001, she spent one year as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Young Adult Volunteer in Guatemala and one year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Cincinnati. Rachel is a member of Overbrook Presbyterian Church.
Please keep Michael, Rachel and their young son and daughter in your prayers for the work they will be doing in Niger.
To learn more about the Ludwigs, their ministry, subscribe to letters, and more, visit the Ludwig's Mission Connections page on the PC(USA) website.
Video: Listen as Michael and Rachel Ludwig share their sense of call to mission in Niger.