OSL Stephen Ministries
Globalization of Stephen Ministry
Stephen Ministries has been serving individuals and congregations internationally since 1980, with programs in all 50 U.S. states, ten Canadian provinces and 29 other countries. Most recent additions to the global network have been China and Japan. Japan initiated connection with Dr. Kenneth Haugk, the founder and Executive Director of Stephen Ministries, through the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tokyo; and the Thanksgiving English Fellowship (TEF) and Abundant Grace International Fellowship (AGIF) in Shanghai, China, followed soon after.
While they were in Japan, Haugk and his group they were able to attend a performance of Boxi Rocks, a rock band that began in 2013. The band consists of pastors, performing in their clerical collars and using their secular music as a way to reach out to a broad audience. “Boxi” comes from the word bokushi, meaning pastor. Look them up on YouTube for a taste of their music.
Although the trip was originally focused on Stephen Ministry, it became apparent early on that there was also a lot of interest in Haugk’s book Cancer—Now What As a result, he gave a number of presentations about Cancer—Now What to Stephen Ministry groups, pastors, congregation members, and others. “Care for people dealing with cancer is a need all over the world, and many people we met were cancer survivors or had loved ones diagnosed,” Haugk said. “People in China and Japan told us there’s no book like Cancer—Now What in either country, so it will make a big difference when it’s available there.”
The book, which is now in preparation for translation into Chinese and Japanese, is available (in English) from the OSL Library.