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A Journey Over 4 Decades Toward God's Calling to Ministry in Mission Work

I came to the USA in 1983 and worked in a Hilton Hotel on Marco Island FL as an Assistant Chief Engineer for 3 years, while I studied to complete my Master Electrician program.  After completion I started my own electrical contracting business in 1986, while raising 2 sons.  In 2010 we were invited by Rev. Bob Scudieri (Associate Pastor at Faith) and visited a Lutheran Church in Naples FL while we were still members of a Presbyterian Church in Florida.  That was the first yet last visit to become members at Faith Lutheran Church Naples FL.  Sr. Pastor Donald Treglown gave us three months of catechism classes to confirm us as members.

Pastor Jay & Julie Dass

My Story

My Julie was actively involved in LWML and was traveling and speaking at rallies and conventions, and I traveled with her.  During this time, Julie began Voice of Faith ministry to reach out to Muslim women and co-authored a book called The Despicable Missionary.  We deeply sensed God’s call for something bigger than a comfortable life in Naples. I was invited to join the seminary program multiple times by good friends and Lutheran Pastors, but meeting with Pastor Tim Droegemueller of Living Faith Lutheran in Cumming GA was a defining moment for my seminary admission.  This mission story will never be written honestly if I don’t mention (late) Pastor Bruce Lieske as he was my first mentor and friend to encourage me to be more involved in church work.

In 2016 with the help of Faith Lutheran in Naples, FL/GA District President Greg Walton and English District President Jamison Hardy along with Pastor Tim Droegemueller, I was enrolled in the LCMS Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) at Concordia Seminary,

St. Louis.  While I was preparing to become an ethnic pastor, my vicarage started at Living Faith with my mentor Tim Droegemueller who is a missionary-minded pastor.  Here we made new friends, gained emotional and physical support, and connected with several faithful servants who now serve on the LCCP Mission Board.  We heard a martyr story from Pakistan and were discussing the situation there, with help needed to stand against so many heresies in the church.  He asked if I would go back to Pakistan and serve, and I said yes.  

It was a divine co-incident that Pastor Droegemueller was attending a missions meeting at the MISSIONS OFFICE in  LCMS Headquarters, and he mentioned that story.  Someone said that we need to get our foot in Pakistan, since we cannot send a white guy with blue or green eyes or simply a German-looking guy into Pakistan.  "We wish we had a Pakistani Lutheran Pastor to send in" and Pastor Droegemueller said that he had one in the making, so let’s step into Pakistan.  Pastor James Krikava, the Eurasia Regional Director for the LCMS Office of International Missions (OIM) was already in contact with Pastor Droegemueller for mission work in Pakistan and they were discussing the “how and what” of the mission work in that country.

We started with Skype meetings and then visited Pakistan to evaluate the need for the mission work there.  We received tickets for airfare and both Julie and I landed in Pakistan on March 29th 2019.  We already knew through our Pakistani friends that there was an effort a few years prior by POBLO Int'l to start  a seminary program to train Lutheran Pastors but it was stopped due to lack of resources and direct involvement of Lutheran missionaries.  I visited a few church leaders in Pakistan with other denominations and found there was no Lutheran church in operation in the country in 2019.




With Pastor Bruce Lieske

With Pastor Tim Droegemueller in Romania

With Pastor James Krikava

A social media campaign was launched by a young man named Shan Samuel to meet with Christian young men to finalize the recruiting strategy, and 32 men were approached and interviewed.  They all spoke about the “church need” of having trained men to serve the church.  Due to the mushrooming growth of the Christian church at large in recent years in Pakistan, many clergy members have appeared as self-trained/self-claimed pastors.  Also, there’s a large growth of non-denominational free churches and it was hurting the other congregations.  Out of 32, 10 men said yes to “The Call” to serve a Pakistan Church and we came back with this report and presented it to Pastor James Krikava and Pastor Droegemueller.  Pastor Krikava immediately started working on “how to provide” Lutheran Pastoral Training for Pakistani men who have college or university degrees.

Many options were discussed, like taking them to a seminary in the USA or Germany or elsewhere to provide them Pastoral training.  Our second visit to Pakistan occurred in February 2020 to finalize the student visa process and the location.  While we were here, the whole world virtually shuts down due to the Covid pandemic and we were detained in Pakistan unable to return.  We saw the hardship caused by food rationing among the poor Christian population, so Julie partnered with an LCMS congregation in the U.S. to supply bags of rice and other household items to help those in greatest need among the poverty stricken, daily wager families. These small actions led to the first catechism class being started during July-September 2020 with 4 children and by December we had 29 children learning Luther’s Small Catechism. We might be the first church plant by an LCMS Vicar in this region, who started a church with children first and parents following.  The first church plant of the Lutheran Confessional Church Pakistan had begun.

In December 2020 I came back to USA as my last two semesters of seminary training were to be completed with the EIIT program of the Concordia Seminary St. Louis by  July 2021.  I was ordained in Transylvania, Romania under the Eurasia Mission program, and then went back to Pakistan to “serve and stay.”  Meanwhile, the formation of the LCCP Mission Board began and we traveled throughout the Midwest and Southeast visiting churches and attending the LWML National Convention in Kentucky.  A budget was made, fundraising began, communications and a new website were designed, and all legal formalities were underway in both the U.S. and Pakistan. In September 2021 after closing our home in Naples Florida, we settled in the capitol city of Islamabad, Pakistan.

Since returning, we have installed two deacons due to the rapid church growth.  Since September 2021, there are five Lutheran Church plants that are in progress: 1)Grace Lutheran Church-LCCP (Islamabad);  2) St. Paul Lutheran Church-LCCP (Islamabad); 3) St. Luke Lutheran Church -LCCP (Islamabad);  4) St. Mark Lutheran Church-LCCP (also called “the church under the tent” as people gather under a tent in Islamabad, and have no building as of yet); 5) St. Joseph’s Lutheran Church-LCCP (Lahore).  There are 9 Students involved in seminary training via Riga Luther Academy in Riga, Latvia (we call them Nine in the Line), and in addition there are now 12 pastors with (BTh or MDiv degrees) from a non-denominational background who are now receiving training and mentorship from LCMS Pastors on the board, Rev. Tim Droegemueller and Rev. Keith Lingsch.

We have sometimes gone without a meal or heat, been concerned with political uprisings, suffered illness and have periodically shut things down because Islamic holidays take precedence.  Yet, the mission presses on because God is in control.  The seed planted so many years ago by one invitation has led to numerous blessings for the Kingdom!

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