The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Indonesia in 1995 with the Pelita Harapan (Light of Hope) Foundation, an organization dedicated to establishing Christian schools throughout all of Indonesia. LCMS international educators are involved in Christian teacher education, administration, curriculum development and teaching at Pelita Harapan schools.
In January 2005, the LCMS sent a survey team to Indonesia to assess the needs of the victims of the disastrous Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami. LCMS teachers from around Asia came together in July and September of 2005 to lead English-teaching seminars for teachers in Aceh province, and they later sent more long-term volunteer teachers to work in local schools.
In 2012, the LCMS was contacted by the Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church (GKLI). The GKLI leadership was familiar with the LCMS reputation for faithful teaching and requested assistance in furthering the theological education of their pastors and lay leaders. The LCMS deployed personnel to Indonesia for this purpose in 2014, and they currently live in North Sumatra. The GKLI remains a steadfast emerging partner in Indonesia, continually requesting support in the form of teachers, workshops and Lutheran resources.
The LCMS first supported mercy projects in Indonesia through a partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries in 2001 to provide food, clothing and blankets to families affected by mudslides, which were the result of earthquakes and heavy rains. Since then, support has gone toward tsunami relief coordination, medical assistance, refurbishing schools and theological symposia. Current support includes earthquake, tsunami and volcano disaster response.