(From the Lutheran Calendar)
Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen was born in 1834 in Schleswig-Holstein (a district long disputed between Denmark and Germany, and at that time Danish). In 1857 he began training for missionary work, and in 1862 he went as a Lutheran missionary to Sumatra (a large island in western Indonesia, south of the Malay Peninsula), where he worked in the interior among the Bataks, a people previously untouched by either Islam or Christianity. (Note that Islam is widespread in Indonesia and has outposts as far east as the Philippines.) After some initial troubles, the mission began to succeed, with the conversion of several tribal chiefs and their followers. By 1876 there were 2000 Batak Christians. Nommensen translated the New Testament into Batak by 1878. He undertook to preach the Gospel without replacing the native culture by a European one, and to develop native Church leaders and a native order of worship. Nommensen died on 23 May 1918. The Christian community he had planted grew and prospered. With the coming of World War II, the missionaries were driven out or imprisoned, and the Batak people took over completely the management of their own church, which now numbers more than half a million.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Ludwig Nommensen, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the Batak peoples of Sumatra. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land, evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Ludwig Nommensen, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the Batak peoples of Sumatra. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.