Posted by: therasches | September 27, 2013

Piano Lessons

While we are in Denton, Jennifer is teaching piano lessons.  She enjoys the chance to use her music and work with kids.  While she was in Nigeria, she helped her students to remember that this is God’s world and music is just one part of it.  Students use their God-given talents as they learn music and God loves to see them use the gifts that they have been given.  

Thumbtack, inc. is helping me to find students. This link takes you to my profile.

Posted by: therasches | September 27, 2013

Changes in Our Lives

In July our family made some pretty major changes in direction.  It became clear at that time that Ivan’s family in Denton needed our help.  Years ago we made a commitment to come back to help if that need should arise, since Ivan’s brother MIchael has muscular dystrophy.  Ivan’s mother is Michael’s primary care giver and she is having trouble taking care of him alone.  Our son Timmy was living with them so that he could help with his care but he also needs help.  For now, Ivan and I are living in Denton with Mom, Michael and Timmy so that Mom can get some much needed sleep at night.  Please pray for us as we seek God’s direction for the future in ministry and in our family lives.

Posted by: therasches | February 25, 2013

The Rasch Report

Thank you!

Thank you, each and every one of you, for your encouragement and support – especially over the past months since we were evacuated from Nigeria in March 2012.  During our extended home-service period, we were able to visit many of you – we are sorry we were not able to visit all of you.  We will be looking forward to connecting with you again at our next home-service.  (We plan for that to start at the end of June 2015, but we continue to submit ourselves to God’s plan and His wisdom rather than to our own.)

You have been generous in your financial support, and we thank you for your partnership in ministry through this support.  We are still in need of additional support (about $21,000 per year more than what we have received in funding so far during this current fiscal year) in order to meet our budgeted ministry expenses through June 2015.  Any unspent money from this fiscal year automatically rolls over into next year.  We invite you to continue supporting us throughout the duration of our 30-month term on the mission field.  It is through your faithful support that we have the opportunity to serve as missionaries.  We trust that God uses this not only to bless the ministry here in West Africa but also to bring special joy to each of you who are giving.

A Specific Need

Please join us in thanking God for helping us work through the first part of bringing our vehicle to Ghana.  Last night I was able to confirm that the 20-foot container containing our 12-passenger van for hosting short-term teams left the port in Houston on the 25th.  At this time, the only information I know is that it is expected to arrive in Antwerp (Belgium) on the 13th of February.  I won’t have an update on the next leg of that vessel’s trip until it leaves the port in Antwerp.  Please pray with us that the vessel will not encounter any delays and that God would prepare the customs officials and clearing agent here in Ghana ahead of time for the arrival of the container – we are eager for its arrival at the port in Tema (Ghana) so that we will have the van available for the Concordia-TX team’s visit in March.

New Beginnings

After a long but uneventful trip, we arrived in Accra, Ghana, Thursday night.  Friday morning we went to the synod office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) to present ourselves to our partner church and received a warm welcome from the leadership.  Friday afternoon we met up with our new landlord, received our house keys, and started the process of setting up our home.  The house came completely unfurnished except for a stove/oven, so we have a lot of things to take care of.  Saturday we continued shopping for the most urgent items – fridge, bed, toiletries, washer & dryer, food.  All of this is a little more challenging without our own vehicle.

This morning we worshipped at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kanda, Accra.  What a blessing it was to be surrounded by our Ghanaian brothers and sisters in Christ!  President Fynn introduced us to the congregation and expressed his excitement and anticipation for our partnership in ministry for the coming years.

I met briefly with the second pastor at St. Paul to start working on the details for the Concordia – Texas short-term mission trip in early March.  On Monday I hope to meet with the Director of St. Paul Lutheran School to start working out the details of the program the team will be involved with at the school.  At this point, we are planning on a team of 8 college students and 1 team leader (staff member).  Please pray for all those involved in the planning for this trip, that it serves its purpose of edifying the church through the church schools and brings glory to God.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that God will raise up short-term mission teams from among you to partner in various ministry opportunities with our partner churches in West Africa.
  • Thank God for safely bringing us to Accra.
  • Pray for our family as we adjust to being apart from our kids for a prolonged period of time.
  • Pray for smooth processes in bringing our van into Ghana from Houston and our pickup into Ghana from Nigeria.
  • Pray for the upcoming meeting of Volunteer Coordinators (for short-term mission trips) in East Africa during the last week of February.
  • Pray for the college team from Concordia-TX as they prepare for their trip to Ghana during their Spring Break in March.
  • Pray that God will provide new and renewed partnerships and support for us that will enable us to continue serving Him in West Africa.

Thank you!

Thank you for your continued support and partnership with us.  We need and appreciate your prayers.  God uses your letters and notes of encouragement to help motivate us.  He uses your financial support as a means for us to reach out with His Gospel as we continue serving Him in this ministry to which He has called us.

We invite you to partner with us through your financial support.  100% of every gift you designate for our ministry will be applied to our ministry account.  If this year’s needs have already been met, the gift will be applied toward next year’s needs. You can give securely online at  or send a check made payable to Lutheran Church Missouri Synod with “Ivan and Jennifer Rasch support” in the memo line to:

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
P.O. Box 790089
St. Louis, MO  63179-0089

Support gifts for us can also be submitted to Mission Central in Mapleton, Iowa.


Posted by: therasches | October 18, 2012

Our Upcoming Schedule

If you are in the area, we would love to see you. We are traveling in the Midwest right now.

Oct 18th Zion, Worms, NE

Oct. 21 First Trinity, Bloomfield, NE

Oct 22 Trinity Creston, IA

Oct 24 Redeemer, Rockford, IL

Oct 25 St. John East Moline, IL

Oct 27 St. Paul Fort Dodge, IA

Oct 28 St. Paul Fort Dodge, IA

Oct 29 Messiah, Sterling, IL

Nov 1-3 Beautiful Feet Conference, Mequon, WI


Posted by: therasches | October 15, 2012

Christ Lutheran School, Norfolk, NE

Today, we had a great visit with the kids at Christ Lutheran School in Norfolk, NE. They have been supporting us for the past 6 years. Thank you, Christ Lutheran!

Posted by: therasches | October 15, 2012

Our Chat With Kids at Christ Lutheran

Posted by: therasches | July 9, 2012

A Busy Summer

After taking some time to stop our heads from spinning from the quick transition, we are now moving ahead with a full summer. Ivan got most of our things packed up when he was in Jos.  We are so thankful for the help that so many people gave to Ivan with sorting, packing, and selling our things.  Without that help, we would not be nearly as ready as we are.

I (Jennifer) am thankful that our local church (St. Paul Lutheran Church in Denton, TX) is giving me the opportunity to teach music for their summer preschool and Kid’s Jam.  It helps me to feel normal again.

Over the past 3 weeks, we have visited friends in San Antonio, Illinois, and Missouri.  Last weekend, we also attended the Hillcrest Reunion in Dallas.  Making connections with friends and family has been a real joy.

Posted by: therasches | April 23, 2012

Picking up the Pieces

Well, things have not gone the way we had in mind.  We are eager to see God’s will in all of this so we can re-align our minds and our plans to His will.

After flying out from Nigeria on March 16, we took some time to just get settled in back in Denton, TX.  Heather and Timmy are just about adjusted to the new school routine.  Jennifer is looking for some ways that she can keep herself busy and be of some assistance to our home congregation, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Denton.

So, now is probably the most ideal time for me to make a trip back to Jos to try to sort through our belongings and mission property.  It’s a bit of a daunting task for me, with Jennifer and the kids not there.  Please pray for good health, endurance, and energy for me to complete this task.  I plan to arrive in Jos on the 26th (this Thursday) and leave again on the 21st of May.

Please pray for the rest of my family that things will go well for them while I am away.

Posted by: therasches | April 15, 2012

Good-bye party

Good-bye party

Posted by: therasches | April 15, 2012

Good-bye party

Good-bye party

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