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Global Mission


Our Companion Synod Coordinators

The Rev. Lisa Isenhower

The Rev. Lisa Isenhower

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia

Lisa is a native of Washington state, but as a military dependent, she spent her childhood in six different states and two foreign countries. She has lived in South Carolina since 1979. She and her late husband Bob have two adult children (Rev. Andrew Isenhower and Dr. Robert Isenhower) and two grandchildren.

Pastor Lisa has served as the pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Batesburg since 2015. During her time at Faith, she has served as the dean of the Western Conference for several years, chaired the First Call Theological Education Committee, served on the synod’s nominating committee twice, and she currently serves on the Synod’s “Bible team,” developing Bible study materials for God’s people in the South Carolina Synod. She also is a part of the Las Pastoras fellowship group, an online gathering of women pastors from both North America and our companion synod in Colombia, South America.

In Batesburg, Pastor Lisa chairs the Batesburg-Leesville Ministerial Alliance, serves as a mentor to a child in the Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School, chairs the Summer Literacy Program (a faith-based literacy program for at-risk children), and serves as secretary for Arts on the Ridge (a 501C3 organization that promotes the fine arts in the Batesburg-Leesville community).

In her spare time, Lisa enjoys reading, walking with her dog, teaching aerobic dance classes, and spending time with her family.

The Rev. Tom Cassem and The Rev. Miho Yasukawa

The Rev. Tom Cassem and The Rev. Miho Yasukawa

Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Rev. Thomas Cassem

I spent 17 years in sales and sales management before seminary in retail, direct consumer, and industrial distribution.  All of this experience helped me relate to and minister with people in my parishes. After graduating from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1991, I’ve served congregations in Spartanburg SC, Mauldin SC, Hendersonville NC, and John’s Island and James Island SC.  Served in hospital chaplaincy and with Lutheran Homes of South Carolina as Senior Care Facility chaplain.  Helped start Lutheran Hospice in Upstate SC as chaplain and in other positions. Was Chair of SC Lutheran Synod’s Specialized Ministry Committee and served as Coastal Conference Dean.  Worked with J Henry Stuhr Funeral Home in Charleston, helped start the Charleston Ecclesiastical Council and TriCounty Veterans Support Network’s Spiritual Support Outpost and have served on its board for 10 years.  Serve Postpartum Support Charleston as chaplain and was on the board of its predecessor foundation for many years. Served on the board of TriCounty Family Ministries…now Neighbors Together. Served as Sea Islands Alliance of Ministries Asst. Chaplain and on that board for many years helping to bring islands’ congregations of many denominations and cultures together in ministry.

I’ve known Rev. Jerry and Janice Livingston for many years, and it was at Jerry’s request that I initially became involved in our JELC Companion Synod ministry and served on the Task Force.

I’ve been privileged to host 4 JELC Presidents and other JELC representatives on their visits to the Charleston area, and JELC Pastor Naoki Asano became a good friend during his visit here in 2005.  We remain in contact and support each other’s ministry through communication and prayer, and look forward to working together in the future.

The Rev. Miho Yasukawa

Rev. Miho Yasukawa was born and grew up in Kumamoto, Japan and is a graduate of Kyushu Jo Gakuin (current Kyushu Lutheran School).  Inspired by Lutheran missionaries from the United States, she was baptized at Oue Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kumamoto.  She is serving at Fairfax Lutheran Parish. 

Cathy Milejczak

Cathy Milejczak

Southwest Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

Having been born into a military family Cathy developed a love for travel at young age. She has enjoyed living in Europe and in many different states across the east coast if the United States. Cathy is a dental hygienist and holds a PhD in Public Health. Her first international mission experience was to Kenya, Africa in 1994 with the Southern Baptist Convention. This trip instilled in her that she could make a difference in the lives of others. She made a second trip to Kenya and a trip to Romania with the southern Baptist Church. In 2000, she participated in a trip to Northern Tanzania with a group from the South Carolina Synod. Cathy joined the South Carolina Synod’s Global Mission Team in 1995. She was part of the task force to adopt the South Western Diocese of Tanzania as a Companion Synod. Cathy made her first trip to the SWD in 2002 and has made numerous trips over the past 20 years.

Global Mission Updates

A Report on Global Missions

Summarized by Gemini, Google's AI Tool Bishop Ginny Aebischer presented this report about the ELCA's Global Mission Partnerships. It specifically discusses the South Carolina Synod's companion church relationships with three...

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Updates from the Southwestern Diocese of Tanzania Team

Updates from the Southwestern Diocese of Tanzania Team

SHE SHED: A Wheat and Water Project helping the Uwanji and Safwa Women of the Southwestern Diocese of Tanzania. The ladies of the SWD of Tanzania need help with their farming practices. Currently the women are farming with hand tools. Due to the loss of their wheat...

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Mission 2023: Tanzania

Mission 2023: Tanzania

Meet the people of the Southwestern Diocese of Tanzania No experience necessary! Please join us as the South Carolina Synod returns to visit our Global Companions, the Southwestern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Here's what you need to know....

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A Companion Synod Story: Tanzania

A Companion Synod Story: Tanzania

I was on a health care mission in Southern Highlands of Tanzania, Africa. A make shift dental operatory had been set up for me consisting of a chair borrowed from local villagers and a benched carved out of a tree. A sugarcane fence had been constructed to keep the...

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Companion Synod Video – Full

Companion Synod Video – Colombia

Companion Synod Video – Japan

Companion Synod Video – Tanzania

Mission Partners

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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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