Why We Exist

Lutheran Asian Ministries (LAM) is a Christian Non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization based in Iowa (Morningside Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Sioux City, Iowa). We work in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam with a regional population of about 241.2 million people.

LAM exists to share the good news of Jesus and the love of God with people of the Southeast Asian countries, and to pursue and establish relationships with their governments and churches leaders in those countries. We cooperate with Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar governments to help in the development of religious and well/water objectives. We do this by funding and staffing projects in Southeast Asians that partner with others to help people in need. We are based in Siam Reap, Cambodia, Yangon, Myanmar and the capital city, Vientiane, Laos but we work throughout all of the Southeast Asian nations to help the poor, share the good news and strive to improve their lives.

LAM is an international partner of LCMC, mission partner and as well as the local contact for churches in Southeast Asia.


Lutheran Vietnamese Ministries (LVM) began in 2003 out of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, Iowa. In 2013 LVM joined the work being done by Pastor Tom LoVan of Morningside Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa. It was then that Lutheran Asian Ministries (LAM) was formed.

We began our work primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia. In the last few years we have expanded our mission and are currently working in five countries: Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Three of these countries are in the top 30 countries persecuting Christians. LAM is a recognized ministry partner with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (www.LCMC.net)


Board: Our board consists of eight members. Barry Eldal, chair; Pastor Noah Ruppert, secretary; and the rest of the board members serve at large: Pastor Craig Bock, Robert Green, Pat Anderson, Randy Rathman, Manivanh Syhanath, and Kamphan Saythonhgphet. Our board meets at least four times a year and they oversee the mission, ministry, finance, and work of the staff.

Staff: Our Staff consists of Pastor Tom LoVan, Executive Director, Karin Garr, Administrative Assistant, and Pastor Mark Vander Tuig, Ministry Coordinator. Pastor Tom LoVan is an associate pastor at Morningside and the church dedicates a part of his time as their pastor to LAM, Pastor Vander Tuig is compensated by two generous gifts given for his travel, expenses and time. Karin Garr works part time for LAM with a salary, so that we can financially operate with integrity and transparency.