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David began his ministry in 1977 as an evangelistic missionary in Papua New Guinea, where he, his wife Lois, and their three children lived and served until returning to the USA in 1991.  The family settled in St. Louis, as David was called to serve as the Asia Area Secretary of the LCMS Board for Mission Services.  For the next nine years he traveled extensively throughout Asia, supervising the people and programs of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, China, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand.  He provided leadership for researching and developing goals, objectives and strategies for new and existing Asian mission fields, projects of humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief through LCMS World Relief. 

In 2000 David and Lois were deployed to Hong Kong where David could work more closely with the Synod’s international schools in Hong Kong and Shanghai, while serving as the liaison between the Synod and its partner churches in Asia. 

In 2003, Birner returned to St. Louis to assume global responsibilities for the LCMS as the Associate Executive Director for International Mission.  He brought together a global leadership team that provided a decade of outstanding leadership for LCMS missionaries and LCMS World Mission Programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. 

In 2013 David accepted a Call to Concordia University Wisconsin where he served for 8 years as the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, overseeing the university’s international programs on campus, while developing international partnerships that expanded the global footprint of CUW on 4 continents.  

 “Now retired, I am delighted to support such an energetic, spirited, and talented team. I am looking forward to drawing on my networks and life experience to support and promote the outreach of MCN, both here in the U.S. and abroad,” said Dr. Birner.

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