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$50K For Two Great Missions

At Lutheran Women in Mission, we are honored to announce that mission grants going toward “Sharing Christ with Women and Children in Kazakhstan” and “Expanding Gospel Outreach to Hispanics in the U.S.” have each received disbursements of $50,000 during our recent event with Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM).

five men and women standing in the LWML Office holding a checkThe photograph above features Lutheran Women in Mission (LWML) Executive Director Vanessa Johnson presenting one of two checks to Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM). From left to right: Ashley Bayless, LHM Vice President of Program Development, Chad D. Lakies, LHM Vice President of Ministry Engagement, Vanessa Johnson, LWML Executive Director, Lois M. Engfehr, LHM Director of Grants and Foundation Relations, and Jeff Craig-Meyer, LHM President of United States Ministries attended the check ceremony.

With hearts full of gratitude, we praise God that Christ will be shared with women and children in Kazakhstan through LWML Mission Grant #20. This mission is bringing the light of the Gospel to a non-Christian nation where many face hardships. Through Christian training programs, resources, and media, families will receive messages of hope and salvation in ways that touch their hearts and resonate with their culture. This grant allows LHM to spread love, strengthen relationships, and build faith in Jesus in communities that need it most. 

We thank God for the strides made to reach Hispanic communities across the United States with LWML Mission Grant #22. Recognizing the vibrant and growing Hispanic population, LHM crafts tailored programming and materials by Hispanics for Hispanics. This thoughtful approach ensures that the Gospel speaks directly to their daily lives and experiences instead of simply translating from English to Spanish. By partnering with LCMS leaders and institutions, they spread God's message of salvation in their native language, nurturing faith, and inspiring a deeper connection with Jesus. 

Glory be to God that He has so richly provided for us! Thank you for blessing Lutheran Women in Mission to support these missions. Pray with us for those serving and those being served as we look forward to witnessing the beautiful impact of these grants. Watch for more details and resources about these grants in October. 

A message of thanks from Lutheran Hour Ministries


For more information about these mission grants, view the LWML Mission Grant #20 webpage and LWML Mission Grant #22 webpage.

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Church Interpreters for the Deaf

2023–2025 LWML Mission Grant #14 Enhancement of Deaf Ministry and Outreach — $47,000

classroom setting with adults learning

Church Interpreters — Growing in Interest, Growing in Participation, Growing in Christ

By Rev. Thomas Dunseth and Kaye Wolff

Ephphatha Lutheran Mission Society for the Deaf (ELMS) operates the Church Interpreter Training Academy (CITA). Their goal is to train interpreters for Lutheran congregations so that, through Sunday morning Divine Service interpreted into American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf people might have access to the life-giving, life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many interpreters in cities across the United States who serve Lutheran congregations, but few of these interpreters have the skills to sign the Word of God accurately. CITA helps to provide the training. 

We thank LWML for their generous grant which has enabled CITA to hold two workshops, one at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the other at St. Paul and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Churches in Austin, Texas. Three more workshops are scheduled for 2024 — one in Michigan, another in Indiana, and a third at a site yet to be determined. There has been a great interest among Lutheran congregations desiring to be involved in Deaf mission. The key to any congregational Deaf ministry is trained interpreters. 

Many Lutherans want to learn American Sign Language. They want to share the love of Christ with the Deaf community, of which approximately 96 percent is unchurched. It is a win-win mission outreach.

The participants of CITA workshops grow in their understanding of Lutheran theology and worship as they learn to interpret the Word of God in ASL, the language of the Deaf. Then, as they go about their vocations in their communities, they invite Deaf people to church who can see the Word of God being brought to them in their own language. 

An essential tool for the training of church interpreters is the translation of the Lutheran Service Book (LSB) into American Sign Language. Currently, LSB is being translated into a video resource by a translation team of pastors for the Deaf, a Deaf deaconess, and Deaf Lutheran teachers. When completed, this video will be available for use by the LCMS at large. Divine Service, Setting Three has been completed and was used for the first time at the February CITA in Austin, Texas. Thirty-nine interpreters, signers, and youth attended this workshop. 

Rev. Thomas Dunseth (pictured right) has been a pastor for the Deaf as an LCMS missionary in Hong Kong and Macau, China, and a missionary to the Deaf in the Michigan District since 2001. He is the vice president and co-founder of the Ephphatha Lutheran Mission for the Deaf, a member of the LSB ASL translation team, and a regular interpreter at LWML events. 

Kaye Wolff (not pictured) is a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Dearborn, Michigan which houses Ephphatha’s St. Martin Lutheran School for the Deaf. Kaye has been instrumental in the support and promotion of the school, Deaf Lutheran mission in the Michigan District, and the growth of interest in the LWML among our Deaf LCMS sisters. 

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This story was originally featured in the Summer 2024 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

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Forged by Fire

2023–2025 LWML Mission Grant #6 Mobile Kitchen, Forged by Fire Services, Gulf Coast Region, U.S. — $85,000

photo of man making hot food outside; photo of man handing box of hot food to person in car

Forged by Fire

By Paul Ernewein with Mission Editor Brianne Stahlecker

We take so many things for granted until they are no longer there — family, friends, jobs, homes — even something as simple as a meal. If you have lived through a major disaster like a hurricane, tornado, flood, or wildfire, you know the feeling that follows. It is almost like an out-of-body experience. Confusion about what to do next invades. How do we start trying to recover? Something as simple as a warm meal, once taken for granted, is missed.

In Forged by Fire serving lines, we hear stories and see the faces of people who are simply lost: seniors who haven’t had a warm meal in weeks; families who had food insecurity issues before the disaster; families struggling just to find one meal a day. Yet, they are thankful that we are there serving them.

Even in “the greatest country in the world,” people and communities can get overlooked in disasters. Paths of destruction during hurricanes can be so wide that it is virtually impossible to cover every community with relief efforts. This is where churches and volunteer organizations become vital. That is how Forged by Fire started. In the Gulf Coast, major disasters have affected our lives. Our leadership team and many of our volunteers have “been there.”

Our feeding ministry has its roots in providing that very basic need for human survival — food. We don’t serve just average food; we serve food cooked with love — delicious food that can be found in your grandmother’s or mother's kitchen. Every time we serve, we try to serve food like that.

Since its beginning, Forged by Fire has prepared and served food for over 150,000 people. Because of generous donations from individuals and organizations like LWML, we have never had to stop cooking due to lack of funding. God truly provides for all our needs!

Those receiving our meals often ask, “Why?” and “How are you able to do this?” What an opportunity to share Christ while being the hands and feet of our Savior Jesus! Our answer is always the same, “Because we can.” This is who we are in Jesus. We serve. It really is that simple.

Where does the LWML fit in? Smaller communities are the ones often overlooked by major relief organizations in recovery work. The LWML Mission Grant for Forged by Fire Services, prayed for and approved at the LWML Convention in Milwaukee, will help serve those communities. The mobile, self-sufficient kitchen will allow us to cook and serve from the roadside. A smaller team of volunteers will be able to comfortably serve up to 500 people. What a blessing this unit will be to those in need! We cannot thank you enough.

To learn more about our work, please visit We are an active Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT). To learn about opportunities to volunteer with the LCMS after a disaster strikes, and learn more about LERT, visit Your prayers and your service are vital to our work that we share together.

Rev. Paul Ernewein, a 2007 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, serves as pastor of The Village Church Lutheran in Lacombe, Louisiana and as president and managing director of Forged by Fire Services. He also serves as a zone pastoral counselor for the LWML Louisiana-Mississippi District. Because he has experienced multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding events firsthand, he and his wife are committed to helping those in need after these devastating events.


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This story was originally featured in the Spring 2024 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

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Check Presentation: "Bringing God's Word to India"

2023–2025 LWML Mission Grant #25 Bringing God's Word to India — India Bible Translation Project — $100,000

Thank you for your generous mite offerings to support LWML Mission Grant #25 “Bringing God’s Word to India.”

Dr. Paul Dasari met with Lutheran Women in Mission President Eden Keefe at the LWML Office, and was presented with a check for the first portion of the mission grant for the India Bible Translation Project.

About this grant:

Thirty-two million Christians living in India do not have access to a study Bible in their own language that has abundant, doctrinally sound study notes, and commentary to help in understanding God’s Word. 

The India Bible Translation Project’s mission is to publish the study notes and commentary from The Lutheran Study Bible into the Tamil and Telugu language. This grant will provide funds to complete the translation work. 

With The Lutheran Study Bible translated in their heart language, indigenous Indian pastors, seminarians, and members of Lutheran churches in India and Sri Lanka will be better able to understand and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Indian Lutheran Study Bible will be a great blessing to the members of the India Evangelical Lutheran Church and Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

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Gospel Outreach to Women and Children in Mongolia

2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #13 Gospel Outreach to Women and Children in Mongolia, Lutheran Hour Ministries — $100,000

Mongolian women sitting around a table working on handicrafts

Gospel Outreach to Women and Children in Mongolia

By Lois Engfehr with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

A generous grant from the LWML — Lutheran Women in Mission — has given Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel in a region that is, at best, limited when it comes to hearing the message of hope and the love of Jesus. Mongolia is a country that is slightly more than one percent Christian. In a region of extreme hardships and challenges, minority groups live on the fringes of society. Through the grace of God, for the very first time, the message of hope in Jesus Christ is being shared with these people.

Traditionally, the people are nomadic and have little opportunity to hear the Gospel. Due to the economic situation, unemployment, alcoholism, and general religious apathy among the male population, women, especially, face many challenges. Historically, women’s roles in society are difficult because of prejudice, lack of education, language barriers, and other issues. Fortunately, the current political climate in Mongolia provides Lutheran Hour Ministries an opportunity to expand their ministry in the region.

Mongolian children sitting on floor around low table with workbooks

LHM has seen an openness among women to hear and respond to the Gospel. They meet monthly in Women’s Listener Groups to study the Bible, pray, create handicrafts, and share their faith. In these groups, they receive Christian booklets, Bible studies, radios, and MP3 players which have the Bible installed. They hear Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Christian radio programs while they fellowship together. With these resources, the women learn about the Christian faith and teach it to their children. Women’s Listener Groups and radio programs are growing, and thousands of women are being reached. Praise God!

One woman who participated in a Women’s Listener Bible study shared her experience. As the group was studying John 1:1–14 and Genesis 1–2, she learned why people must die and why God sent His Only Son, Jesus. By sharing her faith with the other women, she planted the seed for many to want to go to church.

Lutheran Hour Ministries is very grateful to the LWML for this mission grant in Mongolia. In private phone conversations, small group women’s Bible studies, youth events, religious broadcasts, audio Bibles, discipleship materials in the local language, and through outreach technology, the Word of God is being shared in their language. This mission grant has enabled LHM to share the Good News, directly reaching people from non-Christian faith backgrounds who may have never heard about the hope and love of Jesus. A very special “Thank You” goes to Lutheran Women in Mission for spreading the Gospel to people who are in desperate need of hearing this saving message!

Lois Engfehr is the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations for Lutheran Hour Ministries.


Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Winter 2023 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Videos from Lutheran Heritage Foundation

2023–2025 LWML Mission Grant #24 "God's Word for Central and South American Missions" — Lutheran Heritage Foundation — $100,000  

Thanks for the generous giving of mite offerings by Lutheran Women in Mission, from Rev. Matthew Heise, Executive Director of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), and Jeffery Rahn, LHF’s Assistant Executive Director. LWML Mission Grant #24 — God’s Word for Central and South American Mission was just fully funded!


Rev. Matthew Heise, Executive Director of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), and Jeffery Rahn, LHF’s Assistant Executive Director, shared about the materials LWML Mission Grant #24 will support as well as how you can access the publications through our friends at LHF. Find these and other LHF resources at


More about this grant:

Lutheran evangelism efforts are being intensified in countries like the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Uruguay. The need for Spanish language Bibles, Luther’s Small Catechism, children’s materials, devotions, and other resources is continuous. New pastors who are being trained to be missionaries and evangelists need to be equipped with materials that help share the Good News. This grant will provide for the translation and printing costs of approximately 25,000 books by Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF). LHF will distribute the printed books free of charge to people in Central and South America who live from week to week and have little to no savings. Even though economic or political conditions may force missionaries to come and go in these countries, they leave behind the Lutheran books which continue to teach for generations.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

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Unshackled — Breaking the Hmong People's Bondage

2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #28 Christ-Centered Materials for Hmong Language School and Outreach, St. Paul Hmong Outreach Ministries — $70,208

9 Hmong adults standing and smiling

Unshackled — Breaking the Hmong People's Bondage

By Beverly Vietor and Rev. Doua Xiong with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

February 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of 591 American prisoners of the Vietnam War. Our nation prayed for these soldiers and thanked God for their release. As Christians, we pray and seek release of the innocent from prison.

Do you remember the Hmong people of Laos, who served alongside the United States to defeat the Communist party during the Vietnam War? Afterward, they sought refuge in the USA. When they came, they brought with them their culture and religious beliefs. About 85% of the Hmong people are animists, believing that there are spiritual powers inherited in all things, living and non-living. The Hmong culture practices shamanism and praises the spirits of their ancestors but not the Creator. People who are influenced by spiritism are afflicted, oppressed, and in constant fear — prisoners in their own souls. It is only by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ with the power of His Holy Spirit, that Satan’s bondage of the Hmong people can be unshackled, freeing them from this inner prison.

A strongly held tradition among the Hmong is their New Year Celebration. In the U.S., it begins in Green Bay, Wisconsin, travels out to Merced, California, and ends in Fresno, California. The Fresno celebration draws thousands of Hmong from all around the world to meet, greet, send off the old or current year, and welcome the new one. Because of LWML mite offerings and prayers, Pastor Doua, his wife, Sue, their children, and his mission team were able to have a booth at the 2022–2023 Hmong New Year Celebration in both Merced and Fresno, California. They shared the work, words, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ to many Hmong people and met two Hmong individuals from Southeast Asia (Laos and Thailand). They were rejoicing after they heard and believed that Jesus loves them.

The New Year celebration is also a great way to inform parents about the Saturday Hmong Language School. With the help of the Lord’s Spirit, 35 adults and students, grades pre-K–college, enrolled. Since this was after the pandemic, the numbers were a great blessing.

The Gospel of the Lord also unshackled the chains of four sinners and brought them to St. Paul Hmong Outreach. They were catechized and baptized on Easter Sunday, 2023. What joy!

St. Paul Hmong Outreach Ministries has been actively reaching out to the Hmong communities in their native tongue for more than 19 years, visiting the prisoners with the truth and knowledge that through Christ Jesus there is no other way to be free. Romans 10:17 states, faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. The Gospel is being heard by the Hmong families in their own language. Families are being baptized and confirmed.

And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). Jesus is unshackling the bondage of Satan’s power and opening the doors of their soul’s prison. Welcome home, Hmong POWs — to the eternal home of the one true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rev. Doua Xiong, a graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is married to Sue and they have four children. Rev. Xiong began his vicarage assignment in Merced, California, at St. Paul Lutheran Hmong Outreach in 2014, under the supervision of Rev. Kou Seying, and has been with the Ministry ever since. Beverly Vietor, Vice President of Gospel Outreach, LWML California-Hawaii-Nevada District, has supported missions in SE Asia over 45 years and has partnered with Pastor Xiong in Hmong Outreach since he took the call to California.


Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Fall 2023 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's


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