Your Mite Offerings Have Made an Impact!

RSS Feed

A Dream Come True

Mission Grant #9 “Wind River Indian Reservation Transportation — Wind River Lutheran Mission” $40,000 fully funded

By God’s grace, and LWML faithful giving, Mission Grant #9 Wind River Indian Reservation Transportation — Wind River Lutheran Mission has been PAID IN FULL.

What dream came true with this mission grant? The dream of a new van!

With the purchase of a church building near Fort Washakie in the spring of 1978 by the LCMS Wyoming District, the mission work with the Shoshone and Arapaho Native American tribes began. A large part of this ministry is focused on outreach to the children of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Due to the distance from their homes, and with transportation options being limited, very few children are able to attend the Bible classes in Fort Washakie (an 88-mile round trip) and Crowheart (a 60-mile round trip). A 2001 Ford Econoline van with over 200,000 miles was starting to show its age, even with maintenance and repairs. 

Wind River Lutheran Mission (WRLM) works with the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes and is currently the only existing full-time mission with a pastor living on site. That pastor is Rev. Gregory Sonnenschein with his ministry partner and wife, Rachel.

The Bible classes at Fort Washakie and Crowheart are the mission’s best, and in most instances, the only, opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ with the children living on the Reservation. Even when there is little active involvement from the parents in either the children’s education or church attendance, the parents grant the WRLM staff permission to pick up their children and take them to Sunday school or VBS. There, the children learn about Jesus and become Christ-bearers, shining their light and pointing their families to the Savior. 

Jeffrey Snyder, Business Manager for the LCMS Wyoming District, shared, “The specific type of van required to make the weekly trips was difficult to obtain, given our remote location and few options nearby. Thankfully, the right type of van was found in Southern Utah. The Ford Transit 350 Medium cab is the perfect van for small children and also the taller children (who can be taller than Pastor and Rachel!), and the enhanced safety features are a great benefit.  In our world, snow tires will definitely be needed, and new stenciling with the church’s name will be added soon. We give thanks to God for this wonderful and generous gift that should give years and years of service to Pastor and Rachel Sonnenschein and the children of the Wind River Reservation!”

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

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Reaching the Poorest of the Poor

Mission Grant #8 “Lights for Christ Scholarships in Guatemala — Divine Savior Lutheran Church, Zacapa, Guatemala” $95,000

Reaching the Poorest of the Poor

By Linda Tape, Holy Cross Guatemala committee chairman with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

Guatemala struggles to address the needs of its people, especially of those who are the poorest of the poor. In Zacapa, people who have lost jobs or do not have the means to support themselves live in the local landfill and try to meet their needs by rummaging through the waste.

Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Zacapa, Guatemala, is partnering with Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, to help the children who live there. Six years ago, the two congregations developed the Lights for Christ program. Divine Savior has a tuition-based Lutheran school and, through donations from Holy Cross, 14 elementary-aged children (up to grade six) are receiving a Christ centered education — free of charge.

Many of the students begin their day early in the morning, traveling by bus to school where they receive breakfast before attending classes. They are also given lunch and then spend their afternoons with a tutor who helps them with homework. During this time, the children receive additional Christian love and education.

Last year, five of the Lights for Christ children graduated and proceeded to middle school. Thanks to an LWML grant, these children will be able to continue their education. The grant, so lovingly approved, will pay many of the costs associated with their education. Without a middle school education, these five have little chance of escaping the landfill.

Schools in Guatemala have been closed since March 2020 because of COVID-19. The Lutheran school in Zacapa sends lessons to students via text or email or by providing hard copies when families have no electronic devices. Because the children in the landfill have no electronic access, they, of course, receive the paper copies. The Director of the Lights for Christ Program, Cory Vargas, has been traveling to the landfill, taking lessons to the children, working with them, and helping the tutor who meets with them.

Having to work on lessons in the landfill has been a challenge for the students, but, through the love and commitment of Ms. Cory and the program’s volunteers in Zacapa, the students have continued to learn. Recently, Holy Cross sent more monetary donations to purchase a computer which is located at the tutor’s home in the landfill. This grant also pays for internet access.

Because of the loving and committed work of friends in Zacapa, the children in the landfill continue to learn! The Wichita Lutheran Women in Mission are thrilled to know that the five students who started with the program graduated at the end of 2020!

Thank you, LWML, for helping Holy Cross work with these children and our friends in Zacapa to provide them with a Christian education. The program is reaching them, sometimes one child at a time! We pray and hope each one will continue to learn and grow in their faith, so that, one day, they can, in turn, help their community in the landfill.

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Summer 2021 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

Thanks for Russian and Ukrainian Translations!

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) continues to support missions and missionaries in Europe with a series of Bible studies translated into Russian and Ukrainian. The Bible studies, written by well-known author Donna Snow, were originally published by the LWML in English. With grants from several districts, and in cooperation with the WORDrus Mission Society, eight multi-session Bible studies are now available to missionaries and individuals as free downloads. 

Below is a thank you video from the WORDrus Mission Society:

The Bible studies have been doctrinally reviewed and are accurate translations that convey Lutheran biblical teaching and doctrine. The LWML is excited to offer these materials in Russian and Ukrainian, as well as in English, to those who will benefit from using them in their native languages of heart and soul.

View LWML Bible Studies in Russian

View LWML Bible Studies in Ukrainian

View LWML Bible Studies in English

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Sharing the Gospel: Mission Grant #19

Mission Grant #19 “Making Jesus Known in the United States Ethnic Communities — Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri” $100,000 fully funded

Inspired by Christ’s love, you gave. Thank you! Inspired to share His Gospel story, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is using LWML Mission Grant #19 “Making Jesus Known in U.S. Ethnic Communities” to help fund the education costs of the student/church workers enrolled in their Center of Hispanic Studies (CHS) and Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) ministerial formation programs. Concurrent with their distance education studies, these students, virtually all of whom are first-generation immigrants, are serving in ministry positions to share the Gospel among their immigrant/ethnic communities throughout the United States. 

The mission of the CHS is to make Jesus known in Hispanic/Latino communities, and EIIT’s mission is to share the Gospel among communities comprising other immigrant groups, largely those from countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. As many of these programs’ students live amid strained financial circumstances, they have a strong need for the student financial aid that this LWML grant provides.

CHS student, Andres Valencia

Andrés Valencia, a native of Santiago, Chile, is a CHS student who serves Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect, Illinois. He previously served in college ministry for 10 years in Santiago and in Puebla, Mexico. He serves as Saint Paul Lutheran’s full-time multicultural coordinator and leads the congregation’s weekly service in Spanish.

“I’m serving with my church to reach out to the Hispanic population around Mount Prospect,” Valencia says. “We want to bring more people to God, and we’re doing this by first fulfilling their physical needs and then talking with them about God and faith. God is calling me to build my theological knowledge and to be able to dive deeply into sharing the Word of God.” 

EIIT student, Soe Moe

Soe Moe is an EIIT student who serves at Southwest Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His parents, who are from Burma, fled that country during its long period of military rule and considerable unrest. He was born in Thailand, and his family lived for 11 years in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border before coming to the United States. 

As a teenager, his devotion to the Lord increased considerably when he worked at a Lutheran summer camp three years in a row. “I realized how amazing God is, and that He’s always there for us,” he says. He adds that he also realized that his calling is to become a youth pastor. “I very much want to continue bringing the Good News to young people and giving them hope,” he says.

Check presentation to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis President Dr. Dale Meyer in Summer 2020

LWML Mission Grant #19 “Making Jesus Known in U.S. Ethnic Communities” for $100,000 has been paid in full, thanks to the generous giving of LWML donors who were led by the Spirit to share His Gospel story.


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

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Seminary Food Banks Adapt & Provide

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, sent a letter of thanks to the LWML for supporting the Seminary Food Bank. Interim Food Bank Coordinator, Hannah Loum, writes, “As the Food Bank operates solely on donations, your contributions are vital to funding its two important objectives: providing essential budget relief to our students and ensuring that their nutritional needs are met.”

She continues, “The Food Bank — and the Seminary’s campus as a whole — has needed to operate differently since the coronavirus outbreak began this past March.”

“We quickly set up an alternate system of providing the Food Bank’s grocery items to our students. We provide students with an online form on which to make their selections from many nutrient-dense foods such as fresh meats, frozen fruits, and vegetables. They make their food choices and then pick up their groceries on a preset, staggered schedule. The distribution occurs in a large reception room to ensure ample social distancing.” 

Loum shared that the students remain grateful for the Food Bank, but especially for the many generous individuals and groups who contribute to its support.

“I extend my biggest ‘thank you’ to all those who donate to the Food Bank,” says Brandon Bettcher, a second-year Master of Divinity student from Ray Township, Michigan. “You provide so much peace of mind to us as students so we can focus more fully on our studies and advancing the Gospel.” 

woman loading bags of food into van
woman loading milk into van

The Food Co-op at Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne (CTSFW) also continues to serve the students who remain in the Fort Wayne area. Deaconess Katherine Rittner, Director of the Food & Clothing Co-op, shared that they pack boxes with canned and dry goods, and bags with donated pork, ground beef, fresh produce, milk, and laundry detergent. They also provide diapers and wipes for families with infants. The staff takes extra precautions when putting the orders together and loading them contract-free into the students’ vehicles.

"In addition, we put boxes together for the dorm students remaining on campus with fresh milk and fruit, meals, and snacks that they can keep in their rooms, as well as personal hygiene items as requested.” 

Clothing needs are handled on an individual basis. All this ensures that the student families are fed and cared for during the pandemic restrictions. Deaconess Rittner stated, “As I see it, this is a big part of the mission statement of CTSFW to care for all, and one that we take very seriously."

In October 2020, participants of the virtual LWML Interdepartmental meeting supported the seminary food banks with monetary donations — $1,125 was sent to each, along with cards of encouragement for the students — as their Gifts from the Heart offerings. 

For more information about the Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne Food Bank & Clothing Co-op, go to more information about the Concordia Seminary St. Louis Food Bank, go to

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

God Weaves Relationships: LWML & Missionaries

Lutheran Women in Mission and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, have been blessed to be mission partners throughout the years. Since moving the LWML Office to Loeber Hall on the Seminary campus in 2018, the connections and opportunities for LWML Office staff to interact with students, staff, and their families have increased.

One of the activities that Katie Thompson, LWML Outreach Assistant, coordinated this past school year was a Knit & Crochet Night. An instructor and supplies were provided at no cost. Over the winter, Maggie Oliver and her daughter Ginny started attending — and, after the first time, never missed a night!

Ginny’s dad, Pastor Steve Oliver, shared these photos. “This is Ginny, enjoying knitting at home! I’m also attaching a picture she drew of the LWML headquarters in Loeber Hall. See her going in for LWML activities. This has been Ginny’s first and most positive personal contact with LWML, and I think she loves it!! I’m so glad to see this because I feel that the LWML has really been the most practical, down-to-earth, committed, enduring, and joyful support of missions in the LCMS, resulting in the salvation of many and much eternal fruit in Heaven. So, to see the next generation with such a positive attitude toward LWML brings not only tears of joy to my eyes, but gives great encouragement to push forward in the Great Commission!” God weaves relationships.

He continued, “In December 2000, I was sent as an LCMS missionary to China Lutheran Seminary in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where I’ve been teaching New Testament (NT) Greek and NT courses for a little over 19 years. We teach in Mandarin Chinese since our graduates will serve in Chinese churches or as missionaries to Chinese. In our rich biblical doctrine, we have an urgent and great gift to share with Chinese Christians, among whom Christianity is growing explosively! This gift is the root of the Word!! Besides my main work at the seminary, I often go to other Asian countries for short trips to teach, present, lecture, and minister.” 

“The LWML has supported us in so many ways all of these years. One of the most evident ways is through the financial gifts that have directly supported us to be in Asia. Gary Thies sent us a photo of LWML representatives giving a check of $100,000 to Mission Central to support a number of missionary families in Asia, including ours!” God weaves relationships.

Pastor Steve, Maggie, Ginny, and her two brothers, Isaac and Gary, were in the States this past year so he could do continuing education and guest instructor services at Concordia Seminary in the Ethnic Immigrant Institute in Theology (EIIT) program. In May, Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer received an LWML mission grant check for $100,000 to support the education costs of students enrolled in the Center for Hispanic Studies and EIIT ministerial formation programs. God weaves relationships.

When Pastor Oliver sent out a newsletter this Spring, a member of the LWML who supports them wrote back: ‘P.S. Ginny Oliver — I see a future LWML president in you.❤️’” God weaves relationships.

For more information about the mission grants referenced in this story, view the mission grant pages here: 

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

God's Grace for This Generation: LAMP

Mission Grant #21 “God's Grace for This Generation — LAMP Ministry Inc.” $100,000

God's Grace for This Generation — LAMP Ministry Inc.

By Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20–21 NIV).

For more than 50 years, LAMP Ministry Inc. has been committed to taking the Gospel to northern Canada where nearly one million indigenous people live in isolated areas reachable only by aircraft or seasonal roads. About half of the population is under the age of 14 — an entire generation who has not been taught the Holy Scriptures and the hope that is theirs through Jesus. These children and youth are facing worldly influences and challenges that often lead them to hopelessness and despair.  

On Indian reservations, employment is limited and housing inadequate. The rates of violence, HIV, drug and alcohol abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, and diabetes are significantly higher than most of the world. Life expectancy is only ages 45–55, while younger and younger children are committing suicide. The internet has replaced the godly wisdom of elders, and children are receiving corrupt information — much of which they are unable to properly process. Social media, bullying, and worldly values cause the youth to feel worthless and to give up hope.  

Through the LWML mission grant received at the Mobile convention in 2019, LAMP is able to go into these communities, conduct VBS, teach Bible studies, and provide one-on-one testimony to the hope available through faith in Jesus.  

LAMP missionaries and pilots recruit, train, and support hundreds of volunteers who serve year-round. By His grace and support from this grant, LAMP’s staff and volunteers are not only reaching more communities, but they are visiting them more than once a year.

Repeat volunteer missionaries, including LWML members, build relationships of trust as they share the love of Christ. In the community of Red Sucker Lake, one volunteer and her family have shared a 30+ year journey of faith and friendship with the Harper family. They have encouraged and taught Scott and Sean Harper from a young age and encouraged them as they became Christian men as well as servants among their people. Sean is now the local pastor, and Scott is a social worker in the northern communities, as well as serving as a LAMP board member.  

A state of emergency was declared in the northern community of Cross Lake after six suicides occurred in two months and 140 suicides were attempted in two weeks. This community of 8,300 was traumatized and asked for immediate help. LAMP sent a pastor-pilot and a team to support them and share assurance and comfort from Scripture. They proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus, our only true source of comfort and hope.  

Things began to change in Cross Lake. Encouraged, local leaders were built up and able to serve their own people. Because they knew LAMP missionaries loved and cared for them, the children were able to share their pain. Life continues to change as these children choose hope in Christ over suicide.  

Thank you, women of LWML, for partnering with LAMP to achieve these two goals: more missionary pilots and more volunteers for expanded ministry.  

Jesus said: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37–38).

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Spring 2021 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


LWML Resources