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You Are Making an Impact – Grant #20 Jail Ministry

2017–2019 Mission Grant: Prison and Jail Ministry Synod-wide Conference in 2018; $36,500 fully paid

I was in prison and you came to me ... (Matthew 25:36). Though you may never personally enter a prison cell, you are making an impact for those who have. This grant of $36,000 to help fund the third Synod-wide Prison and Jail Ministry Conference for 2018 has been paid in full thanks to your mite donations and prayers! Many of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) districts have or are organizing a Prison and/or Jail Ministry. This conference provides an opportunity for participants to share the difficulties and struggles for LCMS Volunteers ministering in our correctional facilities; receive training and support; and network with others in this very challenging ministry. The goal of this conference is to equip beginners, coordinators, and professional church workers and laity involved in prison/jail ministry with purposeful information through the workshops.  Attendees will also be furnished with special resources specific to this ministry from the LCMS, Concordia Publishing House (CPH), Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), and other Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) of the LCMS.

“We are very grateful for the generous grant monies we received from you in January, 2018. We praise the Lord for this blessing. With the use of the LWML Grant Monies, we are very busy preparing for our next Synod Wide Prison Ministry conference on August 17 and 18, 2018 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport. Our Theme and Scripture Verse is: ‘Captive Souls - Mercy for All’ from Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all,” shares Rev James Rivett, Head Coordinator of Prison Ministries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Southern Illinois District.

Rev. Rivett also requests that if not attending, “please be praying about the Conference and direct others you know who are interested in or are already doing Prison or Jail Ministry to join us. It is very important that we get connected, share resources, and celebrate our Lord using us.”

From left to right----Rev. David Kollmeyer, Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Conant, and Zion Lutheran Church Pinckneyville (where the presentation was made). Pastor Kollmeyer is the Associate Coordinator of the Prison Ministry for the Southern Illinois District LCMS. Next are Mr. Jeffrey Fick, the Schools and General Executive of the Southern Il District of the LCMS; Helen Mayer, Past President of the SID LWML and Rev. James Rivett, Head Coordinator of Prison Ministries of the SID Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
nullInmates form a choir
nullInmate receiving communion
At this conference is a panel discussion regarding funding - the panel includes from the left – Pastor Rivett, Pastor Kollmeyer. Pastor at Zion, Conant and one of the Southern Illinois District Prison Ministry Coordinators; Mr. Roger Smith, member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Greenville, IL. And Pr. Jeff Nehrt, Pastor of Our Redeemer and a SID Prison Ministry Coordinator.
Pastor Herb Mueller, presenting at a Conference
During the Conference: discussion time at each table.

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

You are Making an Impact for Grant #10 in Haiti

2017–2019 Mission Grant: Christian Eldercare Home in Haiti — Ministry in Mission; $100,000 fully paid

nullLook at what’s happening in Jacmel, Haiti! Construction is underway for this home for the elderly!  The foundation is complete can “settle before the rainy/hurricane season.” The home will be completed by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.  Mission teams are scheduled to build the walls: Shepherd of the Hills from Appleton, WI is to help in April; teams from Concordia Seward, the Iowa West and Ohio Districts in May; and teams from Kent State University, Lutheran Campus Ministry, and other Ohio churches in July.

LWML Ohio District President Jeanne Schimmelmann, LWML Ohio District President, is presenting a check for $50,000 to Jackie Rychel, Founder and Grant Administrator of grant #10, Christian Eldercare Home in Jacmel, Haiti.  Jeanne shared, "It was such an honor to present this check to Ministry in Mission. After hearing Jackie and the others speak about the lack of services and assistance for the elderly in Haiti, I knew this money was certainly going to have a tremendous impact on improving the lives of those elderly people. Ministry in Mission is certainly reaching out to the lost and forgotten and sharing God's love with them." 

Jaclyn, Grant Administrator for Christian Eldercare Home in Haiti, says she’s working with other Recognized Service Organization partners for help to train the Haitians in Eldercare, help in collecting and shipping of furnishing for the elderly, and with other groups that would donate bedding, blankets, and other humanitarian supplies.

Thank you for making possible a safe, caring, and healthy home for those elderly Haitians that have out-lived their families where they can have clean water, beds, food, and care while also being fed nourished with the Gospel.

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

Shipping Hope

2017–2019 Mission Grant: Lutheran World Relief Quilt and Kit Shipping Fund, $80,000


Shipping Hope

By Melanie W. Gibbons, Quilt and Kit Ministry Manager, Lutheran World Relief, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
(1 Thessalonians 1:2–3).

Every year, countless Lutheran groups and individuals, including many Lutheran Women in Mission, join their hearts and hands in a labor of love: sewing quilts and assembling personal care, baby, school, and fabric kits to be distributed to people in need through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). This faithful labor turns ordinary items into tangible symbols of God’s extraordinary love for people all over the world who may feel they have been forgotten.

Making the quilts and putting together kits is the first step in this ministry that has been the hallmark of LWR since 1945. The next step is delivering these important materials to the person who needs it most, a long and sometimes complex path. 

LWR’s Quilt and Kit Shipping Fund helps to ensure there are funds available to navigate that path. Thanks to the generosity of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, the $80,000 mission grant is supporting the ministry of extending Christ’s love to vulnerable people through the tangible gift of a quilt. This mission grant provides the necessary funds, over the next two years, to deliver more than 35,500 quilts, valued at nearly $675,000, to our neighbors in need around the world. 

Since receipt of the first portion of the mission grant, LWR has sent shipments of quilts and kits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Peru. In the DRC, we partner with Hope for Angola, which serves the population in and around Angola that lives on an estimated one U.S. dollar per day, per family. 

In Peru, a large shipment of quilts and kits is split between local partner CARITAS and LWR’s country office. CARITAS provides basic necessities as well as other social services to people struggling with poverty in Lima and in remote areas. LWR’s staff distributes items to families participating in ongoing long-term projects, working alongside farming communities to move them from a place of subsistence to a place of sustainability. This shipment will assist nearly 37,500 women, men, and children across Peru.

In 2016, Sabina Carranza received a quilt through LWR’s projects in Peru. Sabina lives high in the Andes mountains, where temperatures can drop to below freezing. She is a weaver, and receiving an LWR quilt from a fellow fabric artist meant so much to her. On average, a blanket takes her up to three weeks to weave, leaving her little to no time to make anything for herself. At the time she received her quilt, it was terribly cold, and she needed five covers to keep warm at night. She particularly loved the leaf pattern in some of the squares on her new quilt, and hoped to find a way to work that design into one of her blankets! You can see more about Sabina and some of her neighbors in our Quilt and Kit Pipeline video at

In every instance, the quilts and kits you help make and ship around the world are a tangible expression of God’s grace and love. Together, each stitch in a quilt, each dollar in a Mite Box is part of God’s kingdom bursting forth in the world every day. Thank you to the LWML for your faithful work, your labors of love, your hopeful endurance that make this ministry vibrant. We truly thank God for all of you! 

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Winter 2018 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

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

Tanzanian Sewing Center

2017–2019 Mission Grant #18: Tanzanian Sewing Center—Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT); $25,000; fully paid

View the report with photos here

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

Holy Hope (Seibo Gakuen) Lutheran School

1959–1961 LWML Mission Grant: HANNO HOLY HOPE HIGH SCHOOL (SEIBO GAKUEN), $60,000 and 1967–1969 LWML Mission Grant: $79,638.68

Holy Hope Lutheran School: The LWML’s Lasting Contribution

by Timothy Drawbaugh, August 2018


Holy Hope Lutheran Junior & Senior High School: The LWML’s Role

Hanno, Saitama, Japan 1950s — Classrooms

In the early 1950s the LCMS missionary in Hanno, Saitama, Japan was approached by a local Japanese pastor of another denomination who was in need of dire help. This pastor, Rev. Fujiwara, had taken over the management of a local school that had been an agricultural vocational school. It was his vision to run it as a Christian school as there were none in the area. However, after taking it over, the school was more than he could manage. It was heavily in debt, in disrepair and run down, so he was looking for alternatives.

At that time LCMS missionary, Rev. Paul Kreyling, had founded a church in Hanno and was approached by Rev. Fujiwara who desperately asked if he or the LCMS could take over the school so that the area would not lose the Christian school. Rev. Kreyling replied that he himself could not, but that the LCMS might be able to help. The LCMS mission took over management of the school, but it badly needed funds for rebuilding. The LWML took up a building project for the school, providing funds for a new building. Had it not been for the LWML initiative in the late 1950s, the school may not have succeeded and there would be no Lutheran junior and senior high school in Hanno.1


“This Building was Donated by The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod 1961.”


Classroom building showing location of the dedication plaque at its base, honoring the contribution of the LWML.


Current day view of the classroom building provided by LWML funds.


View of classroom building in the year of its completion and dedication, 1961.

1960s — Chapel

A decade later in the late 1960s, the LWML once again came to the aid of Holy Hope. At the time, the number of students had increased and the school was in need of a chapel as there was no suitable place to have students worship. With pledged funds from the LWML in 1968-1969, a new chapel was erected and dedicated in 1972.2




The chapel can accommodate just over 300 students at one time. Chapel services are conducted during the first school period, four mornings a week: Monday, grades 7-9; Tuesday, grade 10; Wednesday, grade 11; and Thursday, grade 12.



Engraved Japanese calligraphy artwork adorns an outside wall under the eve of the chapel, quoting Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

2018 — Holy Hope Lutheran School (Seibo Gakuen)

The school now averages a yearly enrollment of around 1200 students in grades 7-12. When the LCMS took over the school in 1951, there were less than 150 students. Currently in the 2018 academic year, a total of 1,156 students are enrolled (junior high, 135; senior high 1,021). Since its founding in 1951, Holy Hope Junior and Senior High School has graduated a combined total of 20,494 Japanese youth. While this figure may seem impressive, the daunting fact is that less than 1% of the Japanese population is Christian. Japan has a culture that is highly resistant to the Gospel. However, God has graciously given the opportunity for seeds to be sown over the years at Holy Hope in cooperation with the LWML. We have God’s own promise that His word does not return empty but accomplishes its own purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11). Had it not been for the early support of the LWML, Holy Hope would not be the school that it is today and thousands of Japanese may not have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.


1 The background story as to how the LCMS obtained Holy Hope is from a piece of oral history related by Rev. James Wiese in 2008 when he visited Japan. Rev. Wiese was an LCMS missionary to Japan and served first as the school’s religious advisor (1964-1969), then as principal (1969-1977), and finally as Chairman of the School Board (1977-1980).

Additional information is found in “A History of the Japan Mission—LCMS,” a personal account by Rev. Richard Meyer who was an LCMS missionary to Japan (1948-1971).

2 Sources for the chapel construction include the above-cited Meyer memoir, common knowledge on site at the school, and the LWML publication, “Mission Grants Resume 1943-2015,” found online at: attachments/66383/1943_2015HistoricalMissionGrantsResumeFinal20160330.pdf

View the printable PDF of this article, Holy Hope Lutheran School: The LWML’s Lasting Contribution.

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

RECONNECT to the Body of Christ

2017–2019 Mission Grant: RECONNECT to the Body of Christ — Circuit 28 — Texas District, $50,000


RECONNECT to the Body of Christ

By Brenda Segovia, Rio Grande Valley Mission Action Council, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

The Rio Grande Mission Action Council (RioMAC) had a fruitful year in 2017 and is excited to see the new opportunities God has for His people in the future. By the grace of God, RioMAC hopes to inspire, develop, and equip leaders to serve new and innovative Christian communities through partnerships flowing across the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of Texas and beyond. Thanks to the LWML Mission Grant, we will be able to charge forward with that mission here in the RGV.

The Reconnect to the Body of Christ mission grant intends to reconnect our neighbors in the Rio Grande Valley to the greater Body of Christ. This grant will aid and support the congregations of Texas District Circuit 28 in their outreach efforts to the lost and unchurched in one of the lowest socio-economic metro areas in the United States.

Part of the plan for this grant is to support a traditionally trained church worker in a missional role. This was launched in 2016 when DCE Brenda Segovia was called to serve in this non-traditional missional role. As this project develops, it will eventually offer a new model of ministry for congregations throughout The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Highlights from 2017 include leadership development, spiritual renewals, service opportunities, and new ministry endeavors. One of those efforts was a statewide middle school youth gathering called Crossroads. Youth from across Texas teamed up with our local youth and helped with many mercy projects for the community as they spread the Good News of Jesus. Many lives were touched. This summer’s Crossroads event, held in June 2018, connected our middle school youth with even more families! We hope to continue growing in these and many other ministry opportunities with the help of this mission grant. 

nullThere are many stories of how God impacted lives in 2017. One of the families who inspired us was the Mata family. Ruth is a single mother, raising her three children under difficult conditions. Although the father had abandoned them, God surely did not. A service team connected with them and helped them rebuild flooring and install a new water heater. The muddy ground dried out from the leaking water tank, and the rotting wood was replaced with new lumber. Ruth loved the devotions that we read in Spanish and especially loved going through Luther's Small Catechism. Throughout the rest of the summer, they wanted to be involved in as many youth events, worship opportunities, and service projects as possible. Having received kindness, they poured out great love and kindness to others!

Through monthly youth gatherings and retreats led by our DCE Mission Facilitator Brenda Segovia, new servants received discipleship and new leaders were formed. We have been blessed to see the Holy Spirit working in these new leaders; several have expressed interest in becoming professional church workers, and one has already begun her studies at Concordia University in Texas!

By the Holy Spirit’s leading and power, RioMAC leaders look forward to another exciting year. We can’t wait to watch God change people’s lives for even greater service in His kingdom. We see how God has been gathering and building over the years, and we are so thankful that He has led the RGV ministries to connect with the generous love from the LWML!

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Fall 2018 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

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

God Cares About You

2017 Convention Offering #4: God Cares About You, $33,985.56

At the 2017 LWML Convention, convention offering #4 was designated for God Cares About You. The offering was used to support this mission as it serves a diverse population living in the poorest area in the "International Zone" of the city of Albuquerque, NM. $33,985.56 was given for this offering. Watch the video above to learn more!


LWML Resources