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“Souper” Bowl of Caring

“Souper” Bowl of Caring — A Reflection of Jesus’ Love in Action

nullWhen the Esther Guild of Trinity Lutheran Church, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was planning our projects for 2019 the idea was to choose more projects that involved our “hands to work for Him and our feet to go on His errands.” We used the LWML website to come up with some of our ideas. We particularly liked “A Year’s Worth of Caring” which was the January 2018 activity in the Mission Service Activity Archives. (Note: There is also an updated 2019 “year’s worth” in the archives.)

The January project was the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” Esther Guild invited our entire church to participate. An old kettle was set in the narthex with a sign explaining what it was for. The project was promoted in the church newsletter and bulletin. In all, Esther Guild collected 70 cans of soup and 12 boxes of 4-pack crackers. The donations were taken to our local food pantry, Neighbor to Neighbor, to help feed and warm the hearts of people in need during these cold winter days.

Of course, making monetary donations to worthwhile causes is always helpful. However, it seems the projects that are more hands-on give us a better connection to the people we are trying to reach and help. Esther Guild certainly enjoys these types of projects and we are putting more of them on our project list this year. The “Souper Bowl of Caring” was a good way to start the year sharing our blessings with others.

Submitted by
Erin Foster
Trinity Lutheran Church Esther Guild
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Mid-South District

Quilts for Orphans

Quilts for Orphans — A Reflection of Jesus’ Love in Actionnull

Epiphany Lutheran Church in Chandler, AZ

On January 18, 2019, Jean Weber, Kathy Baumhofer, and Judie Christensen, members of Epiphany Quilters, at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Chandler, AZ, drove to Grace Lutheran Church in El Centro, CA, to deliver 27 twin and lap quilts to Rev. Doug Griebenaw. Those quilts were then delivered to an orphanage in Mexicali, Mexico.  Photos depict Judie Christensen presenting the quilts to Pastor Griebenaw and the orphans receiving their quilts at the orphanage.

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Submitted by
Kathy Baumhofer
Estrella Zone 29 LWML President
Pacific Southwest District

Lutheran Teens on a Mission

Lutheran Teens on a Mission — A Reflection of Jesus’ Love in Action

nullNicole Baker (14) and Grace Steffens (14) were so moved by the work they are doing at Courage House that they decided to do something about it. They attended the LWML Christmas party at First Lutheran Church of Manhattan Beach and asked to speak to a fellowship hall full of women. The Holy Spirit was truly at work that night for after their presentation the girls were given a check for $1000, to donate to Courage Worldwide. 

I am attaching a gratitude letter that speaks volumes of the work they are doing with these young ladies who are choosing life for their babies. 

These girls, worlds apart from one another, are meshed together through these stories of hope: hope and love in Jesus. May we continue to encourage young ladies to "consecrate to our Savior our hands to work for Him, our feet to go on His errands, our voice to sing His praises, our lips to proclaim His redeeming love, our silver and our gold to extend His Kingdom, our will to do His will, and every power of our life to the great task of bringing the lost and the erring into eternal fellowship with Him"

Courage Worldwide
January 28, 2019

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME

Dear Mary,

Without you, the vulnerable population we serve would not have received the life changing resources we were able to provide since we are 100% dependent upon donors just like you. As a donor myself, I want to know that my financial giving is making tangible, life changing differences. Therefore, along with your giving receipt I wanted to describe ways your giving made an impact this year here in the U.S.

“Because of you I have my baby back!” exclaimed one of our young residents at Courage House here in the U.S. After leaving Courage House as a teen, she fell prey to the promises of a man who only meant to exploit her. She became pregnant and after the baby was born he kidnapped the child after severely beating her. He was a drug addict and a trafficker. She was frantic and feared for the safety of her baby. She called the police where they arranged a sting operation to rescue her child and arrest him.

Thankfully, this is exactly what happened but child protective services were called and a case opened saying she as a mom failed to protect her child. She vowed to do whatever it took to get her baby back and in doing that she knew she had to make better choices for herself and her child. One of those courageous choices was calling us. Because of you and your giving we could say YES when she called. Yes, we will have a home, a bed and a place for you and your son! Yes, we will equip, encourage and empower you on this journey as you are making healthy choices for you and your child (whom we have all fallen madly in love with)! Your giving has provided a home, groceries, transportation, childcare fees, therapy, mentoring as well as much love and support for this young mom. We are so thrilled to report that next week because of the incredible progress she has made, child protective services is closing her case. This young woman now has a full time job and is beginning the high school courses required for her to get a diploma, all the while being a full time single mom! We are so very proud of her and she is so grateful to you. We have the privilege of being a part of her daily life – seeing with our own eyes the progress she is making – but we wanted to pass along her gratitude to you for making it possible to get her son back. She has articulated repeatedly that she would have never been able to make the changes she needed in her own life without the resources “Courage” has provided — you have provided. I wish you could see the beautiful face of her now toddler when he sees his mom walk into the room! You gave this mom her son and this child his mom. Thank you!

That is just one life changing story that you have made possible with your giving … there are so many more.

God is with us. As we love and care for the most broken of children, we feel God’s presence and His pleasure so powerfully at Courage House. Children, who would otherwise be dead, or living in the most desperate of situations if they hadn’t come to Courage, now have had their childhoods restored! We are convinced God handpicks each and every girl (and their children). He has incredible plans for them as they walk through their healing journey, getting a good education, excellent trauma therapy, job training and more to prepare them for that destiny. These young girls are choosing life, for themselves and for their children.

This is what your giving did this year … it changed lives and it literally saved lives. Thank you … thank you. We ask for your prayers, that with continued support we will keep building them homes and calling them family.

Many blessings,
Jenny Williamson, Founder/CEO Courage Worldwide, Inc.

Submitted by
First Lutheran Church
Manhattan Beach
Pacific Southwest District

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