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Feeding Both Body and Soul in Lima, Peru

2021–2023 Mission Grant #17 "Spiritual and Physical Food for Children of Peru — La Mision Luterana del Peru" $56,750

two men serving a group of smiling children food at the table with cross in background

Feeding Both Body and Soul in Lima, Peru

By Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8–9).

This grace from God, which we have received, is now at the core of who we have become at Castillo Fuerte in Lima, Peru. It inspires, motivates, and compels us to every good work in His name. These works are not our salvation, but they can be used by the Lord to bring faith to the lost. In Lima, the faithful missionaries of the LCMS continue to labor, motivated by this grace and sharing the love and mercy of our Lord with others. We care for children and families on the streets of the city and faithfully provide them physical food for the body and spiritual food for the soul. With the help of mission grant #17, the work of Castillo Fuerte and La Mision Luterana will continue to prosper and grow, sharing the Good News of Jesus with the lost, and showing them God’s mercy and love in action.

Lidia with Pastor Walterson as Lidia publicly confessed her faith and joined the Lutheran church.

Each weekday, Castillo Fuerte is able to provide a nutritious and filling lunch to the children of the neighborhood. Last year, Miranda began to attend the mercy house for this lunch. After a few months, she invited her Grandmother Lidia to come to an event that the church and mercy house were holding. Lidia came to watch over her granddaughter, but she also heard the words of the pastor. She began to come with Miranda more and more, listening to the Good News of who Jesus is, and the free gift of salvation that He has prepared for Miranda and Lidia. The Lord used this daily lunch to show His mercy to this family, and it brought them into His house to hear His message. The physical food prepared them to receive the more important spiritual food — the food which brings eternal life. After a year, Lidia and Miranda became faithful attendees at worship, and, in February 2022, Lidia asked to be confirmed. Her faith was nourished while she studied the Bible and the Small Catechism. On July 31, 2022, Lidia publicly confessed her faith and joined the Lutheran church (pictured left with Pastor Walterson). Praise the Lord for Lidia and Miranda who were given faith through the Word, faithfully taught at Castillo Fuerte and by the pastors of La Mision Luterana!

While we cannot boast that our works save us, we can rejoice that God has inspired us to use the overflow of His abundance to further His mission here on earth. Because of the grace we have been given, our response to that gift, our acts of mercy, and by feeding the children on the streets of Lima, God is reaching more people with His saving grace, giving them faith through His Word and salvation through His Son.

 

Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez has been an LCMS Missionary in Lima, Peru, since 2013. She serves as Executive Director for Castillo Fuerte and Professor for Seminario Concordia El Reformador. Feel free to write Caitlin with any questions at Caitlin.Ramirez@lcms.org.


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This story was originally featured in the Winter 2022 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

Video from Mercy House Belize

2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #21 "Mercy House Belize Lutheran Campus" $100,000

Mercy House Belize Lutheran Campus — Belize Mission Society is our mission focus for November. Cathy Dulgar, Executive Director for Belize Mission Society sent LWML an update on the progress happening at the Mercy House.

 

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

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Phil’s Friends: Prayers and Cares

2021–2023 Mission Grant #6 "Hope of Christ for Cancer Patients — Phil’s Friends" $70,000

Phil's Friends: Prayers and Cares. man standing next to boxes inside Phil's Friends building.

Phil’s Friends: Prayers and Cares

By Pastor Michael Salemink, Executive Director, Lutherans for Life with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

In 2010, Phil’s Friends received a grant from LWML, and women from all over the country began praying for the ministry.

Phil’s Friends sends care packages around the nation to comfort those affected by cancer. The care packages open doors to a relationship and bring opportunities to share the Gospel. With the help of the LWML, they have distributed 45,000 Bibles and delivered over 1,000,000 Cards of Hope containing Scripture and prayer. They have prayed for thousands of people at hospital bedsides, in homes, over the phone, and in support group meetings.

Former LWML President Betty Duda said it best. “Receiving a grant is wonderful, but all the prayers that come along with it are even more powerful.” In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Prayer is our communication tool with God. The more time we spend with God, the deeper our relationship with Him grows. Through prayer, God penetrates dark situations with light.

Cancer is dark and widespread. It is often a debilitating disease that brings physical, emotional, and psychological problems. Thankfully, Jesus has the power to brighten any dark situation, and that’s why Phil’s Friends is about spreading light.

Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 9:37–38, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” God has blessed this organization with workers because they go about the Father’s business. He uses the seeds that are scattered and causes them to grow.

When they work, people take notice. Dave had stage four cancer and eventually went home to be with the Lord. After he passed away, his daughter, who was in her 30s, was baptized. What was her reason? She had never experienced love in such a pure form from a community of believers who wanted nothing in return. Thank you, Jesus, for changing lives and defeating sin, the cancer of this world.

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:36 NIV). In verse 40, Jesus goes on to say, “The King will reply, ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Through prayer, God brings healing to the sick — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven (James 5:15 NIV).

group of people praying over care package boxes

Prayer touches every aspect of this ministry. Sherry decorates boxes and prays over each one (pictured top). Jason prays with patients on the phone. Laurie prays over every card that is sent. Groups of volunteers pray over every completed care package (left).

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things …” (Revelation 4:11).

 

Phil Zielke is a two-time stage four cancer survivor and founder and president of Phil's Friends. He lives in St. Charles, Illinois, with his wife Carrie and two sons, Graham and Hudson.


Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Fall 2022 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

Lutheran Deaf Outreach Fully Funded! Now What?

2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #5 "Helping Hands for Lutheran Deaf Outreach" $50,000

Rev. Dr. John Reinke says THANK YOU to the women of the LWML!

Watch the videos to hear an update from Rev. John Reinke and LWML Vice President of Gospel Outreach Karen Morrison, and find our how you can continue to be part of the process of "Bringing People to See Jesus" with Lutheran Deaf Outreach.

Video: How Can LWML Learn Sign Language?

 

Video: A National Update from Lutheran Deaf Outreach

 

Video: The International Reach of Lutheran Deaf Outreach

 

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

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Life Means Hope

2019–2021 Mission Grant #13 “Digital Media Development — Lutherans for Life” $30,000

Life Means Hope

By Pastor Michael Salemink, Executive Director, Lutherans for Life with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

crowd of people at March for Life

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, but teach him to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Address the sanctity of life with laws, and we may change a neighbor’s behavior. This one may become an obedient citizen. But envelop the matter in the Gospel, and we will change the neighbor’s heart. That one becomes a brother or a sister in Christ. Why fling a few coins or crumbled bills when you can break the bank and empty the treasury?

Lutherans bring a distinctive voice to conversations about life issues. We do not deny the suffering they sometimes involve. Surprise pregnancy or terminal diagnosis can leave people feeling afraid, abandoned, and ashamed. Most who support abortion, endorse physician-assisted suicide, or engage in embryocidal biotechnologies do so in anxiety or anger. Legislation and elections apply a necessary triage to the immediate trauma. Protesting and closing clinics treats the symptoms.

But only God’s truth and Christ’s love cure the root condition of sinful selfishness. We come with courage, compassion, and community that relieve and heal. We have hope and joy to give. No one needs to use death as a solution once they know the Lord creates, redeems, and calls every human life; each is His own precious treasure from fertilization to final breath (and beyond — forever!). Whatever a person’s size, skills, or circumstances, we can lead our culture to receive him or her, to rejoice in every member of our race as a gift and a privilege.

Lutherans For Life (LFL) delights to put this ministry into practice across the country. Our Owen’s Mission project leads chapel services and classroom discussions. Our Y4Life initiative engages youth and networks students. Our Word of Hope hotline provides post-abortion and crisis care. Our Life Teams, Life Chapters, and State Federations connect volunteers taking local action. Our professional staff prepares life-affirming articles, devotions, brochures, booklets, podcasts, social media posts, in-person education, and online presentations. As recipients of a series of district awards along with a generous 2019–2021 national mission grant (LFL Digital Media Development), we proudly partner with and represent LWML.

What can you do?
  • Learn. Visit our home page or YouTube channel to explore how Holy Scripture and Lutheran doctrine intersect life issues.
  • Love. Involve yourself in the experiences and concerns of others to affirm their worth and purpose.
  • Serve. Invest your abilities and interests in the relationships and opportunities God gives you.
  • Converse. Ask questions and listen when sanctity-of-life topics arise. Testify to how His grace makes up for all our failings.
  • Celebrate! Invite others around you to enjoy marriage, family, health, and length of days as blessings from the Heavenly Father.

God bless your Gospel-motivated voice For Life!

Pastor Salemink [pictured above on the far right at the 2022 March for Life] has served as Lutherans For Life Executive Director since 2015. He writes and speaks nationwide, equipping people to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Heather, and their three sons.


Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Summer 2022 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

Thank you from Lutheran Deaf Outreach

2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #5 "Helping Hands for Lutheran Deaf Outreach" $50,000

Rev. Dr. John Reinke says THANK YOU to the women of the LWML!

 

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

View More Grant Updates and Thank You's

Water and the Word for Rural Schools in Kenya

2019–2021 Mission Grant #1 “Water and the Word for Rural Schools in Kenya” $80,000

Water and the Word for Rural Schools in Kenya

By Shurie Scheel with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor

The first time I stepped off the airplane in Nairobi, Kenya, I fell in love with the people and culture. As you often hear, that first trip was life changing for me. The poverty is unbelievable, but the people, their deep sense of faith and trust in God, and the work God is doing there are equally inspiring. 

It started with Rotary grants and working with schools to collect and filter rainwater. While in the country, we visited schools to bring soccer balls, books, school supplies, and washable sanitary pad kits to the schoolgirls, in an effort to keep them in school. In fact, the first grant received from LWML was a district grant that paid to ship sanitary pad kits to Kenya, a major expense for us over the years. 

The 2019–2021 LWML grant funded ten schools and much more. We worked closely with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK), knowing that we must be very intentional in relationship building at every level of the church. Our contractor, Isaac, spent a lot of time and effort, holding meetings in each of the five dioceses, or regions/districts, of the ELCK. He has trained pastors in each area about clean water, and they are all on-board with the project. The ELCK also chose only two schools in each diocese, in an effort to not show partiality — to make it fair to all.

In those ten schools, we asked the students, parents, and staff to help with the project and take care of the equipment. We worked with a local nongovernmental organization (NGO), Running Waters International. The Running Waters team takes care of initial school visits, installation, and education sessions with staff and students, as well as helping to facilitate a project commissioning. 

ELCK — working with the LCMS Office of International Mission — provides schools and support. A church worker or pastor makes a school visit periodically to check on the water project and leads students in a Bible study or preaches a sermon. This helps to ensure the success of the water projects and allows the children to hear biblical teachings from a trained pastor. The grant reimburses the expenses of the church in this effort. Due to financial restrictions, pastors aren’t often able to visit the churches and schools under their care. The children have been blessed immensely by LWML mite donations! 

Because the groundwork has been done and the relationships built and cultivated, any funds raised now can go directly to help another school or orphanage. The Kenyan church is so excited about the project. They have already raised enough money to fund one more school! This truly is God’s work, and He can do great things! Our plan now is to just start adding schools and rotating dioceses as we raise funds. Please pray for us. It’s only with God’s guidance and support that we are able to do this work. Please join us! All donations are welcome and greatly appreciated, and there are ways to volunteer. 

Shurie Scheel is the grant administrator for Water and the Word in Kenya. She is involved in LWML at St. Paul Lutheran in Thermopolis, Wyoming, has served as a YWR to both a district and a national convention, and has served in various offices — currently as the LWML Wyoming District Human Care Chair. Email Shurie at shuriescheel@gmail.com for their address or follow them on the Water and the Word Facebook page.


Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Spring 2022 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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