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God's Grace for This Generation

Mission Grant #4 “God's Grace for This GenerationLAMP Ministry Inc.” $100,000 fully funded

Led by the Spirit, you gave, and your grant to LAMP Ministry Inc. for its cross-cultural ministry in remote areas of northern Canada has been hard at work. Here are a few examples illustrating how the love of Jesus is shared in the North.

Inspired by the Spirit, Roger and Pam Heiden have been serving with LAMP for 18 years. When they recently arrived in South Indian Lake, they were told a young mother had miscarried and asked Pam to share Scripture readings and prayer at the baby’s funeral. Pam writes, “We prayed that God would give me the words to share at this tragic time. Having taught this young mother in Vacation Bible School, now I was asked to give her peace at the loss of her child. It is such a privilege to share God’s love and hope with our family at South Indian Lake.”

David Schneeberger recently wrote: “On our sixth winter trip to the community of Shamattawa, we were able to get into ten classrooms to tell the Easter story, sing songs, hand out Easter storybooks, cross necklaces, bookmarks, and knitted hats. We also held a social event for the school staff and administration.”  

Filled with the Spirit, those in the remote Ontario communities hear God’s precious Word and believe! LAMP’s staff and volunteer missionaries truly appreciate the prayers and financial support of LWML donors generously given to impact lives with the love of Christ.


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

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Women’s Witness and Mercy in Asia

Mission Grant #12 “Women's Witness and Mercy Asia — Mission Central” $100,000 fully funded

Women’s Witness and Mercy in Asia

By Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

The harvest field in Asia is ripe! Women in Mission are working in that harvest field, and our God is providing amazing results through their hands and feet. Asia has 38 missionaries, ten of who are women — truly Lutheran Women in Mission.

Through the mission grant chosen at the LWML convention in Mobile last summer, LWML is fulfilling our mission statement to assist and enable every woman of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world. The women active in missionary work in Asia are ready and willing to give a reason for the hope they have (1 Peter 3:15). There are hungry souls lining up to receive hope and truth in Christ. These women who minister with their talents, include nurses, managers, teachers, coordinators, and deaconesses.

When support comes in for missionaries, it is generally allocated for one or more of the following: transportation to the mission, transportation while in the country, insurance coverage, housing expenses, computers, office expenses, supplies and materials, and language training prior to leaving for the field. This grant supports the women while in their unique Asian mission, helps to keep them there, or helps to get them there.

In Asian culture, the desire for education is strong. The majority of the region is Communist, and many people belong to dominant religions there: Buddhism, Muslim, Hinduism. The work of LCMS missionaries entails bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the region through education opportunities. Here are highlights of the work being done by some of the missionaries in Asia.

Matt and Dee Wasmund, with their daughters, Lily and Olivia, live in Seoul, South Korea where Matt serves as the LCMS Strategic Volunteer Coordinator for East Asia. Matt connects with the individuals serving as GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand in order to support ministries that touch the lives of hundreds of students of all ages. He engages with church and school leaders at these various sites, seeking effective ways to serve together for the sake of the Gospel.

Rev. Charles and Cheryl Ferry serve the Lord through the LCMS throughout Asia and are based in Chiayi, Taiwan. As the Asia Regional Director, Charles is responsible for LCMS work, personnel, and relationships in 10 countries. He unites local church leaders and LCMS blessings to strengthen partner churches through theological education, translation, and mercy projects. In addition, Charles provides Word and Sacrament ministry and pastoral care to geographically separated Lutherans.

David and Barbara Bush serve the Lord as missionaries in Hong Kong and Macau. David teaches American Sign Language and English at the Lutheran School for the Deaf in Hong Kong. For his classes, he writes his own curriculum and uses the Bible as one of his textbooks. Through his interactions with his students, David helps raise up leaders in the Deaf community and in the Deaf church. In addition to his work in Hong Kong, David also guides and assists the Macau Lutheran Deaf Outreach and provides religious instruction at the Concordia School of Special Education in Macau.

God is working in the lives of these missionaries as they share the Gospel message with the people of Asia. Thank you, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, for the role you play in being the conduit to support the mission work God has asked us to do.
 

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This story was originally featured in the Fall 2020 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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Hope and Healing Hub of Downtown Lincoln

Mission Grant #14 “Hope and Healing Hub of Downtown Lincoln — University Lutheran Chapel, Lincoln, Nebraska” $50,000 Paid in Full

COVID-19 interrupted the work at the University Lutheran Chapel on the University Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) campus. However, they look forward to continued partnerships between GracePoint Institute for Relational Health; Concordia University, Nebraska; the University Lutheran Chapel; and the LCMS Nebraska District when on-campus classes resume. 

As the Holy Spirit led LWML members to generously and faithfully provide their prayers and financial donations, so He will lead those participating in the ministry at the University Lutheran Chapel.

The renovated Chapel is now home to a counseling center, Concordia’s graduate courses, a worship center, fellowship spaces, and a place to develop connections with the community and university students. It is quickly becoming a hub for hope and healing for students from all over the world.

First-time visitors describe the renovated space as bright, inviting, and elegant. Alumni and students who remember the old space are often speechless. The new worship space is vibrant and welcoming, and the free lunches that will be held after the worship service each Sunday will help students build friendships and begin to feel like family. Volunteer groups who provide these lunches appreciate the new kitchen on the main floor. Students coming to the weekday Bible studies can now easily find the entrances and meeting areas, and enjoy lingering after-events in the more welcoming spaces for fellowship. 

Last year, several students received care and counseling from GracePoint professionals in the areas of anxiety, addiction, and social and academic struggles. It is clear that God will continue to use this unique partnership to extend His Kingdom and bless students in the name of Christ.

The space has also been used for an LWML zone rally, church staff retreats, Concordia retreats, campus prayer meetings, and the monthly meeting of all campus pastors at UNL. It's extremely rewarding to see people of all backgrounds flow in and out and know that they are receiving Jesus through this space. 

The renovation project has already had an impact on international student ministry. Before the renovation, they would often just stand outside and call the director of International Student Ministry to have him come outside to meet them as they were unsure of where to go. The addition of several windows and more visible entryways help students feel much more comfortable as they are entering the building. 

Thank you for your generosity in making this space a reality.


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

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Teaching Skills and Hope through Christ

Mission Grant #3 “Mission Outreach for At-Risk Young Women in AfricaLutheran Hour Ministries” $100,000

Teaching Skills and Hope through Christ

By Lois Engfehr, LHM Grants Manager, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

Poverty, sickness, and violence are everyday occurrences in Cameroon and Kenya; situations which affect millions of people. Because of this tragic cycle, young women are often left with little or no education, forcing them to make money for their families in any way possible. The LWML grant, “Mission Outreach to At-Risk Young Women in Africa” through Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), is changing lives and bringing them the message of hope and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

LHM’s initiatives in Cameroon reach out to young women and provide vocational training and guidance from a Christian perspective, helping them live healthy lives in a secular world. LHM’s holistic outreach program touches the lives of abandoned, unwed mothers, and victims of sexual abuse by offering vocational training, along with hope in Jesus Christ. The young women (ages 12–25) receive counseling as well as social and spiritual support by Christian women who work together towards rehabilitating the women in need. Through the help of volunteer experts, the young women are taught skills such as sewing and cloth-making. Sharing the Gospel through these training programs allows LHM to educate them in a practical skill that helps them provide for their families while learning more about the ways God loves and cares for them.

Fadimatou* — a 15-year-old, jobless, mother — dropped out of school at an early age and was forced into marriage with an older man. After giving birth, she faced hardship and abuse from him. She heard about LHM’s teen mother program through an ad on the radio and registered for their sewing program. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, she has started attending morning devotions, despite the fear and risk of facing rejection from her Muslim family. She now faces the challenge of restoring her freedom and dignity, while looking forward to a total transformation of her life and hope in Jesus. 

LHM’s Reaching Rahab program in Kenya also provides Christ-centered and holistic outreach ministry for urban young women, rescuing them from lives on the streets or in prison. The program rehabilitates them through counseling and vocational training, disrupting the cycle of poverty and prostitution, and teaches the women income-producing trades that can provide economic independence. 

“These programs are truly transformative, with women graduating with a marketable skill, empowered to change their lives. They gain lifelong benefit from the fellowship they share with other students and the confidence in knowing that God has provided this care and training for them,” says Eric Gates, LHM’s Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East. 

Women as young as 17, along with their infants or young children, often spend months in prison, as they await trial for petty crimes like selling wares without a license. While incarcerated, LHM-Kenya, in collaboration with prison chaplains, reaches them through in-prison ministries. The Gospel is shared with them, and many are received into the program upon their release from prison. Through LHM’s Reaching Rahab program, young mothers learn a skill, such as soap-making or hairdressing, that they can use to provide for their families. And, through counseling and Bible studies, they understand that God never abandons them, even in extremely difficult times. 

LHM is grateful to the LWML for this mission grant. Thank you for helping us reach more young women and connecting them to faith in Jesus Christ as well as equip them in skills through practical training programs.

*Name changed to protect her identity

Download or print the story.

This story was originally featured in the Summer 2020 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

Serving the Lord in Hong Kong

Mission Grant #12 “Women’s Witness and Mercy, Asia — Mission Central”
$100,000 PAID IN FULL

My dear Friends,

I pray for all of you in the midst of the difficult situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic is closing down borders, countries, provinces, cities, flights, and plans.  The Bible verse that comes to my mind again and again is, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

And yes, because of the disruption, I have had to postpone my trip to the USA for home service. Originally I was going to be traveling from April through June, with 13 flights, so that I could visit people in five different states. I am fine, but instead of seeing you in person at this time, here I am still in Hong Kong, and especially missing you.  

At first I was thinking, “It is so sad, so sad, so sad that I won’t be able to see you, my dear brothers and sisters in the USA. I wanted to be able to share with you in person about some of the work of the Lord in Hong Kong. Then I thought of God’s Word in Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” I am keeping in mind that God is in control of everything, and that He can bring good things out of even the most difficult situations. Here in Hong Kong we do see Him doing great things in the midst of it all by giving lots of opportunities for witnessing.

The Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod has 36 vibrant churches and 7 expanding mission stations. One of them, Abundant Life Lutheran Mission Station, is located near the border of China in an area called Fanling. Since people are always needing face masks in Hong Kong, some of the ladies in this mission station are sewing them, under the leadership of the full-time church worker, Ann Lam. So far they made over 1,000 face masks to give out on the streets. Each week they spend a morning getting together bottles of hand sanitizer and putting them in packages with the face masks and most important of all—a variety of Gospel tracts. In the afternoon they go out on the streets and distribute the packages. Whenever they go out many people line up to receive these special gifts. In this way they have many opportunities to share the Word of God with people, some who have never heard about Jesus before.

Hong Kong has more than 7 1/2 million people and is one of the most densely populated cities of the world. We are thankful to God that here we have only had 1,048 cases of COVID-19 and only 4 deaths. People in Hong Kong had the experience of being a SARS pandemic epicenter back in 2003. So as soon as there was news of the new virus, most people here immediately took action. This included wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Now that we have not had a locally transmitted case of COVID-19 for over two weeks days, we feel a bit more free to be out on the streets witnessing. Below you see another group of Christians who go out to the streets with a microphone and large banner to proclaim the Gospel. They also give many masks to the people they meet. Many of the recipients were happy to hear in depth about the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Churches in Asia which have never done much at all online, have now learned how to use a variety of ways to proclaim the Gospel. That makes it so that the Gospel is going forth not just to their own members, but to the WHOLE WORLD. One pastor I know has devotions every morning for his parishioners online. When one morning he was not able to do this, many members of his congregation called him up and asked him what happened. They are thirsting for the Word of God and want to hear it every day. This pastor, as many others, plans to continue these daily devotions and other worship services online even after the churches can again hold their regular worship services.  

We do praise God for what He is doing around the world to bring more and more people to come to know Him and His love in Christ Jesus our Lord. May He continue to help us to be more and more creative in bringing the good news to others online and in person.

With you in Christ,
Carol
Deaconess Carol Lee Halter

 

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

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Snapshots of Mission Life in Japan

Mission Grant #12 “Women’s Witness and Mercy, Asia — Mission Central”
$100,000 PAID IN FULL

What is Urawa Lutheran School putting in the mailbox of each of its 760 students at the beginning of this new academic year? Where has the strict "No Mask Zone" been relaxed to allow for this facial accessory? Is it true that a subway station has been installed in the school basement? What is one of the ways the Bible is used in the English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) classes? For the answers to these questions, read the latest newsletter here from the Going Family serving in Japan.

Going Forth — Going Family Newsletter, April 2020

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

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What Witness and Mercy Looks Like in Cambodia

Mission Grant #12 “Women’s Witness and Mercy, Asia – Mission Central” $100,000 PAID IN FULL!

I heard some time ago from our friend and partner in the Gospel, Gary Thies of Mission Central, about the generous gift that was made by the LWML to ten missionary women in Asia — including me. I have wanted to write to you both to share how deeply thankful I am for that gift, and then the world started to change rapidly!  

My family and I are in our second year of service to the church in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Before serving here, we lived in Hanoi, Vietnam, for over 10 years until we were given two weeks’ notice to leave. With three children (one of them just 10 months old at the time), we packed up and said good-bye to 10 years of life and ministry in just a few weeks.  

Once again, we find ourselves in a strange position. We have decided to stay and serve the church in Cambodia during an epidemic. We know that food choices may become limited, water and electricity shortage is common, and medical care is severely lacking. We choose to stay because God calls us to be salt and light in this world, not only when it's easy or comfortable. We know that He is faithful because we have lived through the loss and pain of leaving our home of 10 years. And still, He brought us out of that time of mourning and gave us a new calling. We take comfort in remembering that we have been made new through Baptism and that God equips us with His Spirit for everything He has called us to do. To learn more about our family or subscribe to our newsletters go to https://missioncentral.us/cima/.

We are so thankful for the faithful women of the church, who continue to remember its missionaries in prayer and with financial support. We pray for you all, too! During this time of isolation and loss of work, many people are struggling. I pray that God would continue to equip you as you live as salt and light in the world and among those whom you serve.  

Sincerely, Aimee Cima
LCMS Missionary in Asia

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

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