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LWML Mission Grant Story

This month we are highlighting the Tanzanian Sewing Center, a Mission grant of $25,000. This grant is one of 22 Mission Grants approved at convention. Funds will be disbursed for this project when the allocated amount of Mite money has been received.

Tanzanian Sewing Center

In a remote area of Tanzania, southeast of Lake Victoria, is an extremely arid region of 19,601 square miles. Many girls live here in small villages who do not go to school or work. They are at the mercy of their villages for assistance. Many of the girls end up getting married at a very young age just to have someone to take care of them. Some end up as slaves as a result of human trafficking. Many become prostitutes and end up with AIDS. These girls have no skills to rely on for their own support. Their lives are filled with despair and desperation.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania—South-East Lake Victoria Diocese (ELCT-SELVD) is aware of their situation and wants to help. At the new Missional Sewing Center, women will be taught to sew, to help them physically. They will make items for others that can be purchased. The churches in the district are very compassionate and caring, showing their support by purchasing the items the girls make. Thanks to the church leaders, there are also markets where these goods can be sold. The women will also be taught about Jesus, to sustain them spiritually in the Good News of Jesus and baptism. Once these girls know of our Savior’s love and sacrifice for our sins, they can share it with their families and friends.

This center will be a school and a place to live, housing fifty students. All the supplies, including sewing machines, sewing supplies, furniture and instruction will be provided with this Mission Grant. This center will help the ELCT-SELVD fulfill their mission of connecting with all their people, even those living in the remote bush areas, bringing them the Gospel and the hope of eternal life with Jesus. One of their primary purposes is “to serve all people spiritually, mentally and physically through Jesus Name.”

After a year, each girl will:

  1. have her own pocket money;
  2. be able to feed herself for one year;
  3. have enough money to buy her own sewing machine; and
  4. have enough money to buy her materials for projects to sell for the next year.

All of this is in response to Matthew 25:36–40, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me … And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” The leaders of the ELCT-SELVD believe they can make a difference in the lives of these girls, teaching them about Jesus, showing them the love of Jesus and showing them a future with hope and the knowledge of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.

December LWML Mission Grant Focus

This month we are highlighting the Mission Grant of $27,750 to the LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces, supporting their Operation Barnabas program. This grant is one of 22 Mission Grants that were approved at the 2017 LWML Convention.

Christ for Veterans and Their Families

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces (MAF) is authorized as the mission arm of the Synod to support and serve all military chaplains—active and reserve—their families and the veteran population. Operation Barnabas, an extension of MAF and the only program of its kind in the United States, provides a network of care through trained congregations that want to reach out to members of the military, their families and the veterans in their congregations and communities.

Our military has answered our nation’s call to protect and defend us. In every time and place they have stood the watch, far from their families. Congregations have focused on deployment care with good reason. There is a need, however, for support to military personnel and their families when they are reunited after repeated deployments. Operation Barnabas focuses on connecting soldiers with their families after deployment and reintegrating them back in the worship life of their church.

Ministry to the Armed Forces Operation Barnabas will host a national three-day training event empowering Operation Barnabas districts, congregations and chapter members to bring the Good News of God in Christ to veterans and their families. The goal is to train and equip Operation Barnabas leaders and their congregations to reach out to veterans and their families so that all have an opportunity to know that the only source of true peace comes from Jesus Christ.

The name “Operation Barnabas” comes from Paul’s missionary companion and aide, Barnabas, whose name literally means “son of encouragement.” Providing encouragement is a key component in the ministry to military members and their families. Operation Barnabas works through relationships that offer encouragement and thanksgiving centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.

November LWML Mission Grant Focus

This month we are highlighting the Mission Grant for $100,000 for Mercy House for Women and Children that helps the underserved in urban Flint, Michigan. This grant is one of 22 Mission Grants that was approved for the 2017–2019 biennium.

Mercy House: Serving the Underserved in Urban Flint 1

It was one of those weeks when the basic needs of life were intensified. Not that every week isn’t a challenge, but this week the necessity for adequate housing for the homeless—especially women and children—was magnified.

The night before, a fire bomb hit the home of a mother and her three children. They lost everything—their home, clothes, food, furniture—everything! They asked Franklin Avenue Mission if we could help them with these basics we take for granted. Housing for people in crisis situations in Flint, Michigan, is limited. We helped them with food and clothes and placed them in a temporary shelter.

That same evening, a young mother who is trying to get her life straight also sought our assistance for housing. She had been couch cruising and had run out of options of where she and her child within could stay. It was obvious her life required more than a roof over her head. She was about to deliver, and she wasn’t under any medical care. Again we were able to meet her immediate needs. The clinic that operates at our mission was able to attend to the overdue medical care, and she was placed in temporary housing.

That evening, I thought to myself we were becoming the hands, feet, face, and voice of Jesus to these two families, but we could have done much more had our future Mercy House for Women and Children been operative. The underserved urban poor of America (and, in particular, in Flint) are crying out to the church—like the challenge the Lord placed before Isaiah: “‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:8)

Franklin Avenue Mission (FAM) is located in Flint, one of the poorest cities of America, where 46% of the general population and 66% of children live below the poverty level. On the east side, these percentages increase to 80% percent. Mercy House for Women and Children is being planned in an attempt to break the cycle of poverty and decrease the potential for abuse. This will be accomplished by housing women and children in a safe, caring, loving environment where the best practices of parenting and relationship building can be modeled and taught. We believe this component to our ministry will benefit the participants by providing a different view of family and living. This will ultimately complement our theology of “Right to Life” and protect the unborn, precious in the eyes of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

On June 23, 2017, at the LWML Convention in Albuquerque, a vote was cast that will influence the future of a once-forgotten neighborhood on Flint’s Eastside. The $100,000 grant approved that day will begin the remodel of an existing house in this neighborhood, transforming it into Mercy House for Women and Children, adjacent to Franklin Avenue Mission. The word spread quickly—all the way to Flint—as excited convention-goers from Michigan communicated with friends back home, “The Mission Grant has been approved!”

This abandoned house is the site of the future home for women and children.

The sixteen LCMS churches and 500 volunteers that operate biweekly the Franklin Diner, ROCK Children’s Program and Clothing Closet were thrilled to hear the news and know the impact this grant will have on the Flint community. God is truly working through these “boots-on-ground” missionaries!

  1. Rev. Dr. Bradley J. Yops, “Mercy House: Serving the Underserved in Urban Flint” (Lutheran Woman's Quarterly, Fall 2017).

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.

October LWML Mission Grant Focus

This month we highlight Mission Grant that Provides Food and the Gospel to Starving Children. This $40,000 grant is one of 22 Mission Grants that was selected and approved at the LWML convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June of this year.

Jesus gives the same command today, to feed the hungry, that He gave His disciples. Mercy Meals of Siouxland, a ministry of Faith Lutheran Church, Sioux City, Iowa, began packaging fortified rice and soy meals in 2012. Mercy Meals donates all packaged meals to Orphan Grain Train for transportation and delivery to Christian organizations in many countries, including India, Haiti, Romania and Ecuador, as well as to Navajo reservations in the Southwest and Ysleta Mission in El Paso, Texas. Children and families receive food and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An LWML grant will feed from 50,000 to 75,000 hungry children.

Help us to pray for this great international ministry:

Precious Heavenly Father, fountain and the origin of all goodness, we give you thanks for daily providing us with all that we need to support our body and soul. Help us to give generously to provide for the Mercy Meals of Siouxland project to continue providing families with food and to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we always be content at the foot of the cross, trusting that you will always provide for our needs. In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.

LWML Sunday “Celebrating Lutheran Women in Mission” Brunch, Plant & Bake Sale

Our annual event is coming soon! The members of Saint John’s always look forward to this great opportunity to eat, socialize and shop while supporting a worthy cause. Join us in the Large Fellowship Hall on Sunday, October 8, starting right after the worship service.

We will again serve a continental breakfast of egg muffins, fruit and juice (and coffee!), available for a free will offering. Be sure to complement your breakfast with a purchase from our variety of delicious homemade baked goods at the bake sale. The prices are low and every item is made with homemade care!

We will then have Bible class and Sunday school as usual. You will have a chance to finish up your shopping after Bible class, until noon.

All of Saint John’s members are invited to provide a broad variety of baked goods and plants. If you bake or have too many plants, please consider donating!

This event is sponsored by our Lutheran Women in Mission (Saint John’s Mission Guild) and Thrivent Financial. All proceeds from the Brunch, Plant & Bake Sale will go to our recipient, LCMS World Relief and Human Care.

Please help support this fundraiser with your donations and purchases at this year’s Brunch, Plant & Bake Sale on Sunday, October 8.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.

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