2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #20
Mission & Outreach to the Least of These
Victory Lutheran Church, K. I. Sawyer Community — $51,356
Watch the video about this mission grant!
About This Mission Grant
Christ has charged us in His Holy Word to share the Gospel and minister to the poor. Victory Lutheran Church is an inner-city church located in the unincorporated area of the K.I. Sawyer Community in Gwinn, Michigan. This inner-city church is a means of providing mercy ministries that spread His Word to all people, especially “the least of these.” The purchase of a new and larger van will allow them to bring children to hear the love of Jesus and provide a safe place to learn. The church needs a safe haven for the congregation and the unchurched to attend worship and Bible study.
Mission Grant Resources
A Statement and Update from LWML (1-4-2023)
No resources will be developed for this mission grant. Amid both tears and gratitude, the members of Victory Lutheran Church have made the decision to close their doors.
A partial grant payment of $34,000, for the 2021–2023 Mission Grant #20 “Mission and Outreach to the Least of These” at Victory Lutheran Church, Gwinn, Michigan, was given to the church following their worship service on Sunday, March 20, 2022.
Dee Mattson, president of this congregation wrote a letter to LWML that shared the following information: After much soul searching, the congregants have decided to disband the congregation. We have received $34,000 from LWML and those funds were to cover a much-needed van for our children's program and replacement of exterior doors. We were able to purchase a 12-passenger van from another church which fit our needs perfectly. By purchasing their van, they were able to put a new roof on their church building. God does work in mysterious ways. We were able to almost cover the replacement of the exterior doors with the rest of the monies. The LWML has been very good to us over the years, both on the national and the district levels. Our children's program has been very successful, reaching many under-privileged children who had never been inside a church or heard the Word of Christ. With the closure of our church, we did not want to abandon our children and so we have arranged with a church in Gwinn to supply space in their building for continuation of our children's program. The van will continue to provide transportation for children. I want to thank the LWML for their support.
The remainder of the funds for this grant have been reallocated by the LWML Board of Directors (BOD). This is per LWML Bylaws:
ARTICLE XVII—MISSION GRANTS
Section 3b. In the event that changes in mission grant plans occur after the recipients have been selected in convention, the Board of Directors shall be authorized to approve the amended grant or reallocate the funds.
At the October 2022 LWML BOD meeting, the Board approved the reallocation of the remaining grant funds of $17,356 as follows:
- $8,156 was paid to MG #28 Hmong Outreach to complete the original proposal request of $78,364. MG #28 was awarded $70,208 by the convention delegates — the amount of funds available as the last mission grant selected.
- The remaining balance of $9,200 will be rolled-over to the 2023-2025 Mission Grant total.
Tuesdays Breakfast Bible Study with the older children. One of children, who was 12 and wants to be a chef, came faithfully at 8:00 AM to learn how to prepare various nutritious breakfast food! First the body was fed and then their souls. When it came time for the lesson to stop and the children to go home, they always tried to negotiate for more time. They never wanted the Bible Study and the time to be together to stop! Their hearts and souls thirst for His word.
Kids Café opening day. Kids Café officially starts the first week of October. Each one feels so special getting a picture taken on the first day.
Approved Resolution at the LWML Convention
WHEREAS, Christ has charged us in His Holy Word to share the Gospel and minister to the poor; and
WHEREAS, Victory Lutheran Church, an inner-city church, is a means of providing mercy ministries and spreading His Word to all people, most especially "the least of these"; and
WHEREAS, the church sorely needs funds to purchase a new and larger van to bring children to hear about the love of Jesus and to provide a safe place to learn, and
WHEREAS, the church needs a safe haven for the congregation and the unchurched to attend worship and Bible study; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the delegates of the 2021 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Convention scheduled for Lexington, Kentucky, vote the sum of $51,356 to help fund Mission & Outreach to the Least of These.
More Mission Grant Photos
Weekly meeting of Kids Café. Each week, the children sing praises to the Lord, participate in lessons that help them grow their relationship with Jesus and learn biblical truths, study the week's memory verse, enjoy a craft, and eat a nutritious meal. Before being transported back home, each child was given a snack to take with them. The meal and snack may be the only meal they have for the day.
Back Doors: Many years ago, when the church was broken into, the back doors were severely damaged. As a result they could no longer be properly secured. Since then they have had to be chained and padlocked shut. Because they cannot close properly, it is a source of heat loss. Unfortunately they cannot be fixed and need to be replaced.
Transportation: As you know, transportation is always a challenge. It is absolutely necessary that Victory Lutheran Church pick the children up and drive the children home or they would not be able to attend. Although the church has a small van it is old and may be nearing the end of its usable life. It only carries 6 children and two volunteers. Victory Lutheran Church never leaves the children in the care of one adult for the protection of all, children and adults. Consequently it takes 3-4 trips to get them all home safely. A new van capable of holding no more than 15 passengers would make it easier and quicker to transport the children to and from the church. It could also be used to transport parents and older parishioners to Sunday services who have no transportation. Because those who are willing and able to drive a vehicle of this size, are not be able to obtain a CDL license due to medical reasons, this size van would be perfect for Victory Lutheran Church.
Entrance Doors: There is also a problem with the entry doors to the church. There is a gap between the doors which can no longer be adjusted. It, too, is a source of a major heat loss. A security system is one of the items which is considered a high priority need. The church office is located at the back of the fellowship hall, away from the entrance to the church. A security system would provide a layer of protection for the workers as they would be able to monitor who is requesting access to the church and also would provide a way of protecting the church building when no one is around.