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October 2019

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Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me; (Psalm 59:1).

We pray we’ll never need them but, when we do, we rejoice and praise God for them! From a police officer responding to a minor auto accident to an EMT applying CPR to firefighters running into a burning building — they are all heroes to us. Let’s not forget some of the more specialized emergency response personnel like wildland firefighters (working within the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, or state agencies); mine rescue crews; and K-9 units. And, then there are the families of all of these heroes — families who carry on when their loved ones are caring for others.

So, when we’re praying that we don’t need them, we need to also pray for the first responders and their families. Every time you pass a police station or fire house, pray for them. Every time you see an emergency vehicle racing to a rescue, pray for them and those who are in need of them.

We can develop good habits that lessen the chance of an emergency responder being in harm’s way. Here are just a few simple things that might prevent you from needing them:

  • Drive the speed limit and drive defensively.
  • Put that phone down (it’s illegal in most states to be holding your phone while driving).
  • Yield to emergency vehicles (pull over) and move over or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle.
  • Wear safety gear (helmet, bright clothing, etc.) when riding a motorcycle or bicycle.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of health-related emergencies.
  • Check in on the elderly frequently and make sure they have a medical alert system.
  • Be aware of your environment and surroundings at all times. Look for things that look suspicious.
  • Watch the weather and dress appropriately. Remember to stay hydrated at all times.
  • Always let others know where you are going. Check in with them regularly.

October is fire safety month and this is a good time to ensure that we protect ourselves, our neighbors and our first responders from the risk of fires. Check your smoke alarm batteries and make sure your fire extinguishers are in working condition. Then do the same for the shut-ins and elderly people you know. Distribute smoke detectors to those who can’t afford them using a Thrivent Grant.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen (2 Timothy 4:18).

Mercy in Action:

There are several ways to show your appreciation for all that these heroes do for us and our communities. Always check with the local agency to learn what their policies are before implementing any of the suggestions below.

  • If a congregation has a meal (especially sandwiches or desserts), offer to bring the extras to the police station.
  • Coordinate with other churches in the vicinity to do a monthly delivery of bottled water to the nearest fire station.
  • Hold a stuffed animal drive and deliver them to emergency services so they can be provided as a comfort when a child (or one of the child’s parents) is involved in an emergency.
  • Organize a “First Responder Appreciation Picnic” and invite families from the nearest police and fire stations to attend.
  • Invite the local K-9 officers, including the 4-legged ones, to put on a demonstration at your church. This is a wonderful way to teach children to appreciate what the police do.
  • Once per quarter have Sunday school classes draw pictures and write thank-you notes to first responders – rotate among police, fire, EMS, etc.
  • Prepare care kits using the LWML Toolkit for First Responders.
  • Find out how your congregation can support the families of fallen heroes.
  • Never pass up an opportunity to say “thank you” to any first responder you encounter.
  • Make a personal commitment to serve the heroes who serve you by volunteering to organize and lead a Bible study at a local police or fire station.
  • Contact local police and fire department chaplains to find other ways to serve.

Additional Resources:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear God,
Thank You so very much for the people who daily risk all they have for us. They are a precious gift from You. Please help us to be aware of their needs and conscious of their suffering. Guide us through the Holy Spirit by providing ideas and inspiration for how to best serve them. And, dear Father, please help us to be sensitive to the needs of their loved ones, especially those who are dealing with tragic loss. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:30–31).

Don’t forget — October is also Pastor Appreciation Month!

Check out the previously published mission servant activity here. And, for additional ideas, see what’s in the Pastor Support Toolkit.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

September 2019

nullPhotos by LCMS, used with permission


As Women in Mission, we have been actively involved in supporting missions around the world with our mites for over 75 years. Some of us have been on mission trips. We may also know missionaries that serve people in various countries around the world. The question is, how can we, as Lutheran Women in Mission, care for our missionaries? Let’s learn more about mission, outreach, and missionaries.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

Mission and outreach in The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) began in 1851 and has expanded to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus all around the world in the language of the people they serve. Today, the LCMS trains, sends and supports called and appointed career, long-term and short-term missionaries in various countries around the world and in the United States where there are mission stations, partner churches, schools or mission relationships.

As the Holy Spirit begins to gather people into Christian fellowship, missionaries assist these new Christians in forming their own indigenous church leaders.

LCMS missionary teams are made up of people who focus on planting churches, leadership formation or some type of locally initiated holistic services in areas of health, agriculture, community development, English-as-a-Foreign-Language classes or partner support activities.

Missionaries. What Do Missionaries Do? The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod website.
Retrieved July 19, 2019 from <https://www.lcms.org/missionaries> 


And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me" (Isaiah 6:8).

So what can we do to care for our missionaries around the world? The Office of International Mission (OIM) website is dedicated to connecting you to missionaries through stories, photographs, videos and podcasts. It provides helpful information about the work, quick facts about the area, leadership, resources and events in each region of the world. Updates are given frequently on LCMS missionaries, their projects, missionary partners and the people they serve.

  • Stay informed
  • Pray for our missionaries around the world as they reach out with God’s love and mercy and the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Use these bulletin inserts and prayer cards.
     
  • Get Involved
    • Support Missionary Care by inviting a missionary to speak at your church, adopt a missionary, project, or mercy work.
    • Together in Mission is a network of congregations committed to funding our missionaries.
    • Mission Senders is a network of families and individuals committed to funding our missionaries.
    • Mission Central is a team of professionals working closely with the LCMS International and National mission to help you personally support missionaries.
    • Care for a Missionary using the LWML Gospel Outreach Missionary Care Package and guidelines for Skype pamphlets. Discover how to select a missionary and then experience the fun and joy of supporting and praying for specific needs of that missionary. They would love to have you as partners!
       
  • Share Jesus with the World. Your generosity today makes possible your Synod’s witness and mercy efforts both at home and abroad. Give now.

You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many (2 Corinthians 1:11).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise and thank You Lord for those who have dedicated their lives to the mission of reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus around the world. Thank You for all the spiritual gifts that You have bestowed upon our missionaries, that through His Word, the Holy Spirit will make His Name known to those who sit in darkness. Help us to remember to support and care for our missionaries with our prayers and our gifts, whatever they may be. Make us conscious of the obstacles that affect our missionaries and their families so that we can aid them and share what we have with them; our time, talents and treasures. Help us to share the good news of what our missionaries are doing, with others, so they too may join in caring for them. We ask now that You guard and protect our missionaries from all harm and danger and that You provide ways for them to receive the support and encouragement they need to carry out Your great commission. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ
(Colossians 4:2–3).

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

August 2019

teacher and student working together

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).

Language can be a barrier for both “native speakers” as well as immigrants. Communication is difficult or even impossible when someone is illiterate or an immigrant in a new country. Both of these situations can be a barrier to sharing the Gospel message. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to participate in breaking down these communication barriers. Literacy programs and Bible translation are just a few ways that can make a difference. Following are some resources that you may find useful.

  • Concordia Publishing House provides dozens of Spanish language resources, including Bibles, devotions, and children’s books.
  • Lutheran Hour Ministries is known for broadcasting The Lutheran Hour® since 1930. A Spanish language broadcast was added in 1940. LHM also produces many Spanish language resources and has ministries around the globe.
  • Lutheran Heritage Foundation is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS and gives books of the Lutheran faith to people around the world in their own languages. Their publication library consists of over 1,029 publications by 193 authors in 106 languages.
  • Faith Comes by Hearing furnishes Bible recordings in over 1,000 languages in a variety of formats. Providing an English-language audio Bible to an illiterate person in the USA is as important as providing the Bible in other languages around the globe.
  • Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services was founded in 1939 by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people during World War II. LIRS has since grown into an internationally recognized leader known for innovative services for refugees, asylum-seekers, unaccompanied migrant children and families, migrants in detention, and other vulnerable populations.

Mercy in Action:

There are multiple avenues for addressing language barriers in your own community. Consider the categories below and the actions you can take.

  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
    • Contact local government officials to find out whether there is a community of non-English speakers – perhaps migrant workers or new immigrants. You may also check with local schools to see if there are non-English speaking children enrolled.
    • Research some of the resources listed here to see if they are active in your community. If so, invite them to speak to your congregation or local LWML group.
    • Find out if local resources will accept Christian materials such as Bibles (either print or audio) or children’s books. If they do, organize a fundraiser and purchase materials for an organization.
    • Based on your research, you may choose to reach out in a variety of ways such as tutoring children after school or volunteering with an ESL program for adults.
    • Look for opportunities to support a struggling family through your LWML group or congregations. How would you help this struggling family: could you offer ESL classes in your congregation, read to the children, offer to babysit so parents could attend ESL classes or offer a ride to the family to attend ESL classes? 
       
  • Addressing Adult Illiteracy
    • The steps here would be very much the same as above. However, it may be more difficult to find illiterate adults since many hide their inability to read and are ashamed to seek help. Work with local literacy programs to see how you can help.
    • If you know someone who struggles with reading, be sure to reach out to them. Perhaps you could offer to go with them to a tutoring session or to help them practice between sessions.
    • For inspiration read this story from the “I Love to Tell the Story” series entitled Opportunities to Share God's Love With Others.
    • It is all about the relationship between an English tutor and an adult student!
       
  • Preventing Illiteracy
    • According to ProLiteracy, the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. Addressing adult literacy is the place to begin to improve literacy for the next generation.
    • For a practical way to reach out to children with reading problems, contact your local school system to see if there is an established “reading buddies” program. This type of program pairs an adult with a student. They meet weekly to read together. The goal is to have 90% of children reading at grade level by the third grade. Your LWML group could participate by volunteering as individuals and by furnishing books to an “adopted” school.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? (Acts 2:5-8).

Additional Resources:

  • Friends of New Americans is an RSO of the LCMS and is an outreach ministry to immigrants and refugees in the greater St. Louis area.
  • The National Literacy Directory has helped connect more than 50,000 potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers since 2010. In addition to several other services, it provides listings for family literacy and English language classes.
  • ProLiteracy the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, believes that a safer, stronger, and more sustainable society starts with an educated adult population. For more than 60 years, ProLiteracy has been working across the globe to change lives and communities through the power of literacy.
  • Literacy Evangelism International provides training in teaching literacy skills as a means to share the message of Jesus Christ.

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise and thank you for the gifts of speech, hearing and language. Oh how we want to use those gifts to share the wonderful Good News of your gift to us. We desperately want all people to know about your grace and mercy through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Father, please help us to be mindful of those who are behind the barriers of illiteracy or unfamiliar language. We pray that your Holy Spirit will spur us to action and lead us to opportunities to help our sisters and brothers who cannot yet read your precious Word. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’” (Matthew 21:42).

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

July 2019

depressed young woman

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling (Psalm 46:1–3).

You may know of someone or have loved ones that are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even self-destructive behaviors. Sadly, the addicted are not the only victims of their behavior. Oftentimes entire families are adversely affected. The suffering can be multiplied many times over. Our first thoughts are of total helplessness – what can we possibly do to help? Fortunately there are many organizations and resources to aid both the addict and their loved ones. By educating yourself you may be able to provide much-needed direction. And, by lifting these hurting souls up in prayer you are doing the best possible thing.

Following are some resources that provide treatment and counseling for addicts as well as support for their loved ones.

Addiction Support Groups:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
     
  • Al-Anon and Alateen provide help and hope for families and friends of alcoholics. Groups are located in cities across the globe. Meetings take place in person, on the phone and online, making it convenient and accessible for just about anyone. Individuals affected by alcoholism, whether it be related to a parent, sibling, close relative or friend, are welcome to take part in Al-Anon group meetings. While some Al-Anon members have loved ones who are currently in treatment, others attend meetings to get advice on how to live with someone who has yet to seek help.
     
  • Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind. Many of the addiction issues that Celebrate Recovery deals with include alcohol addiction, drug addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction and food addiction. They also deal with eating disorders, love and relationship addiction, co-dependency, and anger to name a few.
     
  • Lutheran Social Services has local organizations in several cities around the country, many of which provide mental health services that include treatment for addiction. An example can be found at Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. You can do an internet search for “Lutheran Social Services” to find an organization in your area.

Helpful Articles:

Mercy in Action:

  • Familiarize yourself with the services available in your local area. Make a list of nearby A.A., Al-Anon or Celebrate Recovery programs.
     
  • Invite someone from a local substance abuse program to speak at your church. Ask them to particularly address how your congregation can aid those in the recovery process. You may also want to ask about inviting a recovering addict to come and speak. Also, if the program or facility has material needs, host a “shower” or supply drive.
     
  • Identify anyone in your congregation who may be affected by a loved one’s addiction. Ask what you can do to help. There might be financial strains or child care issues which the congregation can address. Just be sensitive about confidentiality concerns and always ask permission before involving others.
     
  • Consider hosting A.A. or Celebrate Recovery meetings at your church. If your church doesn’t have the resources to host meetings, perhaps you can reach out to an existing host church and offer assistance.
     
  • Engage in youth programs geared toward addiction prevention. Reference the NIH article above. Also search for youth mentoring programs in your area.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:28).

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life (Psalm 54:4).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Heavenly Father we thank you for the many blessings you bestow on us and we thank you that our help comes from you. We pray for those in our lives who are addicted to drugs or alcohol that they would overcome these additions, that they would fix their eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. And, dear Father, please use us as instruments of healing as we minister to our brothers and sisters. To you be the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

June 2019

depressed young woman

At an LWML retreat, the guest speaker stopped to make a point about an issue which many people deal with, “If you have been, or if you know of someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, raise your hand.” The room was silent and even though no one spoke you could sense the tension that settled into the room. “Now, turn around and look around you.” Almost every hand was raised. That was a startling realization for the audience. We were not alone in our grief and pain, as people silently reflected on personal experiences they or someone they loved had experienced. This is one topic that most people don’t talk about because they are broken, ashamed, afraid, or full of hopelessness. The emotions that a person grapples with in these situations are daunting. The elephant was now in the room, and the speaker confronted it. It was a journey worth taking and everyone came away with new awareness. Let’s take that journey together.

In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!  Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!  For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge (Psalm 31:1-4).

Domestic violence may originate in family and intimate relationships. The abuse may be psychological, physical, emotional, sexual, economic, or neglect. The abuse may include name calling and putdowns. It might include isolating a person from his or her family and friends or refusing to allow him or her to get a job. It might entail financial abuse, such as withholding money or demanding that the other person account for every dollar spent. Threatening loved ones is a common form of abuse, including threatening to harm or kill the victim, their children, their parents, their friends or even pets. Threats can sometimes include a threat to commit suicide. Victims of abuse suffer intensely and experience emotional problems that will endure long past the end of the violence. Children in homes where domestic violence is present are more likely to be abused, and even if not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavioral problems. (Quoted from LCMS Social Issues – Domestic Violence)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18).

Many times victims feel like it is their fault. They feel that God has abandoned them because of their sin. Abuse is not God’s punishment for an individual’s sin. No one deserves to be abused. Jesus endured the punishment in our place. He paid the price in full, once and for all.

What can you do if you discover an abusive situation?

  • Pray for guidance from our Heavenly Father.
  • Listen to the victim and assure the individual that it is not their fault and that it is not God’s will.
  • Suggest resources within your community that can provide a safe haven for them such as counseling programs and support groups.
  • Find resources that will aid in educating you and others about domestic violence and abuse.

Here are some helpful resources:

Mercy in Action

  • Create a list of local help organizations in your community.
  • Contact your local domestic abuse, safe house or family advocacy center to find out their needs, e.g. quilts, hygiene kits, teddy bears, baby items, gift cards, etc. Have a collection drive for some of these items. Have the director come and speak to your local, zone, or district LWML.
  • Volunteer at a domestic violence shelter, women’s resource center, or family advocacy center.
  • Get involved with one of the specific resources mentioned above.
  • Hold a community information event using the above resources to educate others about domestic violence and abuse. Plan a fun run or other interactive activities to raise awareness.

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love (Psalm 31:15-16).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us. Provide us opportunities to be able to share these gifts with others. Help us in this broken world to stand up for those who are abused or neglected. Help us recognize those who are in need of your love, strength, and guidance through abusive situations. Lead them to those who can advocate for them, and those who can share Jesus’ love and the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ with them. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

May 2019

flood waters

We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

What do we do when disaster strikes? No matter when or where disaster strikes, we should pray for the victims and those who come to their aid.

And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great (Job 2:13).

What else can we do? Fortunately, the LCMS has an extremely well-developed disaster response framework that enables us to provide support for those in need. Take some time to visit the LCMS Disaster Response web page and you will find resources such as:

  • Assistance request forms for members of your congregation or community,
  • Articles on the impact of volunteering that show how Lutherans are offering love and hope to disaster victims,
  • Information about Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training,
  • A FEMA brochure explaining how to donate or volunteer successfully,
  • Worship resources and Bible studies; and
  • Links to helpful online resources that address a variety of topics including coping with disaster and connecting with survivors.

“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37).

Mercy in Action:

  • The article, In midst of flood heartaches, Lutherans offer help, hope references that financial donations are very helpful, since they can be put toward cleanup, rebuilding and other, more immediate, needs. Donations can be made online using this link or directly to a specific LCMS District Disaster Response website.
     
  • Assemble flood relief buckets for distribution in areas plagued by flooding. This link takes you to a document that explains what goes in the buckets and how they are used. Consider having a “flood bucket assembly party” using these ideas:
    • Solicit local businesses for supplies (5-gallon buckets, cleaning supplies, etc.)
    • Use Thrivent Action Team funds to cover shipping costs
    • Invite a local disaster response representative to talk about what exactly happens when a home or business floods and what the clean-up process is like
    • Engage the youth group in the assembly process
    • Bless the completed buckets praying that they will be a blessing to the recipients
       
  • Assemble disaster response survival kits as a community outreach project. This link goes to a document describing what should be in a survival kit.
    • Work with disaster response agencies in your community to identify potential recipients such as the elderly, residents of public housing, etc. These agencies may also be able to assist with distribution of the kits.
    • Consider partnering with other local churches in order to maximize the number of kits assembled.
    • Solicit local businesses for supplies or use Thrivent Action Team funds to purchase them.
    • Involve the entire congregation in the assembly process.
    • Pray over the completed kits prior to distribution. Also pray for the recipients.

Additional Resources:

  • Lutheran World Relief was chartered in 1945 by a council of eight Lutheran church bodies to provide relief to Lutherans in post-World War II Europe. Since then LWR has provided quilts and kits around the world in addition to providing services related to agriculture and the environment.
     
  • Lutheran Church Charities is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS. In addition to providing disaster response training, the organization has multiple comfort dog ministries.
     
  • Orphan Grain Train is another RSO of the LCMS. They aid in shipments and cooperate with Lutheran Hour Ministries, LCMS World Missions, LCMS World Relief and other Christian ministries. OGT shares personnel and material resources with needy people in America and around the world. OGT volunteers gather donations of clothing, medical supplies, food, Christian literature and other aid to meet real needs.
     
  • State and local resources are available throughout the United States. To find agencies near you, try an internet search using the name of your state or city followed by the terms “disaster response” or “emergency management”.

Did you know?

Through LCMS Disaster Response, local congregations, and the generosity of people of the LCMS, victims of disaster are finding hope. They are blessed through your contributions to the relief efforts whether they are prayers, monetary donations, mission service activities, or volunteering. All are a result of God’s great love for His people.

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise and thank you, for your immeasurable love and gifts that you provide for us. Grant us comfort and guidance in the wake of disaster. Help us to share your love and compassion with those who find themselves in disastrous situations. Lead us to action and help us to give hope and healing to those in the midst of chaos. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Colossians 3:12-13).

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

April 2019

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“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord,” (Jeremiah 30:17).

Raising a child or adult with an intellectual disability can be a daunting and an exhausting task. There are many appointments to keep. Finding and funding the needed support services can easily overwhelm families. Family members must cope with the daily stress of seeing their loved one struggle.

Ideas for family members who have loved ones with a disability:

  • Encourage family members to connect with community support groups. Within each person’s community, there is a variety of programs and services available. Many of these services are designed to assist people with disabilities. Some of these services are specifically intended for families and other caregivers. The particular array of services available in any given community varies widely. Support coordination specialists (case managers) ensure service recipients receive the proper mix of services. Encourage your loved one to contact their local county services office to locate these services.
     
  • Encourage loved ones to seek out respite services that may be available in their community. These services are available to caregivers of intellectually disabled citizens. Respite services give families a chance to take a break from their daily care responsibilities. It is very helpful and refreshing for family members to take some time off. Most respite programs are provided through national organizations. The most well-known organizations are The Arc and the Easter Seal Society. Services may also be available through schools, churches, and other non-profit groups. Families are usually allotted up to four weeks of free respite services each year.

Ways that you can help:

  • Donate your time and do respite care for a member of your congregation or someone you know in your community that has a loved one with a disability.
     
  • Seek out organizations that work with the disabled in your community that you could partner with.
     
  • Donate to your state Special Olympics or volunteer your time working with the athletes.
  • Hold a special event in your community to bring awareness about your local organizations that offer services for those with disabilities.
    • Publicize your event in your church bulletin and local newspaper.
    • Personally invite family members from your church or community who have precious ones with a disability.
    • Be sure to hold your event in a location where restrooms and water fountains are handicap accessible. The location should be in a one level building or a building that has an elevator. Make sure if you have anyone who is blind to find a building that has braille written on the walls.
    • Be sure to hire an interpreter if you have anyone who is deaf.
    • Apply for Thrivent Action Team monies to help support your event and bring recognition to your local organizations.

Other resources:

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for creating us and choosing us to be your dear children. We pray for those special people in our churches and communities who have great needs or disabilities. We especially pray for their families and caregivers as they care for them, may you grant them strength and patience during this difficult time. Please encourage us to help those with disabilities and to see the opportunities you give us to help those who are suffering with an illness. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

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