By Carol Schaffer
I grew up in the Lutheran church and have not always been mission-minded. As a child I perceived missionaries as people who went to far-away places and shared Jesus. Our church never brought in missionaries to excite us about their work, so I had no firsthand knowledge.
As a child I perceived missionaries as people who went to far-away places and shared Jesus.
As I grew in my faith and studied God’s word, I realized that you did not have to go to faraway lands to be a missionary. You could bring the news of Jesus to people in your everyday life, although I always wondered what it would be like to travel to a faraway land and share God’s good news.
As I grew in my faith and studied God’s word, I realized that you did not have to go to faraway lands to be a missionary.
God had a plan to allow that to happen. When my husband, Steve, and I left our hometown church and became members of St. Luke, God planted us in just the right spot to see those “wonderings” come to fruition.
We were invited to attend a small group who had been meeting every Monday for a few years. This was a growing experience for my husband and me.
As we made a commitment to join the group, we realized that it could change our lives. As we continued meeting and growing with this group, God was working in our leader’s life.
Don and Gayle Sommerfeld were our group leaders and God was calling them to start a short-term mission organization. We were praying and encouraging them and, eventually, got involved in preparing for and going on teams with MOST (Mission Opportunity Short Term). Read about Steve’s many years of mission trips with MOST in his blog Sharing Jesus With the Nations.
As we made a commitment to join the group, we realized that it could change our lives.
Meanwhile, God brought another person into my life through our small group. She has encouraged me to get involved with LWML and start it back up at St. Luke.
LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League), might sound like an old name for those of you who are young… after all, it’s been around since 1942. We simply call ourselves “Lutheran Women in Mission.”
LWML collects MITES from all the Missouri Synod Lutheran churches in the country. Our own church collected over $700 last year to help fund the various grants that were voted on at the last Michigan District Convention in 2012. They voted on a budget of $230,000.
I never dreamed God would lead me down this road. Maybe God is calling you to experience being a missionary or even to start small by putting your change in a MITE box so that you can help other organizations spread God’s good news.
Mite boxes are available at the LWML table in the narthex at St. Luke or by contacting Linda Murdock at Living Water or Katie Renken at The Chapel.
Every other year Michigan has a convention to vote on a budget and the various recipients of the money being collected. Our church has two voting delegates that can help decide where we want the money to go. Our Michigan District Convention is July 18-20 at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo.
The Ann Arbor Zone Spring Rally will be held on Saturday, May 10 from 9:00 a.m. until Noon at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor. Come and find out what Lutheran Women in Mission is all about!