Since its inception, WELS Christian Aid and Relief has been delivering hands-on disaster relief and humanitarian aid to communities around the world. During these times of disaster and trauma, WELS missionaries and volunteers aim to provide not only physical relief and assistance, but spiritual nourishment as well. The aim is to help people in their time of need and connect them with a church community for ongoing support.
To help get the gospel in the hands of disaster survivors, WELS Christian Aid and Relief developed a short devotional booklet in 2021 entitled An Ever-Present Help in Trouble. Rev. Daniel Sims, director of WELS Christian Aid and Relief, explains, “I recognized that we really didn’t have a printed resource that pastors and church members in areas that have been hit by a disaster could use as a tool for ministering to those who have been through the trauma of a disaster.”
So Sims and nine of his colleagues wrote a total of 40 devotions and prayers based on gospel promises that are comforting to people who have lived through a crisis or trauma. “When we have a major disaster situation, one of the first things we do is ship boxes of these devotions down to our churches so that the pastor and the people can begin using and distributing them,” says Sims.
The books were thoughtfully designed with designated space in the front where a church body can place an informational sticker. Above that space it reads, “This little book of devotions is a gift to you from God’s people at . . .” Readers are encouraged to contact the listed congregation for anything they might need.
The devotions and prayers within An Ever-Present Help in Trouble are brief with simple, straight-forward language. Sims explains that he and the other authors wrote these devotions with two audiences in mind. “One [is an audience] of people who have been through a huge disaster . . . and the other is for people who don’t know much about Jesus.”
These devotion books have already been put to good use in communities facing disasters. For example, after Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast in 2021, a WELS congregation in Louisiana distributed copies of the book along with free meal packets to community members.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief now has partnered with Northwestern Publishing House to make copies available for everyone. Purchase An Ever-Present Help in Trouble at Northwestern Publishing House for personal use or evangelism efforts.