Having accepted a call to serve at St. John’s in Mukwonago, Wis., this is my final opportunity to address Home Missions supporters. Over the past 11+ years, it has been a privilege to communicate the blessings the Lord has showered on his gospel work. My heart is filled with gratitude for:
- All the prayer warriors out there who have held up missions before the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth—the One who clearly says GO!
- The moms and dad who encouraged their sons and daughters toward ministry, as well as our ministerial education schools that trained them. It is because of these that we have mission-minded pastors, teachers, and staff ministers not just in our mission churches but in all of our WELS congregations.
- The staff at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry who take care of necessary administration and communication.
- District mission board members and mission counselors who do the work of developing and cultivating missions and, when a mission begins, continue their support of those churches. These men are the heart and core of missions—thank God for them!
- Mission partners such as Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society and Church Extension Fund as well as so many other WELS areas of ministry and WELS affiliated ministries. Home Missions needs these partnerships and deeply appreciates them.
- Churches like Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. (featured in this month’s WELS Connection), which have gone from subsidized missions to self-supporting ministries.
- Mission gifts that flow freely. It is amazing how the Lord moves hearts to give so frequently and generously. Truly, THANK YOU!
- Our Savior God whose life, death, and resurrection saves, motivates, and inspires us redeemed children of the Father to proclaim the message of salvation again and again and again.
At the 2021 synod convention, Home Missions received the directive to work toward starting 100 missions in ten years and enhancing another 75 missions. This effort will kick off in the spring of 2023. Of course, a major endeavor like this will require additional support. As you have in the past, I trust that the Lord will enable you to continue your generous gifts so that WELS Home Missions can plant even more missions to reach more souls with the gospel.
Blessed to serve a living Savior and celebrate Jesus’ great victory over death this Easter, we have every reason to put into practice these words from Psalm 96: “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
In partnership proclaiming the gospel,
Pastor Keith Free
Administrator, WELS Home Missions
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give you thanks for each new home mission we have the privilege to start. Thanks for blessing Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., with strong growth so that it is now a self-supporting congregation and for giving them a thriving early childhood ministry that connects young children and their parents to Jesus. We pray that you would bless their efforts to start a new home mission just north of them in Parrish, Fla. We also ask you to guide our WELS churches in using opportunities like early childhood ministry to connect families to you. Amen.