Dear Fellow Witnesses,
Having served as Home Missions administrator for more than five years, it has been extremely gratifying to see how God is blessing his Word through Home Missions efforts. God’s Word is powerful and continues to change hearts. The proof is seen in the work of mission after mission.
In the spring of 2013, one of my sons was assigned to a new mission. During the first months, he made a lot of outreach calls and contacts. One contact was with a couple who had some life problems. Due to medical reasons, she was wheelchair-bound, and for many years, he had abused drugs. They began taking Bible classes and heard about the life-saving work of Jesus. Through the Spirit’s work, they were led to faith in Christ and confessed him as Savior. About a month later, the gentleman had a heart attack and died. My son was able to share words of comfort and encouragement to the group who gathered for the memorial service. Praise God more people are hearing about the Savior through WELS Missions.
This year, the Missions team—Home Missions, World Missions, and the Joint Mission Council—is excited to introduce a new theme: “Every neighbor, every nation—WELS Missions and you.” In Home Missions, we so appreciate your Congregation Mission Offerings and the steady support of your special gifts, which allow us to reach souls with the gospel. Through your gifts, WELS is undergirding almost 80 home missions with financial support. So many active ministry partners are aiding mission congregations to share the one thing needful—the precious Word of Truth. Thank you, Lord, for these blessings.
But there are still so many souls to reach. Home Missions is discussing new ways to help mission congregations reach out to their neighbors, including
• covering the appropriate costs of worship space right from the start so mission members and pastors can focus more on out-reach ministry,
• assisting with outreach campaigns that use the experience of others so the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented each time, and
• encouraging members in cross-cultural ministries to share the gospel with family and friends living in their countries of origin and financially supporting that as appropriate.
In addition to supporting existing missions, Home Missions and its district mission boards continue to explore new places to start missions. Since 2013, Home Missions has authorized 32 new mission fields, including 8 this year. In these missions—as in all our churches—the focus has been to tell more people that Jesus came to be their Savior from sin. People lost in sin are being made alive in Christ as God’s people share and share and share again the Name that is above every name.
Not every witnessing opportunity will lead to new members, but more people now believe they are saved by faith in Jesus. No longer do they think it is up to them to earn their way to heaven. No longer are they doomed to everlasting destruction. They are heirs of heaven.
Until the Lord returns, may God continue to bless our efforts to tell every neighbor and every nation the praiseworthy deeds of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Working together for him,
Rev. Keith Free
Home Missions administrator
Read more about how WELS missionaries are working to spread the gospel in the U.S. and around the world on the WELS Missions blogs.
Learn more about WELS missions in North America.
Author: Keith Free
Volume 103, Number 9A
Issue: September 2016
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