Christian Aid and Relief continues to work with the WELS Board for World Missions, our WELS Missionaries, our sister congregations of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference around the world, and the Board for Home Missions in funding humanitarian aid projects which reflect Christ’s love to people in need and build bridges to proclaim the gospel. Below is a list of humanitarian aid projects. Thanks to the WELS members who made these projects possible through their special gifts!
WELS Christian Aid and Relief supports the work performed through the Central Africa Medical Mission in Zambia so the gospel may reach those in need. The Lutheran Mission Rural Health Centre is fortunate to have a Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA) pastor on the clinic grounds to lead the daily devotion and also serve as a spiritual counselor to those who visit the clinic as well as the clinic staff.
The Lord continues to use the clinic and staff to reach the souls of about 25,000 individuals each year in Zambia while attending to their physical and emotional needs. Diabetes, HIV, hypertension, epilepsy, and respiratory illnesses are high priorities in Zambia; medications to treat these illnesses are essential.
In addition to the aid given to CAMM, WELS Christian Aid and Relief supports the Borehole program in Zambia. This year’s humanitarian aid grant will supply funds for the digging of 5 boreholes in Zambia which will satisfy the basic need for clean water while opening doors for the Lutheran Church Central Africa (LCCA) to share the gospel. The Scripture being the foundation for the program prepares LCCA believers to assist their communities with acts of service; demonstrating Christ’s love for all and sharing God’s gracious gift of salvation as they come to draw water. These boreholes have been a powerful tool that have motivated people to sit around and share the gospel during church camp meetings and Bible studies.
Boreholes will provide safe, sustainable, and reliable clean drinking water as opposed to the hand-dug and unprotected wells. A borehole is a type of deep water well fitted with a hand pump to allow for continual flow of clean water. The hand pump also provides a way to keep the well protected from fecal contamination, a major source of diarrhea and illness.
Healing the Body and Soul in Malawi is based on 2 Bible passages: “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9-12 and “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.” Romans 12:12-13
The CAMM mission statement reads, “Christ centered healthcare supporting Gospel ministry.”
WELS Christian Aid and Relief supports the Central Africa Medical Mission (CAMM) with funds to provide necessary medications along with nutritional supplements such as maize and soya. CAMM currently provides medical care at 4 clinics which also serve as Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA) churches in Msambo, Thunga, Suzi, and Mwalaulomwe.
CAMM was formed when the first missionaries in northern Rhodesia realized the treatment of the people’s physical needs would open doors for gospel outreach. In a similar way, the Lutheran Mobile Clinic (LMC) was formed in Malawi. Clinics were established in villages identified by missionaries and LCCA for gospel outreach. Each clinic building serves as a church on Sunday and devotion is held at the start of each clinic day. A trust was formed and has continued in Malawi since the early 1970’s. The Lord blesses the LMC and provides an opportunity to share his salvation with 300-350 souls each day!
In addition, WELS Christian Aid and Relief supports the Borehole program in Malawi. This year’s humanitarian aid grant will supply funds for the digging of 10 boreholes in Malawi which will satisfy the basic need for clean water while opening doors for the Lutheran Church Central Africa (LCCA) to share the gospel. The Scripture being the foundation for the program prepares LCCA believers to assist their communities with acts of service; demonstrating Christ’s love for all and sharing God’s gracious gift of salvation as they come to draw water. These boreholes have been a powerful tool that have motivated people to sit around and share the gospel during church camp meetings and Bible studies.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s (CAR) humanitarian grant supporting the Russian project “Opening Doors” is a great way to evangelize people in Russia. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, 15% of Russia’s population still have incomes below the subsistence level. Families with many children, people with low salaries in rural areas of the country, and people who find themselves in difficult life situations often turn to the church for help.
Our missionaries supply various essentials to social services, emergency services, a shelter for children, a home for disabled / veterans, and an employment agency. They provide targeted assistance to individuals, for example, single mothers, mothers with many children and elderly people. They provide the people around them with help not only in meeting worldly household needs but, most importantly, with spiritual needs. By helping these people with their daily bread and helping solve their earthly problems, doors are open to preach the Word of God to them! Many years of experience show that when the Gospel is shared with those who come for help, many are baptized, have their children baptized, some begin to attend Christian classes and become parishioners. The relationships that are establish allow the missionaries to serve souls and strengthen the reputation of the church of Russia in the eyes of local authorities.
In the congregation, a young married couple named Sofia and Mikhail had a baby boy named David. The birth was premature and the baby, who weighed less than 3 pounds, had health problems. His retinas were underdeveloped, and ophthalmologists reported that without timely surgeries, he would be blind. Baby David has had three surgeries on his eyes. One eye can see. The second eye sees only a little. During his first month, while Baby David was in the neonatal unit, his mother, Sofia, also underwent surgery to remove her gallbladder.
CAR humanitarian aid funds helped this family during this difficult time. Baby David is gaining weight. He’s developing slowly, but gradually he’s catching up to where he should be. We believe that God has heard our prayers and helped this young family with their troubles. The baby’s health is improving. He can see bright colors and his loved ones. God-willing Baby David’s health will continue to improve. We thank God for these blessings.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief (CAR) supports many locations in Asia with humanitarian aid grants which allows our missionaries to share the love of Jesus throughout this region. In some areas, medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, hospital beds, baby warmers and glaucoma tests for hospitals are provided. Health clinics are made available to those who need medical procedures and care without means to pay. The workers in these clinics minister to the physical and spiritual needs of those who receive care.
Basic skill classes for sewing, knitting, stitching and embroidery are offered to women in rural and remote areas so they can help provide for their families, especially since many times their husbands are working in other countries. Learning these skills allows women to be spared ill treatment in the public marketplace while working safely from their home. New mothers, who must leave their home for up to two weeks after giving birth, gather to learn how to care for themselves and their newborn babies. The women receive nutritional packs to nourish their bodies and through the daily devotions and comfort, shared by the teachers, they receive nourishment for their soles.
Grants are given to help provide students with textbooks, scholarships, school uniforms and other items needed for a solid education. Technology classes are taught to underprivileged students. These students gain Wisdom and Knowledge beyond their classroom learning which helps to develop future leaders in the mission field.
Additional grant money is available for items that are essential for a safe and healthy lifestyle. This support comes in way of food distribution to the poor, smokeless stoves to prevent and alleviate symptoms of respiratory disease and mosquito nets to protect from mosquito-borne illnesses and snake bites. Workshops provided to farmers teach them how to provide food and income for their families through off-season farming methods. And widows and orphans, who are often treated unfairly and may even struggle to survive, are provided food and warm clothes.
All of these projects instill goodwill in the communities served and open doors for the people to be receptive to the gospel message.
Christian Aid and Relief has approved a humanitarian aid grant to assist congregations in Indonesia in handing out staple food items to needy households in their neighborhoods. The hope and prayer is that such caring and sharing will provide a bridge with these people by letting them know the location of the source of the aid and by strengthening the churches’ communication and harmony with the local community.
In the Las Vegas area Christian Aid and Relief has granted assistance to African refugee/immigrant outreach. As new African immigrants arrive in this area, congregation members welcome them, provide a welcome gift (cooking pots, dinnerware, toiletries, soap…), assist them in getting settled into the community and transition to life in America. This opportunity opens the door to proclaim to them the gospel of Jesus through personal witness, worship services and Bible classes, children’s Bible programs, food pantry/Bible study ministry, and personal follow up.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s humanitarian aid grant to Albania provides funding for Christmas and Easter food baskets for needy individuals in their congregation and in their neighborhoods. Invitations and information about the congregation are shared with the recipients of the baskets, including providing Christian materials and a New Testament.
Fifty percent of Toronto’s population are immigrants from countries throughout the world, with a total population that has surpassed Chicago and is now the 4th largest city in North America. A Christian Aid and Relief grant to Hope Lutheran provides a welcome package to new immigrants that includes a new Bible, gift cards and a brochure of church activities along with an invitation to worship. This home mission offers a true sense of family to people of the community who come from all over the world; a place to worship, a place to have fellowship (they have fellowship meals every Sunday after church—this is wonderful for bonding), and a place for guidance and occasional financial assistance as they navigate the immigration process. In addition, this grant enables the congregation to provide valuable humanitarian assistance to newcomers to their area. The assistance can take the form of food, transportation costs, medical help, etc. all which assist immigrants’ transition into the area. This project assists Hope Lutheran share Christ’s love to new refugees.
Several home missions have received Christian Aid and Relief grants to assists congregations in providing backpacks filled with school supplies for children in surrounding neighborhoods and provide meals for low income seniors. In both efforts, this helps establish relationships with area families and residents resulting in church visitation, Bible study attendance and opportunities to share the gospel.
In an effort to let their neighbors know they are “here to serve,” Christian Aid and Relief has granted funds to assist home mission congregations with school supply drives to help families in their community that struggle to meet the expenses of school start up. The school supply giveaway establishes and strengthens connections with local families and builds a positive impression of the churches, whose ultimate goal is to share the good news of Jesus with their diverse communities.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s humanitarian aid grant to Costa Maya Ministries supports the mission work through transportation and a soup kitchen. Many families live up and down the Caribbean coast with limited or no access to electricity, cell phone, or running water. Getting to town for church, shopping and other activities might mean up to an hour drive. Costa Maya Ministries has been blessed to receive a donated van that is often packed to the limits with families and children who are eager to come to church events. WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s grant helps with the maintenance, repairs and fuel for the van. Every Friday, on average, 40 people are transported and fed a nutritious meal cooked by a local member. Ingredients for the soup meal are also purchased with the WELS CAR humanitarian aid grant. Every Saturday up to 30 children and teens are transported to church for Bible class and catechism. Every Sunday two van loads of people are brought to the worship service.
Most of the people who are transported do not have any other contact with church, and only know their Savior through the transportation ministry that brings them to the saving Word. Quite a few people, and a number of the church members, first connected to the church through the Friday soup kitchen, and then also started attending church on Sunday. By God’s grace weekly Sunday church attendance has grown from the teens and 20s, to the 50s and 60s over the past four years. The ministry continues to meet new people this way, and the current attendees are active in inviting neighbors and family to attend.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s humanitarian aid grant provides funding to the church in Bulgaria. During the Christmas and Easter festival services packages with food products, Christian books and brochures are shared with visitors. A portion of the funding is also used to help low income families offset the cost of medicine. These gifts build bridges to share the gospel message and encourages ongoing ministry contact.
WELS Christian Aid and Relief (CAR) supports two projects aimed at helping Venezuelans who are in desperate need.
The first is a project in Medellin, Colombia, where many Venezuelan refugees reside. These refugees are in desperate need of basic medical care. The CAR grant allows our sister church in Colombia to offer basic medical care out of their church building in the center of the city. When the Venezuelan refugees arrive, they not only receive care for their bodies but are offered care for their souls as well.
The second way that CAR offers aid to Venezuela is through efforts within Venezuela itself. Several groups of Venezuelans have begun taking Bible classes with those in our fellowship online. The basic food aid which is supplied is a tangible demonstration of the love of Christ spoken of in those online classes. The aid is distributed by visits to Venezuela by the leaders of our sister church in Colombia since it is very difficult for Americans to get into Venezuela in the current political climate.
Christian Aid and Relief has approved a home mission humanitarian aid grant to provide needy kids a “good” start to their school year and to ultimately connect the kids and families to Jesus through a back to school event. Plans are for this initial activity to be the first contact with these families in hopes to continue to reach out to them with sharing the gospel message throughout the year through new sermon series, Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Worship, Spring Festival, Soccer Camp, etc.
WELS Christian Aid & Relief provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.