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.
Christian Aid and Relief has approved a grant to assist CAMM in the purchase of a new motorbike which will allow the missionaries to “watch over our flock” in Africa and continue to “be shepherds of the church of God.” Purchase of this motorbike will provide reliable transportation for the staff and the local pastors to complete educational, spiritual and environmental trips that support the overall work of CAMM. How could a motorbike accomplish such large goals? With the current road structure and weather elements, a motorbike is a great option for the staff to travel in Africa. This motorbike will assist medical staff in reaching outer villages for medical education that might not be feasible with other modes of transportation. In addition, the pastoral staff will have more options to reach shut-in church members to spread God’s word. Finally, there are several working boreholes which require regular environmental checks. The motorbike will provide our clinic staff with transportation to regularly check on these vital sources of water.
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 9 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!
Christian Aid and Relief is supporting mosquito nets for those who may not have sufficient funds to purchase them. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that causes 1 in 5 childhood deaths in Kenya and affects 20 million people annually. Mosquitos are active primarily at night while people are asleep. Mosquito nets hung over beds are a proven method of decreasing mosquito bites and the spread of malaria. Over time, nets need to be replaced as they wear out. As the missionaries care for the people’s fiscal needs the community is receptive to the eternal life saving message of the gospel.
Christian Aid and Relief offers a grant to the sick, helpless, orphan, aged, widows, victims of robbers in Nigeria to let these people know that hope is not lost. God still cares for them and through this outpouring of help they, in turn, share the love of Christ with others.
For many years our church body has provided assistance to a children’s shelter near our congregation. A couple years ago the whole orphanage system in Russia was reworked, and now this shelter is a rehabilitation-educational center for disabled children. This center is funded by the local government, which means they don’t have enough operating money. Children with physical disabilities come to the center during the day for rehabilitation including medical care, preventative care, and help with education and socialization.
Recently the center turned to us for help in procuring used computer monitors. Teaching the children how to use computers is part of their program of teaching practical skills for future jobs in the real world. This program helps children with limited physical abilities improve their quality of life.
In the past, before the reorganization of the orphanages, our church was able to work quite actively with this center. The children attended our Sunday school and VBS, and our deaconess conducted Sunday school lessons at the center as well. Since the reorganization, we’re able to do much less direct spiritual work. However, the adults who run the center still maintain relationships with us and occasionally come to church. And helping this state-run children’s center is one very concrete way we can let our lights shine in the community.
Through this grant Christian Aid and Relief supports the care for the elderly, orphans, poor, and widows, along with subsidy for fuel for heating. Families often neglect their elderly and many of the elderly struggle financially. Heating oil in the winter months is extremely expensive. Many keep their houses at 50 degrees or less. The same can be said of widows. Many churches help with gifts for the poor.
The orphans and fatherless are a result of when the men find out their live-in partner is pregnant; they just leave the mother. For those who don’t go the route of abortion there is usually no one to provide for them. Here work is done with “Gift of Life.”
Refugees frequently the church in Ukraine and because of the gifts of food, clothing and hygiene products their hearts have been receptive to the gospel message and have become members of the congregation.
With no medical insurance, medical supplies, medications, appointments are an increasing burden for many people who are suffering from the effects of the Covid Pandemic. With jobs and the economy decimated, aid is given to some for essential medical needs.
Continue to pray that through this aid the people in Ukraine will find relief from their earthly trials and be receptive to the gospel message of Christ’s eternal gift of the lifting of the spiritual burden of sin through faith in him.
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 under privileged kids a “good” start to their school year and to ultimately connect the kids and families to Jesus through a back-to-school event. The goal to share Christ with these children and their families happens on the event day as members interact with them. All the families sit down with the pastor who shares with them an abbreviated law/gospel presentation and says a prayer for them for the start of the new school year After the event, all of these families are put on the prospect list, and the congregation continues to stay in contact with them regularly throughout the year, inviting them for special events at Risen Savior, as well as regularly inviting them to worship.
Under privileged children who come to the Day 4 Hope Risen Savior event receive: 1) Backpacks with school supplies, 2) Personal hygiene items, 3) $75 worth of gift cards for new clothes/shoes, 4) Free dental exam, medical exam, haircut, professional picture for the first day of school. The day of the event, families are provided a free meal, medical professionals and firefighters talk with the children, activities including crafts and bounce houses are available for the children. 50-75 volunteers help with this event.
Refugee immigrant families come to Renton, Wash., because of the large nucleus of the Nuer community which is built around friends and relatives. The main intent of Divine Peace-Sudanese Lutheran church is to assist families as they transition to life in America while using this opportunity to proclaim to them the gospel of Jesus. These refugees arrive in America with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They come from South Sudan out of horrific situations, often having experienced a great deal of trauma and trial. Members of the church can relate to these immigrant’s plight as their situations were once remarkably similar. The Christian Aid and Relief grant will provide an opportunity for the congregation to be the first to welcome the refugees to the Renton/Seattle area. A “Welcome Gift,” consisting of cooking pots, dinnerware, toiletries and soaps will be handed out.
WELS Christian Aid & Relief provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.
Contact WELS Christian Aid & Relief for more information.