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!
Funds have been granted to Nigeria to help in the distribution of health care for people in great need, many of whom are not members of the local church. The ability to offer care and provide humanitarian aid to Nigeria’s unchurched will serve as a bridge for Christ the King and All Saints Lutheran Churches of Nigeria to invite villagers to church to hear the gospel. Funds will also be used to help offer pharmacy services and health education in rural areas demonstrating the loving care of Lutheran Christians. Aid will provide support for church members to visit rehab centers, hospitals, prisons, orphanages, and health centers, and to assist widows, widowers, and people with special needs. Even a new motorbike will help expand the potential to reach more people with Jesus’ love.
Christian Aid and Relief provides funding to drill boreholes to provide villagers access to clean water, which helps them in their struggle against disease and death. Providing this water also provides opportunities for Christians there to provide the spiritual water of life through Christ Jesus, so they will thirst no more. Aid granted to Zambia provides for home-based care that bridges the physical and spiritual care of the chronically ill and dying. This grant will help prepare the Christians in this ministry to better meet the needs of the community through acts of sharing God’s gracious gift of salvation as they help those with AIDS, TB, Malaria, and other chronic and terminal illnesses. Funds have also been granted to support a literacy program. A person who is able to read and write is well positioned to do God’s work more efficiently, especially where evangelism is concerned. The Central African Medical Mission in Zambia receives funding for medical supplies and medicines that help support the mission of communicating Christ’s love and sharing caring concern for the physical needs of others. Another project will help touch the lives of people with special needs, showing them the passion, love and mercy that Christ has for all people. This work of compassion is performed so the gospel may reach those in need.
The Central African Medical Mission in Malawi receives funding from Christian Aid and Relief for medical supplies and nutritional supplements for infants. CAMM currently provides medical care at four clinics which also serve as LCCA churches. These humanitarian efforts help serve as a bridge for proclaiming the gospel.
We continue to support the efforts of medically trained volunteers who travel to Thailand to set up week long medical clinics in our village churches. As these clinics draw people from both local and neighboring villages, they provide the missionaries and other workers with a unique bridge for presenting the gospel and for creating good-will presence for our churches through such care and service. These efforts include VBS and ELS classes as well as follow up contacts after the classes conclude.
Funding has been granted to Russia to provide food, clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, and medicine for the needy. These gifts will allow for the Law-Gospel pamphlets to be distributed and to invite people to Bible instruction classes. This will let the workers’ light shine in the area and grow their reputation of helping those in need. Aid has also been granted to assist institutions such as hospitals, rehab centers, orphanages, and half-way houses. The government values this work and presence, which is very important as it opens the doors for Bible classes and Christian counseling. Through this ministry, Christian literature is left in public schools, rehab centers, and other institutions. These efforts provide additional connections to the local congregations as they reach out to the villages.
Christian Aid and Relief provides funding for a well at an orphanage. The well will demonstrate “Christ in action” as many of the orphans suffer from dehydration. The well will make the local school and church more attractive to the neighborhood parents and other residents.
In Pakistan, funding has been granted to provide medical care for many families and assist with crippling debt. The kindness shown to those in desperate need opens doors to share the good news of the Great Physician of both body and soul. Funding has also been granted to train women in basic skills like knitting, stitching, and embroidery. Each session begins and ends with a gospel devotion. By learning these skills, women can then support themselves and be spared ill treatment in the public market place and work safely from home to receive income to support their families as well as mission work in Pakistan.
Funding has been provided to help toward the cost of medical procedures needed by many families without the means to pay. This kindness shown to folks in desperate life and death situations provides opportunities to share the best news of a Savior. Aid has also been granted for food distribution at Christmas and Easter in neighborhoods bordering Christian homes and schools.
Funding has been granted to assist congregations in Indonesia to hand out staple food items to needy households in their neighborhoods. In some cases, books and school supplies will be given to needy children. The hope and prayer is that 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’ reputation and communication among their neighbors.
In the Las Vegas, Nev., area funding has been granted to assist in African refugee/immigrant Outreach. As new African immigrants arrive in this area, congregation members can welcome them, provide a welcome gift (cooking pots, dinnerware, toiletries, soap…), assist them in getting settled into the community, help with English needs, provide rides, and further assist with counseling, ESL training, etc. The intent of this ministry is to assist the refugee immigrants as they transition to life in America, using this opportunity to proclaim to them the gospel of Jesus through personal witness, worship services and Bible classes.
In Farmington, N.M., a grant was given to support a major outreach effort, Path to Victory Basketball Camp, which draws people in a financially depressed area to the local congregation and gives the congregation members the opportunity to share Jesus with many participants. This effort provides prospect follow up among Native children and adults.
Christian Aid and Relief 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.
Funding has been granted to provide food assistance for war refugees and help for orphans. This assistance serves as a good Christian witness to many people and shows the love of God to many in great need. It also provides for the opportunity to share the love of God to those who join in worship.
Medical aid to India has been approved to provide supplies for government and private hospitals and health clinics. This includes basic necessities such as blood pressure cuffs and thermometers, hospital beds, baby warmers, and more sophisticated equipment such as an instrument to test for glaucoma. Funds have also been granted for the digging of approximately 20 fresh water wells. As with most of the humanitarian work in India, these projects may not open new doors directly for gospel “bridge building,” but they will help to ensure that the doors to India will remain open for WELS counselors living and working there. These kinds of projects are necessary for our presence in India to continue; it is excellent and necessary PR with the local medical community, government officials, and other influential people.
Working with the Board for Home Missions, Christian Aid and Relief was able to fund several projects. Funds have been granted to Hope Lutheran Church in Toronto, Ontario, as they operate Hope Food Bank and financial assistance. The project enables the congregation to provide valuable humanitarian assistance to newcomers to their area. The assistance can take the form of food, rental help, and assist with other matters pertaining to their transition into the area. This project helps Hope Lutheran to be a “light” in the community and reach families who find themselves in dire straits. It also opens the door to share the gospel with some of the new families in the area.
Several community efforts have received funding which will help assist congregations to support poorer families, children without guardians, and others in need with school supplies, bedding, and personal hygiene products. In another location, a congregation will provide a health, safety, and education fair. Another project involves providing food for the hungry, connecting with local community workers, and following up with prospects. These efforts assist in winning the trust of local community members for future word of God ministry opportunities.
WELS Christian Aid & Relief provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.