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 (medicines, medical equipment and supplies) for people in great need, especially for the unchurched in the local villages. These efforts help demonstrate the loving care of Lutheran Christians. Aid will provide support for church members to visit widows, assist orphans with school needs, help the blind, crippled and aged who lack physical support. 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.
Christian Aid and Relief provides funding 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 who are bed-ridden with AIDS, TB, Malaria, and other chronic and terminal illnesses. Funds have also been granted to support a literacy program. A person who can read and write is well positioned to do God’s work more efficiently, especially where evangelism is concerned. Mothers are key figures for the spiritual growth and learning of children. The ability to read and write is a necessary component to teach and strengthen children both spiritually and physically. 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 at the Lutheran Rural Mission Health Centre. Another project will help touch the lives of people with special needs by providing wheelchairs, showing them the passion, love and mercy that Christ has for all people. Funds will also be used to help train church leaders implement intervention strategies to assist both church members and non-members who are impacted by HIV and gender based violence (GBV). This work of compassion is performed so the gospel may reach those in need, including people who are not currently connected with our local mission. Funding was granted for some boreholes, which serve as bridges for preaching Christ to many who gather to draw fresh water.
The Central African Medical Mission in Malawi receives funding from Christian Aid and Relief for medical supplies, nutritional supplements for many living in the villages that are served, and fuel for the ambulance needed to travel to the various villages. CAMM currently provides medical care at 4 clinics which also serve as LCCA churches. These humanitarian efforts help serve as a bridge for proclaiming the gospel as the workers communicate Christ’s love and as they care for the physical needs of others.
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. Similar efforts in recent years have been blessed with the fruits of these labors including baptisms, church membership, and the support of village leaders.
Funding has been granted to Russia to provide food, clothing, coal for winter, 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 emergency social services, children’s shelters, house of invalids and veterans, and employment agencies. The government values this work and presence, which is very important as it helps keep our doors open for Bible classes, Christian counseling and distribution of Christian literature and books. These efforts provide additional connections to the local congregations as they reach out to the villages.
Christian Aid and Relief approved funding to help establish and equip a sewing institute at the site of one of our Lutheran orphanage schools. The institute will function as a community center at which orphans, widows, and lower income adults will receive training and time on sewing machines. Such neighborhood participation at the institute will provide many opportunities for proclaiming the gospel through opening devotions and Bible studies, individual witnessing, counseling, and prayer time.
In Pakistan, funding has been granted to assist school children with educations costs, including uniforms, books, supplies, etc. so that these young people can be built up to become future Christian leaders. Funds were also approved 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 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’ reputation and communication with the local community.
In the Las Vegas area funding has been granted to assist in African refugee/immigrant outreach through The Joseph Project. 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 and transition to life in America, using this opportunity 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.
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, including providing Christian materials and a New Testament.
Funding has been granted to provide food assistance and for needy refugees and orphans who have been forced to leave their homes. Additional support in the form of heating fuel helps needy families, especially unchurched in the villages, who cannot heat their homes in the cold seasons of the year. This assistance, which is provide at churches, 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, Bible studies and Sunday School.
Medical equipment to India has been approved to provide supplies for hospitals in regions where there are missions. Funds have also been granted for the digging of approximately fresh water borewells and construction of reverse osmosis water purification plants. 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.
Funds have been granted to Hope Lutheran Church in Toronto, Ontario, as they provide a Welcome Project. This project 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 helps Hope Lutheran show Christ’s love to new refugees.
Several community efforts have received funding which will assist congregations in providing backpacks filled with school supplies for children in surrounding neighborhoods. Another project provides meals for low income seniors. This has helped establish relationships with these residents resulting in church visitation and Bible study attendance. These efforts assist in building relationships with area families and provide opportunities to share the gospel.
Funds were granted to assist a congregation with a school supply drive to help families in their community that struggle to meet the expenses of school start up. The school supply giveaway established and strengthened connections with local families and built a positive impression of the church, whose ultimate goal is to share the good news of Jesus with their diverse community.
Aid supplied to Nepal provides funding for health clinics. At each clinic, workers minister to the physical and spiritual needs of those who receive care. Christian literature is distributed. Clinics often lead to the formation of a Bible study group, and at times, results in the establishment of local church. Aid is provided to reach out to women in rural and remote areas to offer sewing and knitting classes so they can help provide for their families, especially since their husbands are often working in other countries. Offering these skills provides opportunities to share the gospel. Aid also provides textbooks for higher secondary level students in several districts in the Himalayan area near the Tibetan border. This opens doors for sharing the gospel in these areas and helps to train future leaders and teachers of the Christian church. Funds have also been granted to provide mosquito nets for victims of local flooding. These nets will protect people from mosquito-borne illnesses and even from snake bites. Providing these nets will provide opportunities to share the love and the hope they have through Christ. Some funding supports sharing the gospel through technology, which especially serves young people who are learning Scripture at computer labs.
Christian Aid and Relief provides funding for a limited-time medical clinic, both at the local church and through mobile health services, to care for families that are not able to transport themselves. The local pastor and church members will connect with underserved families who visit the clinic in an effort to connect them to God’s Word and to the local congregation.
Funding has been granted to provide medicine and packages with food products, along with Christian books and brochures, for visitors to major festival worship services (Christmas and Easter). With the Lord’s blessing this will help build bridges to share the gospel with more people and to maintain connections for ongoing ministry contact.
WELS Christian Aid & Relief provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.