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 provide medical assistance 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.
The Central Africa Medical Mission in Zambia is receiving funding for medications, clinic renovation and medical supplies 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.
The Central Africa Medical Mission in Malawi receives funding from Christian Aid and Relief for medications and nutritional supplements. 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. Funds have also been granted to provide new boreholes and repair or re-drill current boreholes in Malawi so people around numerous villages can receive clean water. Each pastor and congregation see a new borehole as meeting a physical need and as a bridge to 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. 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 equip some orphanages with sewing machines at a community center at which people will receive training and time on sewing machines. Such neighborhood participation at the institute will provide many opportunities for proclaiming the gospel in the community.
Funding was provided to locations in South Asia so provide medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, hospital beds, baby warmers and glaucoma tests for hospitals. Funds have also been granted for a reverse osmosis plant and some borewell hand pumps to provide fresh water for thousands of people.
Some funding supports health clinics, where workers minister to the physical and spiritual needs of those who receive care. 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. Aid also provides textbooks and other educational needs for higher secondary level students in several districts in the Himalayan area near the Tibetan border. This opens doors to train future leaders and teachers. 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. Some funding supports sharing good news through technology and computer labs. Aid in the form of food and warm clothes is provided to widows and orphans, who are often treated unfairly and may even struggle to survive. Other funding will provide smokeless metal stoves for many villagers who suffer from severe respiratory problems due to wood fires in homes. This project helps to gain the goodwill of the people in the community. Aid will also provide nutrition packs for mothers and newborn babies, who must leave their homes for nearly two weeks after giving birth. These new mothers will gather to learn how to care for themselves and their baby and to receive much needed comfort. Aid supports workshops provided to farmers who learn how to provide food and income for their families through off-season farming methods.
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 leaders. Funds were also approved to provide medical care for many families and assist with crippling debt. Funding has also been granted to train women in basic skills like knitting, stitching and embroidery. 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. Funding has been provided to help toward the cost of medical procedures needed by many families without the means to pay. Aid has also been granted for food distribution at selected times during the year.
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’ communication and harmony 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 provided at churches, serves as a good Christian witness to many people and shows the love of God to many in great need. Some funding has also been approved to provide help to the very poor in form of bus transportation to be able to attend outreach activities. This provides additional opportunities to share the love of God to those who join in worship, Bible studies and Sunday School. Christian love is also shared through a project to provide food and clothes to mothers and their needy children at church activities.
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.
Christian Aid and Relief provides funding for a transportation and soup kitchen ministry. People come in contact with the church through the Friday soup kitchen, and many of them then begin to join in worship on Sundays.
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.
Funds have been granted to provide a borehole for clean drinking water to a community in Ethiopia. The borehole will serve as a gathering point for community members that they might feel welcome at the church, get to know the pastor/health educators/members and become interested in worship, classes and other church events.
WELS Christian Aid & Relief provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.