One of the most helpful things we can do for our students

Dear Friend,

The economy was booming! There were years of abundance! And then—whoa, what happened? I’m not talking about 2020. I’m talking about Genesis 41, when Joseph was in Pharaoh’s court in Egypt. Seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. It was a roller coaster for everyone.

Who could have predicted it? Well, God did, of course. Remember Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat, beautiful cows swallowed up by seven scrawny cows—and seven full heads of grain swallowed up by seven withered heads of grain? By God-given interpretation of those dreams, Joseph was able to advise the ruler of Egypt to store up food during the good years in order to survive the years of famine. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt during the famine, they thanked God that there was food.

I can’t tell you what the rest of 2020 will bring. It’s sure been unpredictable so far. But I thank God that during abundant times in their lives, generous Christians have given to the WELS Student Assistance Endowment Fund. Those funds have been stored up so that there will be enough aid for young men and women studying for the ministry of the gospel at our ministerial education schools in the fall of 2020, regardless of how well the economy is doing.

Some gifts for student financial aid are meant to be used right away. Every year these prove very helpful. Other gifts for student financial aid, when given to the endowment fund, are meant to be used year after year. To accomplish this, the endowment distributes only four percent of its value every year, with investment proceeds beyond that remaining in the fund. In this way your gift continues supporting student financial aid indefinitely!

Currently the WELS Student Assistance Endowment fund distributes about $238,000 each year, which helps around 700 students. Your gifts to this fund increase that reliable assistance year after year. It’s one of the most helpful things we can do for the young people studying to be pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and missionaries.

Storing up for the lean years is prudent. We will still have ups and downs in our lives. The famine that we are trying to avoid, however, is the “famine of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). By God’s grace, we still hear the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus. We still have young people willing to preach and teach God’s Word in its truth and purity. Let’s support them!

Cordially in Christ,
Paul Prange
Administrator, WELS Ministerial Education

Entertain strangers!

Dear Friend,

Hebrews 13:2 is a mysterious Bible verse. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” This verse may refer to the accounts in Genesis where the Lord visited Abraham with two angels or where Lot welcomed angels into his home. It’s not likely that we will ever entertain an angel under cover, but the point remains: don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers.

In gratitude for the love and compassion Jesus has shown to us, we are eager to show love and compassion to others, even total strangers. In fact, Jesus said that whatever kindness we show to others we are also showing to him.

One way you can show hospitality to strangers is by supporting WELS Christian Aid and Relief’s humanitarian aid projects. These projects help our home and world missionaries meet community needs and open doors to sharing the good news about Jesus. Here is an example from a missionary in South Asia:

Being an orphan or a widow is a curse in Hindu society; people blame them for the deaths of their loved ones. They look down on them and don’t treat them fairly. Orphans and widows struggle to survive. They can’t get enough food or clothes to wear. Some freeze to death in the cold winter. It’s hard for them to find work. Our mission workers invite these precious souls to our household prayer groups and share Jesus with them by telling them how much God loves all people. The gifts from Christian Aid and Relief allow us to also care for their physical needs. It’s a great way to put Christ’s love into action. Thank you!

This past year your gifts totaling $466,212 enabled humanitarian aid projects such as these:

  • Medical equipment and supplies for health clinics in Africa and South Asia
  • Fresh water wells for people in Malawi and Ethiopia
  • Food and medicine for people in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Mexico, and Indonesia
    Financial assistance to WELS Central Africa Medical Mission
  • Mosquito nets, sewing classes, and textbooks for higher education students in Nepal
  • Welcome gifts and assistance to legal immigrants through several home mission congregations in the U.S. and Canada

In addition to coordinating humanitarian aid, WELS Christian Aid and Relief helps victims of natural disasters and those facing extreme medical or financial difficulties. Thanks to your special gifts, we have been well-positioned to assist people in a variety of situations including hurricane relief efforts in Florida and the coronavirus pandemic.

Would you make a special offering today to fund humanitarian aid projects for the 2020-2021 fiscal year? In this way you will show hospitality to the strangers Jesus calls us to love—and to Jesus himself.

In Christ,
Pastor Robert Hein
Chairman, WELS Christian Aid and Relief | | 262-334-7881