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Share our Father’s compassion

Dear Friend,

History has given certain men, mostly inventors, the title “father of.” The physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer has been called the father of the atomic bomb because of his groundbreaking work on the Manhattan Project during World War II. Carl Benz is considered by many to be the father of the automotive industry because he designed and built the first practical automobile in 1885. Jacques Cousteau is known as the father of SCUBA diving because he invented and perfected the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Some will argue that the wrong man has been given the title “father of” a particular invention. However, there is no argument about this: God is the “Father of compassion.” Scripture says so. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Nowhere is compassion more clearly seen than at the humble manger, blood-stained cross, and empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God saw the helpless, hopeless state of us sinners, he leaped to action. He entered our world, carried our sin and sorrow to the cross, shed his blood to pay our debt, and rose again to secure forgiveness and life for us and for all. What compassion!

One way to thank and praise God for his compassion is to show compassion to others. There are so many in our world in need of compassion! In the name of Jesus and with your generous support, WELS Christian Aid and Relief strives to imitate our God’s compassionate heart and hands as we care for people in need. It is our privilege to be part of the following ministries of compassion:

  • Disaster Relief: We assist those who have been impacted by disaster by providing, as appropriate, funding, volunteer labor, equipment, training, and leadership. Recently in the U.S. we deployed to southwestern Florida to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian. We also assisted several families who lost their homes to tornados in Tennessee. We worked abroad to help rebuild churches in Malawi destroyed by Cyclone Freddy and to help feed 847 families displaced by flooding in India.
  • Humanitarian Aid: We fund humanitarian aid projects through our missions at home and abroad. These efforts include food support for the hungry, clean water for the thirsty, medical care for the sick and dying, school supplies for underprivileged students, and mosquito netting for those who live in areas where malaria is a problem.
  • Community Care and Compassion: We provide matching grants of up to $2,500 to self-supporting WELS congregations engaged in compassion ministry in their communities such as supporting the homeless, running a community food pantry, offering a holiday meal, or supporting a pregnancy counseling center. The opportunities to help are endless.
  • Personal Relief Grants: We work with WELS congregations to support members or prospects in crisis when the need goes beyond the ability of the congregation.

To continue showing our Father’s compassion in these ways, we invite your prayers and offerings. Please consider a gift to the WELS Christian Aid and Relief General Fund to help us maintain these ministries and imitate the Lord’s compassion as we serve and support people in need around the world.

In Jesus, our compassionate Savior,
Pastor Dan Sims
Director, WELS Christian Aid and Relief

Prayer: Lord, our compassionate and gracious God, open our eyes to see the needs of people in our communities and move us to show compassion. We thank you that, through the support of WELS Christian Aid and Relief, our churches can do more to help our neighbors in need. May our compassion for others reflect your compassion for them and our trust in you. We pray that your Holy Spirit will use our efforts to communicate that we love because you first loved us. May your gospel move many more to believe in you. Amen.

WELS Christian Aid and Relief responds to Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28 as a powerful Category 4 storm. Rev. Dan Sims, director of WELS Christian Aid and Relief, provides an update on how WELS congregations were affected and on current relief efforts in those areas.

On Oct. 3, 2022, a four-person assessment team from WELS Christian Aid and Relief arrived in Sarasota, Fla. They met with Rev. Marty Mielke, the secretary of the South Atlantic District and “point man” for disaster relief operations following Hurricane Ian. Mielke has been in regular communication with the pastors and congregational leaders in the district. He gave the team an overview of the situation in south Florida. The team plans to spend two days visiting WELS congregations in the area; assessing their needs; and planning the best ways to utilize money, volunteers, and other resources to help those who are affected.

Congregations to the north and in the immediate Tampa area received the least damage. WELS churches in Odessa, Tampa, Clearwater, Valrico, Seminole, and Parrish were largely untouched with only a few downed trees and light flooding. Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch sustained significant roof damage. Ascension in Sarasota has some roof and soffit damage as well as a 40-foot palm tree on the roof.

Congregations and communities farther south were hit the hardest. At Prince of Peace in Englewood, the church’s cupola was breached, causing water to soak the sanctuary and pews. Christ the King in Port Charlotte received roof and water damage, causing part of the ceiling to collapse. Bethany in North Fort Myers is going to need a new roof and has a large amount of downed timber and brush on the property. At Crown of Life in Fort Meyers the roof on the gymnasium was severely damaged and water entered the sanctuary. The church and school at Abiding Love in Cape Coral sustained roof damage; water also penetrated into the offices, hallways, classrooms, kitchen, and fellowship hall. Portions of the ceilings have collapsed.

We are happy to report that among our members, no injury or loss of life has been reported. Praise God for his mercy!

Many offers of help have come in from individuals and organizations across the synod. Thank you so much! Again, we ask for your patience as we prioritize and plan. The best way for you to help at this time is to give a financial gift. You can do that by going to wels.net/CARgift or mailing a check to WELS, N16W23377 Stone Ridge Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188, and designating your gift to “Disaster Relief.”

Small, local efforts to provide needed supplies and clear debris have begun. Christian Aid and Relief has already provided $10,000 to the South Atlantic District to purchase supplies, generators, and tarps.

It would be easy to look at this disaster as only that—a terrible storm that caused tremendous damage and loss. If we take a closer look, we will see that the Lord is using Ian to remind us of what’s really important and to give us the opportunity to imitate the compassion of Christ as we love and serve one another and those around us. Please continue to pray.


WELS CAR - Hurricane Ian 2022

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Enterprise and National

WELS has negotiated corporate rates with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National. Any WELS member is free to rent using these special rates for both business and personal use.