Scripture teaches Christians to live such good lives that others are attracted to the Christian faith and eventually join us in praising God for his grace. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5).
Recently WELS Christian Aid and Relief launched the Community Care and Compassion Matching Grants Program. It offers annual matching grants of up to $2,500 to self-supporting WELS congregations to assist them in letting their light shine by carrying out compassion ministry in their communities. Compassion ministry means finding people in your community who are hurting or in need and then helping them. The opportunities to shine the light of Christ into a sin-darkened world by showing love to our neighbors are endless! Here are some examples:
- Hosting a community dinner at Thanksgiving or a toy drive at Christmas.
- Supporting and encouraging seniors, veterans, health care workers, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders with prayers, handwritten cards, and small gifts of appreciation.
- Working with a local charity to help teens in crisis, victims of domestic violence, and those facing food insecurity.
- Partnering with Christian Family Solutions to provide online counseling sessions to those who are struggling with mental health.
- Providing backpacks and other school supplies to underprivileged students.
- Establishing and operating a community food bank.
There’s an old saying: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Just think of all the opportunities God is setting before us in this broken world to show hurting people how much we care and, more importantly, how much God cares for them in Christ.
An example of this kind of compassion ministry is the senior outreach being done by Bethlehem, Richland Center, Wis. They have taken over a program that serves meals to seniors. Pastor Dan Lewig says, “This ministry is about building relationships. As we sit around food and get to know the seniors, we have the opportunity to help them build better relationships with themselves and their Savior. Our partnership with WELS Christian Aid and Relief helped us begin this ministry and expand it.”
Would you consider a special gift to the WELS Christian Aid and Relief general fund to support this new program? Such a gift will help other WELS Christians let the light of Christ shine into the lives of those who are hurting.
In Jesus, our compassionate Savior,
Pastor Dan Sims
Director, WELS Christian Aid and Relief
P.S. Gifts to our general fund also help us support the vital work of disaster relief, humanitarian aid through WELS Home and World Missions, and personal financial grants for WELS members going through a crisis.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we praise you for your compassion toward all people. Help us to reflect your grace as we love and serve others physically and spiritually. Guide our congregations in community service efforts to build a foundation of trust from which we can proclaim your salvation from sin. Grant that those in need are cared for while the members serving them grow from their experience. Guide WELS Christian Aid and Relief as they encourage churches toward this goal. We pray that your name is glorified through our ministry. Amen.