Tag Archive for: outreach

The right gift at the right time

Dear Friend,

Have you ever received the right gift at the right time? Imagine a little girl at Christmas unwrapping a new toaster, or a bride opening a wedding gift only to find a dollhouse. Wrong gift. Wrong time.

God is the perfect Giver: “When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4-5). What a loving God we have, and he continues to give his church the right gifts at the right time. At Pentecost the disciples were enabled to speak in tongues and emboldened to preach. Today God gives gifts to his church to spread the gospel in ways never imagined by the disciples!

Consider TELL Network, an online ministry by WELS Multi-Language Productions. I began serving as the first TELL online missionary at the end of 2019—the beginning of a global pandemic that drove many people searching online for hope.

With one of the largest Lutheran social media presences in the world (1.5 million Facebook followers and likes), TELL engages viewers across the globe with devotional videos and content. Each piece encourages them to download the TELL app where they take self-learning Bible studies. Currently there are over 10,000 active users on the TELL app. Next they join a live group class where they learn the Bible and Lutheran catechism with an instructor like me. We build agreement around the truths of God’s Word. Students are equipped to share their faith with others and start a small group Bible study using the TELL method.

If possible, an in-person visit is made. Prayers are lifted up for the Spirit to create and grow a gospel community. The leader is trained to identify and train the next TELL student within their group. The process repeats.

Samuel Kalivogui, a TELL student from Guinea in West Africa, says:

I met TELL through Facebook. The very first time I watched a video on Facebook I got interested. Pastor Dan Laitinen contacted me via WhatsApp. We later started live classes. I got interested because they are offering true Bible gospel training free of charge. That’s something I have been looking for. My understanding of the Bible has greatly increased. The method is so interesting! Currently I’m using the lessons of TELL to do all my preaching and I’ve been invited twice to preach on my local radio station.

Samuel estimates his radio broadcasts alone reached 400,000 people in a heavily non-Christian country. And he is just one of over 200 students from nearly 30 countries who are signed up for TELL live group classes. Praise God for these exciting results!

God-willing, you can help us expand TELL’s reach. Each live group student costs about $600. Other expenses include building apps and online student learning systems, overseeing a social media team, and sending missionaries. Most of all, we must wisely and consistently spend advertising dollars in an aggressive online space.

Your special prayers and gifts towards Multi-Language Productions matter. It will enable TELL to increase our reach online, keep content in front of millions of eyes, and welcome more live group students like Samuel who are eager to spread the gospel.

Thank God for his right Gift at the right time. And thank you for yours.

To us a child is born!
Dan Laitinen
Missionary, TELL

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Boldly proclaiming the gospel at home mission churches

The Vine, a home mission church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, hosted Praise & Proclaim evangelism training at their church back in July with support from WELS Home Missions. A WELS Mission Journeys team made up of high schoolers from Minnesota was also there to assist in their outreach efforts. After receiving two and a half hours of training on a Sunday afternoon, the teens were brimming with confidence and ready to go boldly proclaim the gospel.

One team came across a lady who expressed great concern about her brother who has pancreatic cancer. She asked the teen group if they could pray for him. Two teens immediately accepted and led a prayer at the door on behalf of her brother. Another woman was so grateful for a large bag of groceries they handed out that tears started to fall down her face. With three children surrounding her, she told the team that she recently had a miscarriage and was struggling emotionally. They came at a perfect time. You can read even more stories like these in their Praise & Proclaim Initiative Report.

Eight nervous teenagers stepped WAY outside their comfort zones to talk to people about their Savior. Throughout the day, you could see them growing in their confidence and excitement to proclaim the gospel.

Can you help provide additional evangelism training at home mission churches, so that more individuals can confidently and fearlessly share the gospel? We’re looking to fund the next three Praise & Proclaim outreach initiatives for home mission churches through gifts that come into the Tools for Outreach fund this Thanksgiving season. Thank you for your support as we equip more and more people to comfortably and confidently proclaim the gospel message!

Christ Our Savior in Collinsville, Ill., was approved as a new home mission congregation in September 2021 and recently brought in Praise & Proclaim to provide evangelism training for members. Read more about their experience in this Praise & Proclaim Initiative Report.

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Supporting home mission churches through evangelism training

Before ascending to heaven, our Lord Jesus directed us to be his witnesses. But taking action—from finding the time, to knowing how to start the conversation, and then knowing what to say—can be hard and intimidating obstacles to overcome. That’s where Praise & Proclaim can help.

One of the ways WELS Home Missions supports mission congregations around North America is by partnering with Praise & Proclaim Ministries to provide comprehensive evangelism training for church members. This WELS affiliated ministry trains members during a Friday night session on how to use a simplified approach to witnessing that is comfortable and non-threatening. The very next day they offer a well-organized opportunity to apply that training in the community.

Praise & Proclaim has already trained thousands of WELS members how to do personal evangelism, and WELS Home Missions will continue to partner with them as we prepare to plant 100 missions in 10 years beginning in 2023. Praise & Proclaim produces all the promotional materials, provides onsite training, and organizes the entire weekend for $4,000 per mission congregation. Would you consider supporting WELS home mission congregations through Praise & Proclaim initiatives? With your help, we are hoping to fund the next three Praise & Proclaim initiatives from gifts received throughout November. Together we can help home mission churches plant and water gospel seeds in their community while trusting God to make the seed of the gospel grow.

Read more about how WELS Home Missions supports 132 congregations around North America in a variety of ways at wels.net/homemissions.

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