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Sharing the risen Christ across cultures

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20a).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Christ,

“I love your church. It was like I was walking into my own home!” declared Maria. Although she spent decades living within walking distance of church, she never visited until she was invited (repeatedly).

Palabra de Vida is located on a main street in a largely Hispanic area in Southwest Detroit, a neighborhood of around 25,000 residents. Many people drive by our building every day, but very few come in. There are many who, like Maria, might come . . . if someone would just invite them!

That’s why we engage our community through different mercy ministries that allow us to meet basic needs and invite them to hear the gospel. We run “Palabra Kids” ministry with various programs in addition to other community outreach events. Pastor Ismael and his wife connect with people at these events. Then we work hard to follow up and invite people to worship services, new events, and Bible information classes.

While we meet hundreds of new people a year, only a few families will stick around after hearing the gospel. We count rejection as part of the ministry: “You will be hated by everyone because of me” (Matthew 10:22a). Rejection doesn’t deter us, because the gospel is too precious to keep to ourselves. This way people who may have passed by our church a thousand times, like Maria, look differently at our building now—it’s their new “family in Christ,” where truth and love are taught and shown.

Please consider making a gift to Home Missions Multi-Cultural Outreach today, and together we will watch the Holy Spirit change lives. Many congregations, whether they’re just starting out or are in impoverished areas, benefit from your prayers and financial support. This doesn’t just help our church body grow; it lifts up a new believer’s face to see their risen Savior.

Sharing the Easter joy of the risen Christ,

Pastor Ryan Kolander
Palabra de Vida, Detroit, Mich.

P.S. For more on WELS mission work, “like” WELS Missions on Facebook and subscribe to our Missions Blogs.

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The risen Christ is the hope we can share

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20a).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Pastor, I’m losing my faith . . . quickly.” He was slouched in a kitchen chair after almost everyone had left worship that Sunday. “What’s the point to it all—why?”

This young man’s desperation is shared by many. Lack of financial stability, dependency on drugs, spousal abuse, and societal neglect are some of the challenges that are amplified in an impoverished area as a result of our broken, sin-filled world.

They’re right to an extent. There is no hope, even for a self-proclaimed believer who strolls into church. That is, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). If this poverty, misery, fear, and hatred is it, and then we die . . . well, then I’d join the club of wallowers!

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20a). And that changes everything.

The risen Christ is the hope that we can share with the hurting. He is the best answer we can give to the “whys?” in life. Jesus rose, and that means you and I will rise to a new life too! This Easter joy elevates a soul from the shadows to the heavens.

This is the gospel we are privileged to preach through WELS Home Missions to countless hurting people from many ethnic backgrounds and diverse cultures all over North America.

So, friend in Christ Jesus, be bold with your witness! You have something precious to offer a hurting soul this Easter season. And please consider a gift to Home Missions Multi-Cultural Outreach today. Together we will watch the Holy Spirit change lives.

Happy Easter, friends. Rejoice! Because Christ indeed has been raised from the dead! Alleluia!

Pastor Ryan Kolander
Palabra de Vida, Detroit, Mich.

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