You can help a hurting child succeed in school

Help Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch outfit classrooms so they can enroll ten additional middle school students in their on-campus school, Dakota Memorial School.

“I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I wouldn’t have come to the Ranch. I would probably be dead.”

Adam, 2019 Graduate of Dakota Memorial School

This is from Adam, one of the six high school seniors who graduated last week from Dakota Memorial School, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. These six young men and women had been called “stupid,” “unteachable,” “unruly,” and “troublemakers,” at every school they attended before arriving at Dakota Memorial School.

At the Ranch, they learned new words and phrases to describe themselves—”hardworking,” “doesn’t give up,” “mentor for the younger children,” and “straight A student.”  They found people who believed in them and pushed them to do their very best. They experienced, most for the first time, the satisfaction and joy that comes from earning something through hard work and determination.

One of our graduates, a lovely young woman who loves to read and draw, said, “I would like to thank the Boys and Girls Ranch for taking me in and allowing me to graduate. In the [time] I’ve been here, I have seen a change in myself. The Ranch has helped me to grow up quickly. I truly with all my heart appreciate everyone in this school. If it weren’t for here, I fear I wouldn’t be able to graduate.”

Children who come to the Ranch are deeply wounded. They have suffered unimaginable traumas or have mental health issues that make them believe they are not good enough, that they are unworthy of anyone’s love, that life is not worth living.  At the Ranch, teachers and program staff recognize the unique challenges of every student, encourage them, and inspire them to discover what they can be.

With the right people surrounding them, and in the right environment, even a deeply wounded boy or girl can achieve academic success. 

Because children can be successful at Dakota Memorial School, and there are so many on the waiting list, DMS is expanding to accept more middle school students in Fall 2019! We are so excited to give more young men and women the chance to experience true success—to open doors and end the cycle of generational poverty, addiction and despair.

But, we need your help.

We have hired a new middle school teacher and will rearrange offices and spaces over the summer to make room for a new group of middle school students. We need your financial support to outfit the new classrooms with the special equipment, lighting and tools so important to our children’s success.

DMS started incorporating Balanced Learning Environments into classrooms in 2015 and through generous donations from individuals and churches has been able to equip all classrooms with specialized workstations, special lighting, and sensory equipment. When added to a group of professionals with a great deal of expertise and compassion, these special classrooms help kids feel safe, prime their brains for learning, self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, and stay physically present and mentally engaged in the classroom.

Through a donation now to outfit these special classrooms, you can share the power of hope with even more middle school children and their families. 

To outfit our new classroom, we need the following items. The gift you give today will help us give our children the best learning environment possible.

  • 10 standing desks; $200 each
  • 10 spinning high stools; $100 each
  • 6 collaborative tables; $490 each
  • 10 rocker chairs; $90 each
  • 10 “Quiet Fidget for Feet;” $59 each
  • 10 noise reduction headphones; $30 each
  • 20 soft light fluorescent light filter covers; $45 each
  • 2 Move n’ Rock Student Kit; $90
  • 6 24” x 96” acoustic panels; $439 each
  • 10 time tracker visual timers and clocks; $35 each
  • 10 Hokki stools; $125 each

TOTAL: $12,684

We hope you can join us in helping these young trauma survivors discover their best selves. Your gift does more than provide a physical item for a classroom. It provides a calming environment for an anxious child, a structured environment for a child who craves routine, and a safe and welcoming space for a child who is used to being pushed aside. Your gift will provide hope, healing, and the chance at a bright future.

The most important ask we can make is for your prayers.

If you can also help financially, it will be a double blessing. Give now at https://dakotaranch.givingfuel.com/c19e2.

If you prefer to give by check, please mail it to: 

LCMS Giving (C19E2)
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
PO BOX 5070
Minot, ND 58702

Thank you for your partnership with Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. We are blessed to have The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on our team!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/you-can-help-a-hurting-child-succeed-in-school/

What’s New in Witness & Outreach?

When it comes to Witness & Outreach, there is nothing new under the sun. (Actually, ac­cording to Eccl. 1:9, that’s true of every­thing!) But there are trends in the current work of sharing the Gospel that we should pay attention to.

A recent report from Barna Research, “Reviving Evangelism,” highlights the importance of sharing the faith in the context of relationships. While this is not new, it shows that some of the ways we share the Good News of Jesus are not well received by people in our culture. Nonchurched people even find some of our traditional evangelism approaches offensive or off-putting. Worse than that, Barna reports that negative experiences of “depersonalized methods of sharing faith … significantly depress openness to exploring questions of faith.”

What’s the takeaway from this report? We need to consider how nonchurched people prefer to discuss matters of faith and spirituality. There are a lot of lost people who are open to discussing spiritual matters. Although 49 percent of people who say that spiritual matters are unimportant to them are not open to any form of evangelism, 27 percent of them are willing to have a “casual, one-on-one conversation” about faith.

Unfortunately, evangelism that gets this personal is not something we have always emphasized in the past. This has left us unprepared for evangelism in our current context. But there is good news. The Synod’s evangelism program, Every One His Witness®, is designed to equip Lutherans to be witnesses of Jesus to the people in their everyday lives. The LASSIE (Listen-Ask-Seek-Share-Invite-Encourage) approach of Every One His Witness is focused on intentionally engaging non­churched people in “casual, one-on-one conversations” about faith.

Everything that a congregation or group needs to conduct the basic Every One His Witness workshop is available as a low-cost kit from Concordia Publishing House. Since their release in September 2017, over 900 workshop kits have been distributed. Additional materials for witnessing to people in specific contexts (e.g., witnessing to Mormons, Muslims or adult children who have left the church) are available to workshop participants at no cost through the Synod’s Every One His Witness website.

 Everyone His Witness isn’t really new — it’s a renewed effort to equip God’s people to speak about Jesus as they go about their everyday lives, in a way to which the lost will really listen. By God’s grace, that listening may lead to the Holy Spirit working faith in those who hear the Gospel. When and where He does, people are made new!

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Rev. Dr. Mark Wood, director of LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry

Minneapolis, Here We Come!

The LCMS 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference will be held Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington-Minneapolis South. Registration is  now open!

The blessings and challenges facing rural and small-town con­gregations today will be addressed. Congregations will be encouraged to cul­tivate ways to become healthy churches, eager to bear witness for Christ, able to show mercy to those in need in communi­ties and develop a robust life together with fellow members.  We hope you’ll join us by registering now and reserving your spot!

Speakers and Session Topics

Keynote speakers will include Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission and Dr. Harold L. Senkbeil, Executive Director for Spiritual Care, DOXOLOGY. Rev. Robert Zagore, execu­tive director, LCMS Office of National Mission, will lead the theme Bible study of the conference based on Hebrews 12:1b-2a.

Breakout topics include dealing with addictions, mental health, young adults in ministry, bi-vocational pastors, steward­ship, community engagement, partnering with LERT, online education and many other topics affecting our rural and small-town congregations. There is something planned for everyone … from layperson to pastor, student to teacher!

We encourage you to bring your whole family to spend a few days together! Enjoy the Mall of America and take advantage of the special family rates that include access to all conference activities.

Don’t forget that a special track for Youth Ministry will be returning this year, led by youth peer leaders and spe­cially meant for your youth to join you as well; this option will have a limited number of seats and require attendance in all six sessions.

Registration

Adult registration for the conference is $225/person and includes all plenary and breakout sessions, materials, Thursday dinner, Friday lunch and dinner and more. See our full registration form for discounted rates for youth, students, families, couples, LWML members, meals only and groups. Contact our office with questions.

Hotel reservations must be made separately from conference registration. The Doubletree is offering a rate of $100/ Single or Double plus applicable taxes for our group including breakfast buffet per day per occupancy level; complimentary self-parking; complimentary airport and Mall of America shuttle.

More information and online regis­tration can be found at lcms.org/rstm/conference

RSTM Events Update

Don’t forget that Rural & Small Town Mission provides free monthly webi­nars on topics important to congregations in town and country settings. Up next is Witness & Outreach Resources on June 13, followed by Active Stewardship in the Rural son July 25. Find past webinars in our archive.

Watch for information on all our upcom­ing events! Register for one our Engaging Your Community or Engaging the Wandering events at lcms.org/rstm. These partner events offer practical resources and communication skills for reaching out to wandering members and our communi­ties with Christ’s love. Online registration is available for both types of events. Contact your district or our office if you are inter­ested in holding an event near you.

Register now for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus, Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. lcms.org/rstm/ conference               

To see our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm. Contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/whats-new-in-witness-outreach/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – June Update

Summer has finally arrived – and with it often comes increased traveling causing us to be out of town on Sundays and/or at other times when our congregation’s worship services are normally held. With this in mind, please remember our LCMS “Main Street Living” media  ministry broadcast each Sunday morning – and also available every day at: www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link identified as “North (Fargo)”). Please continue to share information about MSL with at least one new person each month.

A reminder of the matching funds offer from the Main Street Living NETWORK continues until $16,000 of new donations are received! To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living NORTH”, 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account on the web site. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for June 2019:

June 2:           Rev. Steve Schulz, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “I Am Coming Soon!” based on Revelation 22:1-6. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “A Different Way”

June 9:           Rev. Bruce Noennig, Zion Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, MN, presents the message: “The Source of REAL Comfort” based on John 14:23-31. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “Give and Take”

June 16:           Rev. Adam Harvala, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, West Fargo, ND, presents the message: “Look Harder” based on John 8:58. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is:  “No Tears for Bill”

June 23:           Rev. Thomas Batchelder, Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Evergreen, MN, presents the message: “The Lord is Ready to be Found” based on Luke 8:26-39. Today’s This Is The Life program is: “Two Weeks to Eternity”

June 30:           Rev. Scott Muehlberg, St. John’s HOL, Frazee, MN, and Gethsemane (Snellman), Osage, MN, presents the message: “Rejecting, Receiving, and Following Jesus” based on Luke 9:51-62. Today’s This Is The Life program is: (sorry, program title not available at this time)

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30 minute worship service led by participating pastors of the Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life, along with occasional church-season specials).  Programs are broadcast at 9:00am Central time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, AND at 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels:WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks,KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, some of which may have a different channel number, and archived on www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on “North (Fargo)”.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-media-ministry-june-update/

Call Day 2019 Calls and Placements

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/call-day-2019-calls-and-placements/

A BLESSING COMING OUT OF THE KILLING OF CHILDREN! A TIME TO CELEBRATE!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/a-blessing-coming-out-of-the-killing-of-children-a-time-to-celebrate/

Outreach through Lutheran Braille Workers

Do you know anybody in your church or community who is elderly or sight-impaired? An aging population is an issue facing almost every church and town in the United States. Church leaders face increasing challenges regarding how to share the Gospel with individuals who may be visually impaired.

Helping Christians with Vision Impairment

Many churches offer hearing assistance technology on their websites or in the pews. Very few churches advertise support for people who struggle with their vision even though there are approximately 300 million people in the world who are mod­erately or severely visually impaired, 95 percent of whom are unchurched. While there are many resources avail­able within urban areas, rural communi­ties can struggle to serve individuals who are losing their vision. This is especially true within rural areas with large numbers of senior living communities. It is in these small towns that Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) can provide a significant amount of free assistance and outreach support.

What does LBW offer for free?

LBW offers free specialized large print, braille and audio materials for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including the Bible, Lutheran Service Book, Small Catechism, devotionals, and other Christian materials. Churches and other organizations are invited to order these materials for free! These materials can be a great benefit to members of a church who are getting older, losing their vision, home-bound or otherwise not able to enjoy the same connection with the Word that used to. Pastors can use these resources to make house calls or hospital visits. Members of rural communities can use these materials during inclement weather when getting to church may not be a possibility.

For a complete listing of LBW’s free resources, visit lbwinc.org or call 800-925-6092. Please also visit LBW’s Facebook page: facebook.com/lutheranbrailleworkers.

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter by Daniel Jenkins, vice-president of Ministry Advancement, Lutheran Braille Workers

Upcoming RSTM Events…

Don’t forget that Rural & Small Town Mission provides free monthly webi­nars on topics important to congregations in town and country settings. Up next is Outreach Through Lutheran Braille Workers on May 23, followed by Witness & Outreach Resources on June 13. Find past webinars in our archive.  Watch for information on all our upcom­ing events! Register for one of our Engaging Your Community or Engaging the Wandering events at lcms.org/rstm. These partner events offer practical resources and communication skills for reaching out to wandering members and our communi­ties with Christ’s love. Join us in Waldport, Ore., on May 11 for an Engaging Your Community event. Online registration is available for both types of events. Contact your district or our office if you are inter­ested in holding an event near you.

Register now for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus, Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. To see our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm. Contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/outreach-through-lutheran-braille-workers/

People Matter Community Carnival

The Third Annual People Matter Community Carnival is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 11, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on the grounds of Wachter Middle School in Bismarck. 

Here is a little history.  People Matter began through a simple conversation between Pastor Les Wolfgram, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, and Wachter Middle School principal, Lee Ziegler, considering how to meet the growing needs of people in our community.   That conversation led to the first People Matter Community Carnival held at Wachter Middle School in May 2017.  The purpose of the event is to introduce families of school-age children to the many free services that are available to help them.   Bismarck Police officers and firefighters participated along with 17 help organizations and churches.  Families with school-age children connected with services that could help them enjoy a better life. The carnival atmosphere was enhanced by free food, prizes, bounce houses, a dunk tank, and various games and activities.  Wachter Middle School staff and community leaders were dunk tank “guests of honor.”   This first event drew over 500 attendees. In 2018, the event grew as 45 community organizations were represented with well over 1,200 people in attendance.  Families have been impacted as they learn about services available to them and as they build relationships with people who are here to help.  This year’s Community Carnival event is Saturday, May 11th from 11:00 am to 2 pm.  This event has provided a great opportunity for Shepherd of the Valley to reach out to our neighbors, inviting them to VBS and informing them that we are here to serve them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Follow us on Facebook at People Matter Bismarck.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/people-matter-community-carnival/

Main Street Living Media Ministry – May Update

Mass shootings, floods, and other natural disasters, a decaying moral culture – these are evidences of the fallen creation “groaning in travel” all around us! And yet, those whose trust is in Jesus live with a “peace that passes all understanding” and a sure hope in the sure promise of the resurrection! This is the message broadcast weekly by our MSL TV Ministry – and available every day at www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on the link identified as “North (Fargo)”). Please continue to share information about MSL with at least one new person each month.

A reminder of the matching funds offer from the Main Street Living NETWORK continues until $16,000 of new donations are received! To add your much needed financial support, checks may be sent to “Main Street Living NORTH,” 821-5th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103, or donate by Credit Card or your PayPal account on the website. Thank you and God’s blessing in Christ!

“Main Street Living North” Programs for May 2019:

May 5: Rev. Chris Waldvogel, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, presents the message: “A Public Reinstatement” based on John 21:15-19. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “The Big Little Lie.”

May 12: Rev. Tom Eaves, St. John Lutheran Church, Barnesville, MN, presents the message: “The Good Shepherd” based on Psalm 2. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “To the End of Time.”

May 19: Rev. Clark Jahnke, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, West Fargo, ND, presents the message: “God’s Cure for Loneliness” based on Revelation 21:1-5. Today’s “This Is The Life” program is: “Face from the Past.”

May 26:  Rev. Brett Hartwig, Trinity Lutheran Church, Sabin, MN, presents the message: “Take heart, I have Overcome the World” based on John 16:23-33. Today’s This Is The Life program is: “Love is not Enough.”

“MAIN STREET LIVING” is a locally produced TV program that includes a 30-minute worship service led by participating pastors of the Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts of our LCMS, along with a 30 minute Lutheran Hour program (normally This Is The Life,” along with occasional church-season specials).  Programs are broadcast at 9:00 amCentral time on the following FOX stations: KVRR Fargo-Moorhead Channel 15.1, KBRR Thief River Falls-Grand Forks Channel 10.1, KJRR Jamestown Channel 7.1, KNRR Pembina Channel 12.1, ANDat 10:00am Central (9:00am Mountain) on the following WDAY & affiliate Xtra Channels:WDAY Xtra Channel 6.3 Fargo-Moorhead, WDAZ Xtra Channel 8.3 Grand Forks,KBMY Xtra Channel 17.3 Bismarck/Dickinson, and KMCY Xtra Channel 14.3 Minot/Williston – as well as the cable and satellite systems carrying these stations, some of which may have a different channel number, and archived on www.mainstreetliving.com (then click on “North (Fargo)”.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/main-street-living-media-ministry-may-update/

Main Street Living Media Ministry Month – May 2019

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

First let me thank all of you for your support and sharing of the Main Street Living Program for those who cannot make church services and also as an outreach to our neighbors. 

Something that may be helpful in keeping Main Street Living on the minds and in the prayers of the saints here in North Dakota is an observance of “Main Street Living Sunday,” the first Sunday of May (this year it will be May 5). 

But what does it mean to “observe” Main Street Living Sunday? 

  • It can be as simple as pastors publically praying for MSL on May 5 (a prayer is attached). 
  • I strongly encourage your congregations to enclose the attached bulletin insert in their bulletins that Sunday. 
  • Pastors can use or adapt the attached sermon, too, making reference to the surprising (to us) ways God is using MSL to bless the viewers.  The sermon, based on the Acts 9:1-22 text (conversion of Saul), was written by one of the South Dakota pastors, who wishes to remain anonymous.
  • Many congregations receive free-will/door offerings for MSL on this particular Sunday.

Thanks for considering how you and your people can celebrate and support Main Street Living in your viewing areas. 

And, especially, thank you for your partnership in the Gospel in this and in many other ways.

Your servant in Christ,

Rev. Arie D. Bertsch, ND Dist. Pres.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/msln-may19/

Work Day at Orphan Grain Train, Jamestown

There will be a spring work event at the Orphan Grain Train warehouse in Jamestown on April 25, 26, and 27, 2019.

Come and lend a hand!

Contact Kirk Rosin, Branch Manager, for more information. Use the form below.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/work-day-at-orphan-grain-train-jamestown/

Engaging a Changing Community

My entire 30 years as a parish pastor have been spent serving LCMS congregations in rural and small-town communities. That’s remarkable when you consider the fact that I grew up in Houston — the fourth largest city in the country. I’ve truly been “converted” to the small-town way of life, serving the hard-working people whom I’ve had the privilege and blessing to know and love.

Yet, dramatic changes are sweeping across the rural plains of America. No doubt about it. I’ve seen it. We’ve entered an era of congregations closing because their memberships have literally died off. Offerings have dwindled dramatically. Pastors are becoming “bi-vocational,” meaning they are employed and working outside of their called pastorates to supplement insufficient and declining salaries. Pastors are absorbing personally more of the costs of the routine day-to-day operations of their congregations. These changes can be nothing short of terrifying to a pastor and his family.

As is always true, the Lord nonetheless brings amazing and oftentimes surprising blessings and opportunities in this newly emerging ministry landscape. As some con­gregations die, others are born. Pastors who find themselves becoming “entrepreneurs” can be involved in their communities in truly remarkable ways.

In my own ministry here in southwest Iowa, we have given birth to a new congrega­tion. I substitute teach in the public schools in five local school districts. The opportu­nities to witness and share my faith, to minister and pray with students, teachers and administrative people abound. Sometimes, I say tongue in cheek that I have the largest youth group in the Synod with over 6,000 kids, referring to the student populations of the schools in which I teach, on their own turf.

That we must engage our community is a fact of our ministry and congregational outreach that hasn’t changed. How we engage our community is changing dramatically in ways we could never have imagined.

Personally, I love this new ministry field. I embrace it. To be able to maintain our Lutheran confessional integrity and continue to proclaim salvation only in the Lord Jesus Christ provides a Gospel message people need and desire to hear even today.

Ready or not, the future is now. It’s here. And our Lord is still touching lives and bringing people to faith in Jesus. For that I will always rejoice.

Rev. Dr. Keith Schweitzer

Contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter.


Upcoming RSTM Events…

Don’t forget that Rural & Small Town Mission provides free monthly webi­nars on topics important to congregations in town and country settings. Up next is Community Engagement on April 11, followed by Outreach Through Lutheran Braille Workers on May 23. Find past webinars in our archive and watch for information on all our upcoming events!

Register for one our Engaging Your Community (EYC) or Engaging the Wandering (ETW) events at lcms.org/rstm. Upcoming events include an EYC on 5/11, in Waldport, OR in partnership with Northwest District. These partner events offer practical resources and communication skills for reaching out to wandering members and our communities with Christ’s love. Online reg­istration is available for both types of events. Contact your district or our office if you are interested in holding an event near you.

Register now for the 2019 National Rural & Small Town Mission Conference, Running With Endurance: Eyes Fixed On Jesus, Nov. 14–16 in Minneapolis. To see our calendar, visit lcms.org/rstm. Contact our office at 888-463-5127 or rstm@lcms.org.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/engaging-a-changing-community/

Ysleta Mission Trip to Mexico

From February 26th through March 2nd, a group of 11 members from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot, traveled to Juarez, Mexico for a mission trip. Together with Ysleta Lutheran Mission out of El Paso, TX, they built two 12X24 foot homes for local families in great need! Everything was funded by Mission Team fundraisers throughout the year. Hear from some of the people that have gone on the mission trip about the impact it has had on their lives…

“To be humbled is a gift in and of itself; going to Juarez and seeing the state and way of life will humble you to your core. These are people with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts, and by our ‘standards’ they have nothing. At the end of the week, you are given so much more by these people than you give. We may have given a home, but they gave us the gift of love, the gift of faith, and the gift of perspective.”

Matt Geinert, first-time attendee, shares this about his experience

“The lack of simple comforts like running water, heat, or even a solid floor make Americans think of the settlers on the wild frontier. The families of the shantytowns of Anapra or k30 survive in little more than pallets covered in cardboard.  A spliced extension cord overloaded with the lights of 4 or 5 neighbors. Hungry dogs littered with ticks and burrs run wild. This place exists just past the Mexican/American Border, but it may just as well be halfway around the world.  In the middle of it all a salesman, a trucker, a retiree, couple of high schoolers, and an oilfield worker come together joined by the same faith and compassion. This is where you see your faith grow.  Together for 5 days we wrestle to build what to us would be a large shed with power.  The families watch as it takes shape. The team and families crowd into the dwelling for a few songs and prayers.  A small cross is hung over the threshold. Now it hits me, and I am humbled. This isn’t a shed or a house. This is a Home. A warm safe place to raise a family, to share memories and laughs. The structure is the physical gift. But the emotional, spiritual gift is so much more.”


Ryan Schaan, After going on the mission trip for the last 3 years

“Our team prayed together daily that the Lord Jesus would make us useful in the work of His kingdom. And He was faithful, as always.  The people became so important to us in such a short period of time. Their faith and ours was strengthened as we built not only two homes, but Christ-filled relationships. It’s difficult to leave at the end of a week, but we entrust them to the Lord and that He will continue the “building” that we began in His name.”


Six-year veteran, Bonnie Rennich

A little becomes A LOT when Jesus is in it! Though sponsored by Our Savior Lutheran Church, this yearly mission trip is open to anyone in the district. Feel free to contact the congregation at 701-852-6404 for more details on this amazing opportunity to spread God’s love with others!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nodaklcms.org/blog/ysleta-mission-trip-to-mexico/