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February 08 - Nebraska District LCMS

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February 08 - Nebraska District LCMS Powered By Docstoc
					                            M I S S I O N                          F I E L D S                       N E B R A S K A


                                          NEBRASKA DISTRICT LCMS—February 15, 2008
EMERGENCY by Rev. Rich Boring                                                                           these campuses were strengthened in their
                                                                                                        faith in Jesus Christ. Other students were
                                                                                                        traveling down the road to hell, but by the
I have the privilege and opportunity to drive        Gallup Poll took a religious survey, and only      power of God’s Word being proclaimed and
several thousand miles across Nebraska               fifty-three percent of the people living in        taught on these campuses, they became
each year. There are times when in the               Nebraska claim to be in church during a
                                                                                                        believers in Christ Jesus.
rearview mirror there are red lights and             weekend worship service! I am reminded
sounds of sirens out of nowhere. It is               wherever I am in Nebraska that there are           It costs way over what the District budgets
usually an ambulance rushing to an                   people without                                     to do ministry on these campuses. The
individual or individuals in need, or rushing        hope, and they                                               District is very thankful for the
them to the hospital.                                need Christians to                                           partnerships we have with Holy
                                                     build a                                                      Cross, Kearney, for the UNK
There are times when I see an ambulance              relationship with                                            campus; Pacific Hills, Omaha, for
that is several miles down the road coming           them, encourage                                              the UNO and Creighton
toward me. I am always surprised when the            them, and invite                                             campuses; and Grace, Wayne, for
vehicle in front of them does not pull off to        them into                                                    Wayne State campus. These
the side of the road. It’s as if they have no        relationships with                                           three congregations donate their
idea there is an ambulance behind them.              Jesus Christ.                                                time, talent, and financial
As I travel throughout the state, through                                                                         resources to see that campus
                                                     “I tell you open                                             ministry continues in their
small communities, large cities, and rural           your eyes and look
areas, I forget there are emergencies all                                                                         communities. University Lutheran
                                                     at the fields! They                                          Chapel, Lincoln, is owned,
around me. Then suddenly, it’s like seeing           are ripe for the
the red lights and hearing the sirens, and                                                                        operated, and totally funded by
                                                     harvest.” (John
I’m reminded that the United States is the                                                                        the District at this time.
                                                     4:35) As I travel
third largest mission field in the world!            through the state,                                           College campuses are one of
                                                     God opens my                                                 Nebraska’s largest mission fields.
                                                     eyes to one of the                                           The next time you hear a siren,
                                                     largest mission                                              pray for the people involved in
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:                                  fields in Nebraska.                                          the emergency and please pray
                                                     That field is our college campuses. It is          for our college campuses. Give God thanks
READ THEIR STORIES:                                  estimated that 75 to 80% of the students           for our missionaries and the financial
Page 2– The Greatest Gift                            do not regularly attend church while on            resources that the District receives to do
                                                     campus. Most of the students stay                  mission work on the Kearney, Lincoln,
Page 3– The Story of the Nativity                    disconnected from the church after                 Omaha, and Wayne campuses. Pray that
        Reaching Rural America for Christ            graduation.                                        He would bless the District with financial
                                                                                                        resources and workers to develop new
Page 4– Sent Out into the Mission Field              Through the congregations that financially         campus ministries in Hastings, McCook,
                                                     support the Nebraska District, a little over       North Platte, Peru, Bellevue, and to expand
Page 5– Fellowship Meetings a Blessing to            $310,000 was spent by the District last
        Many                                                                                            campus ministry in Omaha. Most of all,
                                                     year to do campus ministry at Kearney,             pray that God would continue to use our
Page 6– Lies That Hinder Us from Witnessing          Lincoln, Omaha, and Wayne. Because of              campus ministries as mission outposts to
   Nebraska to Participate in Fan into Flame         these generous gifts, Lutheran students on
                                                                                                        enlarge His Kingdom.
Page 7– Eight Confirmations and a Baptism         Revelation 7:9—After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could
        Christmas in Thailand                   count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the
Page 8– Soul Sisters in Christ                        Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
        Let the Children Come!
                                                                               NEBRASKA DISTRICT LCMS
Page 9- A New Congregation Joins the
        Nebraska District                                   PO Box 407* 152 S. Columbia Ave.* Seward, NE 68434*
        Please Pray for Us
                                                                  Phone: 1-888-643-2961* www.ndlcms.org
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         MEET OUR MISSIONARIES
                                                                                          HEAR THEIR STORIES

FIRST TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH-BLOOMFIELD
The Greatest Gift written by Rev. Duane Fahr, pastor
Twelve years ago when First Trinity            Jesus came all bundled up in a snowsuit. A     When First Trinity’s pastor, Pastor Duane
Lutheran Church celebrated their               professional videographer came to go           Fahr, was asked, and he was asked many
centennial, they shared with the               through the presentation so he could get       times, “Why didn’t you charge or take an
community of Bloomfield a live nativity        just the right shots. At the end of the        offering?” he replied, “Because there is a
presentation at the Knox County                practice it was finally decided that because   time for the church to give something to
Fairgrounds. This presentation was done        of the icy weather, the only thing we could    the community without holding out their
two different years, and both years weather    do was to postpone the event until the next    hand for an offering or taking a fee at the
created a problem. One year there was          day.                                           door. The gift of salvation is free to all who
some snow and the other year it was                                                           believe, so our church was only sharing the
                                               And the people came. Ten minutes before
extremely cold. However, each time the                                                        gift that God gave to us.”
                                               the time to start there was still a line of
people of Bloomfield came to witness the
                                               cars on the highway waiting to get into the    Many cards and notes of thanks were sent
story of our Lord’s birth.
                                               fairgrounds. An estimated 400 people           to First Trinity from former members and
Therefore, when a large, new event center      came to receive the story of The Greatest      the community. The following “Letter to the
was built on the fairgrounds, ideas quickly    Gift! The most important gift ever given       Editor” from a non-member was in the
arose in the congregation that they should     was the gift that Jesus came to live and die   Bloomfield Monitor:
do another live nativity. In August of 2007,   for our sins. Tears came into many eyes
                                                                                                 When something so great happens in
First Trinity applied for a community          when Mary lifted baby Jesus high in the air
                                                                                                 our area, it needs to be announced—
outreach grant from the Lutheran Church        towards a twelve foot cross lighted in red,
                                                                                                 the beautiful Christmas pageant
Extension Fund-Nebraska Program with the       which hung above the stable. The sheep
                                                                                                 sponsored by Bloomfield Trinity Church.
idea of presenting another live nativity.      cried out, the choir sang and came to
                                                                                                 Our small area put on this awesome
Before the congregation got word of            worship the child in the manger. Once all
                                                                                                 Christmas pageant to portray the birth
receiving the grant, they decided to go        who were in attendance had their candles
                                                                                                 of the Christ Child. Bloomfield is one of
ahead with the project. The reception of       lit, the spotlights went out and the whole
                                                                                                 the first to do this. The magic of this
the grant permitted many things to happen      community sang “Joy to the World” and
                                                                                                 pageant was the scenery, the live
to the glory of God: angel costumes were       “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
                                                                                                 animals and people. It went together so
made; other costumes were rented from a
                                                                                                 well. It took place in the Harm & Tulleys
costume shop; a large sound system was
                                                                                                 building—this is a large building and it
rented; ladies started to plan how many
                                                                                                 was real cold. The amazing Baby Jesus
cookies they would need to make; the
                                                                                                 was the real live baby of the father and
script, along with musical selections, cast,
                                                                                                 mother who played this part. Wow!
and work committees, came together
                                                                                                 Thanks to Pastor Fahr and all the
quickly; and advertising went throughout
                                                                                                 dedicated persons who made this
the community that First Trinity Lutheran
                                                                                                 possible. Merry Christmas.
Church was going to give a gift to the
                                                                                                 Signed Barb Harrom
community — a live presentation of The
Greatest Gift ever given to the world.                                                        So where do we go from here? The church
                                                                                              received a gift of $1,000 to God’s glory in
Things got exciting the last
                                                                                                              loving memory of a former
week of November. Five
                                                                                                              member whom the Lord
large Christmas trees
                                                                                                              called home. God is in
were cut down from T.H.E.
                                                                                                              charge, and His people are
Tree Farm south of town.
                                                                                                              already planning to share
The front of a chicken
                                                                                                              the story of the Savior’s birth
house was removed and
                                                                                                              one more time. God-willing,
the house was moved to
                                                                                                              there will be great weather
town. An outside speaker
                                                                                                              so that it can be given twice
system was set up so that
                                                                                                              — once in the afternoon and
Christ-centered Christmas
                                                                                                              again in the evening.
music could be heard by
those coming to the presentation.              The evening ended with hot chocolate,          For more information please call the
Everywhere in town there was talk about        coffee, cookies, and a lot of smiles and       church office at 402-373-4797. Thanks be
what was going to happen in the new barn       God’s blessings to those who were there.       to God for all His gifts given through LCEF,
at the fairgrounds.                            As they left the building, everyone received   His servants at First Trinity, and the people
                                               a Christmas card from First Trinity wishing    of the community who shared their love
Saturday morning, December 1, arrived.
                                               them a “Christ-centered Christmas.”            with us. To God alone goes all praise,
Some of the animals and the cast came
                                                                                              honor, and glory.
through icy roads to a cold barn to practice
the presentation. The baby who would play

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LA TRINIDAD—LEXINGTON AND NORTH PLATTE
Historia de la Navidad Presentada en Lexington
The Story of the Nativity Presented in Lexington
As Christians around the world celebrated         typical Hispanic dish
the birth of Jesus on December 25, the            to share, just as
children of La Trinidad in Lexington and the      those gathered
La Trinidad mission start in North Platte         shared their
joined together to share the nativity story       Christmas evening in
with family and friends. Six children from        worship and
the new Hispanic mission start in North           celebration. God
Platte and six children from La Trinidad in       gave another gift
Lexington joined together to retell the           that night as He sent
Christmas story to 50 family members and          a blanket of snow to
friends who gathered at the church in             cover the city and
Lexington.                                        give those leaving
                                                  the service a white
The ladies of Lexington made the
                                                  Christmas!
costumes for Mary, Joseph, the angels, the
shepherds, the wise men, and the others
who told the story of God’s Gift for all
people.
Following the service, the families gathered
for fellowship and dinner in the church
fellowship hall. Every family brought a




HEARTLAND RURAL MINISTRY CONFERENCE
Reaching Rural America for Christ
The inaugural Rural/Small                                                   Dr. Ralph Geisler,   The participants met in breakout groups to
Town Conference sponsored                                                   the new interim      discuss ways in which they can be a
by Saint Paul Institute for                                                 director for Saint   mission outpost to the 50% or more in their
Education (SPIFE) was held                                                  Paul Institute for   communities who are not connected to
November 8-10 at the Arbor                                                  Education,           Jesus Christ or a Christian church.
Day Farm - Lied Lodge &                                                     commented that,
Conference Center in                                                        “the sixty-eight     Dr. Geisler reports that those gathered
Nebraska City.                                                              LCMS pastors         asked SPIFE to plan another Rural/Small
                                                                            and lay leaders      Town Heartland Conference in 2008. More
Forty-four rural/small town                                                 came from            information on the planning of this
congregations from nine                                                     congregations in     conference will be shared when it is
LCMS districts gathered to:                                                 communities with     available.

• Celebrate their                                                           15,000
     common heritage               The Nebraska Group that Attended         population or
                                                                           less, and where
• Survey their ever-changing culture and        many of the members make their living
     examine its impact on rural/small          from agri-business and extraction
     town communities                           industries of forestry, mining, and fishing.
                                                The LCMS Heartland Districts have 2,509
• Build a network for leadership training       congregations, with 1,640 that fit the
     and ministry support                       rural/small town definition.”
•   Investigate stewardship attitudes and
    maximum resources
                                                                                                       Listening to the Presentation
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                                                                                             HEAR THEIR STORIES

WORD OF LIFE MISSION START, MALCOLM/LINCOLN
Sent Out Into the Mission Field
“So after they had fasted and prayed, they      The Oettings have received mission                   group of 34 people met in a room above
placed their hands on them and sent them        training through Mission Planters Institute          the Willman Hardware Store to organize St.
off.” Acts 13:3                                 at the Center for U.S. Missions at                   Paul Lutheran Church. The upper room of
                                                Concordia University in Irvine, California.          the hardware store had been the site for a
On January 13, 2008, while Lutheran             The financial generosity of the Nebraska             group of dedicated Lutheran Christians to
churches around the world were observing        District – LCMS                                                          gather for several
the Baptism of Jesus, St. Paul Lutheran         congregations made it                                                    months. Some of
Church of Malcolm, Nebraska, joined them        possible for the                                                         them were members
by conducting a sending service for Vicar       District to grant funds                                                  of the former Trinity
Larry Oetting and a band of St. Paul            to help this new                                                         Lutheran Church,
members to go and make disciples in the         church plant get                                                         located 2 ½ miles
new Fallbrook Village community of              established in its                                                       northwest of
northwest Lincoln. St. Paul Pastor Craig        mission field.                                                           Malcolm. God had
Whitson called upon congregational                                                                                       given them the vision
members to place their hands on Vicar           Vicar Oetting is                                                         for a Lutheran
Larry and Kitty Oetting and those who were      receiving his pastoral                                                   congregation in
being sent as he fervently prayed to the        training through                                                         Malcolm.
Holy Spirit for the Lord’s will to be done      DELTO, which is a
                                                                                       Vicar Larry and Kitty Oetting
with this new mission start.                    means for providing                                                            Many years earlier, in
                                                off-campus education to seminary students               the early 1880’s, Pastor Koenig and
The Holy Spirit gave St. Paul members and       who have been admitted to a certificate                 members of Trinity, rural Malcolm, had
Pastor Whitson the vision for this church       program. The DELTO program addresses                    been used by the Lord to help a group of
plant in 2005. They are providing a             the needs and opportunities for pastoral                Lutherans in Lincoln plant Trinity Lutheran
vicarage for Larry Oetting through the          ministry in specialized situations. It                  Church in that city. And again, as the
LCMS Distance Education Leading to              provides contextual theological education               1920’s began, God used Trinity, rural
Ordination (DELTO) Program of Concordia         leading to ordination for men who provide               Malcolm members to birth St. Paul
Seminary in St. Louis. Vicar Oetting - better   supervised pastoral or missionary service               Lutheran Church. Sadly, Trinity, rural
known around the Seward and Lincoln             to new mission starts or congregations                  Malcolm, lost her wonderful country church
area as Coach or Dr. Oetting from his           without full-time pastors. DELTO will be                building to a fire, which was rebuilt with
football coaching and                                               replaced this fall with             love and dedication while the mission zeal
teaching days at                                                    the Specific Ministry               for the birth of St. Paul, Malcolm,
Concordia University, is                                            Pastor Program that                 continued.
following the call of the                                           was established by the
Holy Spirit into a                                                  2007 LCMS convention.               And now, on January 13, 2008, when St.
mission-planting                                                                                        Paul Lutheran Church is only 14 years from
pastoral ministry. Vicar                                            On that Sunday,                     being in mission for 100 years, the Lord
Oetting and his wife                                                President Sommerfeld                has chosen to use this congregation of 349
Kitty are gathering the                                             preached on Matthew                 members in a town of 447 people to send
mission start group at                                              28:16-20 and reminded               forth those who will plant Word of Life
their apartment in                                                  St. Paul members that               Lutheran Mission to make disciples in His
northwest Lincoln.                                                  on January 8, 1922, in              mission field of northwest Lincoln. Thanks
                                                                    Malcolm, Nebraska, a                be to God!



                                        Some weeks ago, Pastor Ricky Jacob at Jesus Our Savior
                                Lutheran Outreach in Winnebago spoke with one of their preschool
     “Dad, we                   graduate’s father. This father told Pastor Jacob how a teacher at the
                                public school said that she can tell which students have attended the
    didn’t pray                 Lutheran preschool because these students are much more attentive.
                                        He went on to say that his son reminds him when they don't
                                pray. The son will say, "Dad, we didn't pray yet today," so they pray at
    yet today!”                 bedtime. What a wonderful little missionary!



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          MEET OUR MISSIONARIES
                                                                                            HEAR THEIR STORIES

1C—MISSION START IN COLUMBUS
Fellowship Meetings a Blessing to Many
1C, the new mission start of Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, began public fellowship meetings on Sunday, January 13. Below are
accounts of these first gatherings by members of the mission start.
By Jerry Steger, Mission Planter                  By a Launch Team member
What an amazing day we had yesterday              I invited a co-worker to 1C who just went
(January 13) at our first public fellowship. It   through a divorce. His three children are in
was a Spirit-filled (goose bump) time. The        the middle of the divorce. He came to 1C
Lord brought friends of the 1C—we were            with his children and was astonished. His
expecting them. The Lord brought guests           11 year old daughter began crying at one
to the 1C—those we personally invited.            point and his other daughter put in a
And…the Lord brought us visitors—those            prayer request for her mother to find
who came at the Lord’s leading, who we            happiness. She could not believe her
were ready for, but met for the first time.       request was prayed for openly. The
Oh, my, what a joy to reach out and               youngest, a boy around five, was dancing
welcome those 165 that He brought.                and clapping. All three children were
                                                  begging to come back next week. He told
It was a humbling morning. The Word of            all three that they would be back, even if
God was proclaimed; our prayers were              he had to come and pick them up at their
heard; the greeters worked; the band              mother's house. The children were so
worked (rocked); the graphics worked; the         excited that they were convincing the
sound worked; the prayers worked; the             mother to come. Powerful stuff. It's
teaching worked; the room worked; the             amazing that even though the focus all
coffee, tea, and hot chocolate worked; the        along has been the 20-30 something
Hershey candy bars worked; the heating            group, 11-year-olds are brought to tears. As
worked; the weather worked; and it was all
                                                  for the father, "I found a second home."
done to the glory of God. Thank you Lord!
                                                  1C is touching a broad spectrum of people,
I’ve got to tell you, one of our rural            young and old alike. To date, the Lord has
churches stopped right in the middle of           blessed the stewardship of the launch
their service at 10:30 and prayed for the         team and those supporting this mission
1C. How cool is that? Thank you again for         start in that all funds used to plant this
all of your encouragement and prayers.            church have been donated without the
The second public fellowship welcomed             mission plant incurring any debt. Praise be
175 people, many of them new faces and            to God for His great goodness!
some of them returning faces from the             1C is now holding public fellowship
week before. God is blessing this mission         meetings each week at 10:30 a.m. in the
start and using it as an outreach tool to the     Westgate Center at 3405 21st Street, in
disconnected and unchurced people in the          Columbus. Please keep this new mission
community.                                        start in your prayers.


Reverend Richard Boring works with the ministries of the Nebraska District. He is available to visit with you about
existing or developing ministry opportunities across the District. He is also available to help coordinate a servant
event between your congregation’s group and a ministry in Nebraska. Reverend Boring is available via phone or
email to answer any questions you may have. He may be reached at the Nebraska District Office at 888-643-2961
or richb@ndlcms.org.

    The Mission of the Nebraska District is to resource congregations, leaders, and related organizations in their
                mission of discipling the saved and proclaiming Christ to a lost and changing world.

    NEBRASKA DISTRICT LCMS * PO Box 407 * 152 S Columbia Ave. * Seward, NE 68434 * Phone: 1-888-643-2961 * Fax: 1-402-643-2990

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                                                                                               HEAR THEIR STORIES

EQUIPPED FOR OUTREACH
Lies That Hinder Us From Witnessing from Lutheran Hour Ministries
If you have a desire to share your faith but don't, you might be buying into a lie. The enemy uses lies to keep us from sharing the Gospel with
others. It is important that we seek out God's truth - from His word - to be set free from lies and to share the Gospel without restraint.
Here are three commonly believed lies and, more importantly, the truth that comes from God:

Lie #1: I am not worthy to share the             Lie #2: I should be ashamed to share the                  Lie #3: I'm not knowledgeable enough to
Gospel message.                                  Gospel with my friend or family member                    share. I won't have all the answers.
The truth: You have been chosen to               because they know my past failures - they                 The truth: You don't need a degree to be a
proclaim the wonderful acts of God: "You         know I'm not perfect.                                     witness of Christ. He has done amazing
are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a                                                                 things in your life. All you need to do is go
holy nation, a people belonging to God,          The truth: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,            and tell your story of what He has done for
that you may declare the praises of him          he is a new creation; the old has gone, the               you. He is so good! And, just by having a
who called you out of darkness into his          new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)                       couple verses highlighted and ready, you
wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9) If God chose     Through Christ's forgiveness, you are a                   will have the whole story ready to tell!
you, you are certainly good enough to            new person. You once lived in darkness                    The Gospel: "We were therefore buried
share the Gospel!                                but Christ brought you into His glorious                  with him through baptism into death in
Remember: "I can do everything through           light. This is the greatest testimony of all! If          order that, just as Christ was raised from
him who gives me strength." (Philippians         you can be a new person, they certainly                   the dead through the glory of the Father,
4:13)                                            can too!                                                  we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).
                                                 Remember: It's not about you or your                      When they say, "Wow, I want what you
                                                 shortcomings: It is about God's goodness.                 have. How do I get that?," you can reply:
                                                 Take the spotlight away from you and point                "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is
                                                 it to Christ. Because of Christ, we no longer             Lord,' and believe in your heart that God
                                                 need to live in shame and neither do they!                raised him from the dead, you will be
                                                 "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but            saved. For it is with your heart that you
                                                 a spirit of power, of love and of self-                   believe and are justified, and it is with your
                                                 discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)                              mouth that you confess and are
                                                                                                           saved." (Romans 10:9 -10)
                                                                                                           Do not believe these lies that you are
                                                                                                           unworthy or unable to share the Gospel

FAN INTO FLAME                                                                                             message of Jesus Christ. God has given us
                                                                                                           the power and has given us His Spirit that
                                                                                                           is with us always, making all things
                                                                                                           possible: "With man this is impossible, but
Nebraska to Participate in 2008                                                                            with God all things are possible." (Matthew
                                                                                                           19:26)

As you may already know, the Ablaze!             neighborhoods, workplaces, or                                   mission outreach projects you
movement is the bold initiative sparked by       families about the love of Jesus             LCMS World             designate. This campaign will also
LCMS World Mission within The Lutheran           doesn’t cost anything, but                     Mission                 provide money to the Nebraska
Church—Missouri Synod to share the Good          Fan into Flame is designed                     National                  District for designated
News of Jesus with 100 million people by         to provide resources for        District                                   mission projects, as well as
                                                                                                 20%
the year 2017, the 500th anniversary of          outreach in places             Missions                                     LCMS World Mission for
the Reformation. The mission fields in your                                       15%                                         national and
                                                 where we can’t go.
                                                                                                                 al on




community, the nation, and internationally                                                                                    international projects.
                                                                                                      50 ion issi




                                                 The unique structure of
                                                                                                          rn ld M




are ripe to hear of Jesus.                                                    Congregations
                                                 this campaign allows                                                          More information on Fan
                                                                                                               r
                                                                                                    I n Wo




Fan into Flame is a fund raising campaign        funds to be used                 15%                                          into Flame will be sent to
                                                                                                            at
                                                                                                         %
                                                                                                         S




throughout the Synod in support of the           wherever there are                                                           church offices and shared
                                                                                                       te
                                                                                                 M
                                                                                              LC




Ablaze! movement. This campaign is to            mission opportunities. A                                                   in future District
provide funding, above regular gifts to the      percentage of the new                                                    publications. Please pray for
Synod, for mission opportunities in all of       money the Holy Spirit moves                                             God to use us in this
the mission fields where they occur.             your congregation to raise will                                         important outreach movement
                                                 be returned to you for local                                            to build His kingdom.
Telling people we interact with in our                                                Distribution of Funds
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                                                                                      HEAR THEIR STORIES

PEACE, GRAND ISLAND
                                                                                          YOUTH MINISTRY
Eight Confirmations and a Baptism
                                                Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island       Youth Gathering in Orlando and discovered
                                                celebrated a unique Rite of                 that three of the six youth attending the
                                                Confirmation on December 16, when           event from Peace would not be
                                                eight high school youth representing        participating in Holy Communion during the
                                                grades 9-12 affirmed their faith before     Tuesday night worship service, because
                                                the congregation.                           they had not finished Confirmation
                                                                                            instruction or were not members of the
                                                Before the Rite of Confirmation was
                                                                                            LCMS.
                                                celebrated, one of the youth was also
                                                blessed in Holy Baptism. The group          Once returning to Grand Island, research
                                                consisted of six youth who were not         turned up a number of youth who had
                                                able to complete the traditional            “fallen through the cracks,” and plans
                                                Confirmation ministry by the end of         began to formulate to create a high school
                                                their eighth grade year, and two youth      Confirmation process. The eight youth
                                                who have been involved in the church’s      underwent instruction with DCE Eliason
Confirmands (from left to right): Cody          youth ministry but are not connected to     covering the six chief parts of Luther’s
Hahn, Jay Hahn, Kelsi Swartzbaugh,              the congregation through their family.      Small Catechism.
Jennifer Jorgensen, Noland Forsythe (also
baptized), Alyssa Johnson, Brooke               The genesis of the class occurred when      Pastor Michael Reiners officiated with the
                                                the new Director of Youth Ministry, DCE     assistance of DCE Eliason and Lay Minister
VanderHamm, and Billy Keeling
                                                Carl Eliason, attended the National         Jason Probasco.




LCMS WORLD MISSION
Christmas in Thailand by Rev. Robert and Diana Hedtke
December was a busy month! Once again we were reminded of what happened so many years ago by
the Christmas pageant acted out by the children of Bang Na!
                                                                                                   Please Pray With Us
                                                          Christmas was also enjoyed at the two    •   As we give thanks for all
                                                           churches with special services and          the children sharing the
                                                                     celebrations.                     Gospel with us.
                                                                                                   •   For all those coming to
                                                                                                       volunteer in January, Deb
                                                                                                       Schademann and those
                                                                                                       special visitors from
                                                                                                       Glidden, Iowa, the Wilsons.
                                                                                                   •   For safe travel for those
Familiar Christmas hymns were played by
                                                                                                       coming and while we
     two very talented young ladies.
                                                                                                       travel around Thailand
                                              Concordia Phong Phet                                     visiting our outreach areas.
                                                                                                   •   Thanksgiving for the
                                                                                                       progress of the Gospel.
                                                                                                   •   Thanksgiving for those
                               It was a wonderful time! The
                               children love to share their                                            thinking about coming to
                               gifts with others through                                               Thailand as volunteers!
                               acting, music, and dancing.            Into Light Lutheran Church


7
          MEET OUR MISSIONARIES
                                                                                              HEAR THEIR STORIES

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS—SHARE CHRIST
Soul Sisters in Christ By Pauline Niederklein
God did a very special thing last June            When Sarah stood up, I could see she was
during my time attending the Lutheran             very pregnant. At once I asked if she was
Women’s Missionary League Convention in           feeling okay and if it was hard for her to
Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I was walking          climb stairs, because at the convention
along in the convention center and there,         center there were many stairs to climb to
sitting all by herself, was a very young-         be able to seat 5,000 people.
looking Sudanese woman.
                                                  It was very interesting to watch the
At once, the Holy Spirit said, “Pauline, you      people’s reactions when I would put my
want to do mission work. Go to her and            arms around Sarah to give her a hug – and
make her feel welcome and                         we did a lot of that!
comfortable.” (My being a nurse and
having a love for people made it no               She is truly a beautiful child of God. She
                                                  would talk about walking for days to church
problem at all.)
                                                  to worship, about her family, her personal
I walked over to her and introduced myself        life, and so many things. I was so honored
by name. I asked her name, and she                and privileged to have God place Sarah in
replied, “Sarah.”                                 my path for those few days that we shared
                                                  together.
I said, “Sarah, are you alone?”
                                                  Then, the most wonderful thing happened.
“Yes,” she replied.                               In December, Sarah asked if I would come
“I would like for you to be with me,” I told      to her baby’s Baptism in Lincoln. There
her. She had this wonderful smile and her         wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would
deep, dark brown eyes just shone with             attend that precious event. I also took my
love. I knew that instant we would be soul        husband Leroy, daughter Renae, and her
sisters.                                          daughter Nicole. God truly has blessed me.



CAMP LUTHER, SCHUYLER
Let the Children Come — 100 of Them! By Hank Rausch
    Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Summer Camp can be a great tool for               disciples when they tried to tell the children     need: families who experience loss of jobs
outreach. Camp Luther of Nebraska, Inc.,          and parents to leave Jesus alone, this             or benefits, families in crisis, families who
the only LCMS camp in the Nebraska                program is aimed at helping bring 100 new          just need something special in their lives,
District, is excited about a new program to       campers to camp this summer. While                 or unchurched families who need to hear
help give 100 children the summer camp            children who attend Camp Luther’s                  the Good News of Jesus. The new campers
experience of their lives!                        summer programs have lots of fun boating,          can be from unchurched families if the
                                                                hiking, doing arts and crafts,       application comes through the church.
Congregations and Lutheran                                      and all the other typical            Time after time, we at Camp Luther hear
schools of the District will                                    camp activities, they also           stories of children “infecting” the home
have the opportunity to                                         experience an awesome                with what they learn at summer camp.
recommend children who                                          summer staff of dedicated
would probably never be                                         young Christians, many               Many of the members of our summer
able to afford coming to                                        preparing for church work.           ministry team for 2008 are former summer
camp but would benefit                                                                               campers who point to the influence their
from the experience. These                                     In addition, daily Bible study,       summer camp cabin leader had on their
children would be                                              indoor and outdoor worship            life, which is why they have chosen to go
considered for significant                                     experiences, Time Alone               into church work themselves.
funding to be provided to them to attend          With God, and much more make a huge
the summer camp program of their choice.          impact on many of their lives.                     Watch your mail for a special mailing about
                                                                                                     this exciting new program. If you can’t wait,
Under the banner of “Let the Children             Congregations and Lutheran schools can             call the camp office at 402-352-5655 to
Come,” based on Jesus’ words to His               use this program to reach out to families in       learn more.

8
         MEET OUR MISSIONARIES
                                                                                           HEAR THEIR STORIES

SWEDE VALLEY LUTHERAN CHURCH (ASHBY), HYANNIS
A New Congregation Joins the Nebraska District
Swede Valley Lutheran Church of Ashby, in      Vicar Andrew Safarik under the supervision      Such a review took place, and the Swede
the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska, was       of Pastor David Dobbertien. Vicar Safarik       Valley mission became a member
received into membership in The Lutheran       formerly served as a Director of Christian      congregation of Synod at the Nebraska
Church—Missouri Synod on Sunday,               Education in African American ministry in       District Board meeting on September 14,
January 20.                                    Omaha. As the Lord worked a call for Vicar      2007. Upon approval, the congregation is
                                               Safarik to become a pastor, He chose to         welcomed into the Synod, signs the
What a joyous day of celebration!              give Andy and his family an amazing             Constitution of Synod, and commits itself
Congregational President Bill Baker,           transition of ministry environment from         to accepting without reservation:
Secretary Josephine Davis, Pastor David        Omaha to the ranches of the Sandhills.
Dobbertien, and Vicar Andrew Safarik                                                           1. The Scriptures of the Old and the New
signed the constitution of the Synod on                                                        Testament as the written Word of God and
behalf of Swede Valley. The little church                                                      the only rule and norm of faith and of
nestled in the hills south of Highway 2                                                        practice;
between Hyannis and Bingham was filled
with members and visitors of all ages as                                                       2. All the Symbolical Books of the
snow flurries drifted down on the cold                                                         Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and
snow-covered meadows.                                                                          unadulterated statement and exposition of
                                                                                               the Word of God, to wit: the three
The Swede Valley Lutheran congregation                                                         Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed,
was a mission for many years that                                                              the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed),
benefited from financial support for                                                           the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the
Sandhills Ministry from the congregations                                                      Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the
of the Nebraska District – LCMS. Pastor                                                        Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of
Lloyd Lenz labored first as a lay minister                                                     Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and
and then as a pastor to provide strong                                                         the Formula of Concord.
Lutheran ministry in the Hyannis, Swede      Vicar Andrew Safarik, Pastor David Dobbertien,
Valley, and Bingham area. He and his wife                                                      To this point in the 2006-2009 triennium,
                                                Cong. Secretary Josephine Davis, Cong.
Gladys were in attendance on January 20                                                        two congregations in the Nebraska District
                                             President Bill Baker, President Russ Sommerfeld
to give thanks to the Lord for Swede                                                           have been received into membership in the
Valley’s reception into the Synod.             Congregations who are received into The         Synod – the Sudanese Evangelical
                                               Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod submit           Lutheran Church in Mission of Omaha, and
The Swede Valley congregation, Bingham         their constitution and bylaws to the District   Swede Valley Lutheran Church of Ashby.
Lutheran Church, and Faith Lutheran            Constitution Committee and Board of             God be praised for our new partners in the
Mission of Hyannis are all served by DELTO     Directors for Scriptural and polity review.     Gospel mission of our Synod!



    PLEASE PRAY FOR US
New Mission Starts
  1C, Columbus, and Word of Life, Lincoln, as they share the message of the saving Gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use
    them to reach out into their communities to connect with the unchurched and disconnected.
Hispanic Ministry
  La Trinidad, Lexington and North Platte: Pray for Pastor Hormachea as he shepherds the flock at Lexington and works to
    minister through the new mission start in North Platte.
  Cristo Cordero de Dios: Please ask the Lord to guide this congregation during its pastoral vacancy and the calling
    process.
Sudanese Ministry
  Rev. John Deang: Prayers of thanksgiving for the safe return of Pastor Deang from Sudan at the end of January.
Campus Ministry
  Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha, and Wayne: Please pray that the Lord will use these ministries to reach the 75—80% of students
    who do not regularly attend church.
Missionaries in the Congregations
  Members of the Nebraska District: Please ask the Lord of the Harvest to equip and embolden His people of the Nebraska
    District to build relationships and invite their neighbors, co-workers, and family members into a relationship with Jesus.

9

				
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