Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mission Central

Saturday after Advent 2
December 12, 2009

The Lord be with you

Hark, the voice of Jesus crying,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting—
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth;
Rich reward He offers thee.
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I, send me, send me”?
(LSB 826)

I’ve always loved this hymn. Throughout it the writer Daniel March holds up the idea that each of us can be a missionary. The final verse begins, “Let none hear you idly saying, ‘There is nothing I can do’.” Yet that is often how we can feel. If you sometimes feel like this, let me encourage you to contact Mr Gary W. Thies, director of Mission Central.

Back in 1994 Gary left his banking job and became the first LCMS Mission Development Counselor. In that roll he coordinates prayer and financial support for missionaries and mission projects around the world. His base of operations is “Mission Central,” located in Iowa.

I can not even begin to count the souls that have been brought to Christ, or strengthen in their Christian Faith, because of the work of Gary and the team at Mission Central. Support can range from a few dollars to as much as only people like Bill Gates can think of as “reasonable.” Each year Kitty and I select a project and “give” it to each other as a Christmas present. This year we are giving Bibles for Ethiopia. These Bibles (only $6.00 a piece) will be for the Hadiyya and Kambaata people, who are “begging” for Bibles in their own language. You can learn more by going to the Mission Central website, project # 710-61002. There are projects and missionaries all around the world.

This is a picture of Gary, his wife Maxine, and his mother Haze (who still volunteers). Yes, those are overalls they are wearing. The overalls remind them that they are working in the fields.

Blessings in Christ
Pastor John Rickert

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