Friday, September 25, 2015

Mercy for Body and Soul


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Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

It’s unprecedented.

For the first time in most of our lifetimes, there are more than 50 million refugees worldwide. That’s six times the population of New York City.

Many flee severe religious persecution. Others exit war-torn countries where there is little hope of peace or livelihood. We all have witnessed the gruesome executions of confessing Christians on our TVs and computer screens. The most recent news headlines report hundreds of thousands of people, from Africa and the Middle East, streaming into Europe. Our own country is experiencing a great influx of men, women and children coming from every corner of the planet, risking all to enter in hopes of a better life.

In recent weeks, the German government, taxing its infrastructure to the breaking point, has welcomed hundreds of thousands of these strangers into that country. The flood of refugees is stressing other European nations as well.

And there are more to come. Many, many more.

As Germany readies for some 800,000 more refugees, our partner church there, the Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche (SELK), is preparing to respond to the immediate physical needs — food, clothing, shelter — of these refugees and, with that, spiritual care centered on the Gospel.

As they do, the LCMS will be walking alongside them.

And this is just one reason why:

SELK Pastor Gottfried Martens has witnessed the conversion and baptisms of hundreds of former Muslims who are now active members of his Berlin congregation.

“Even though the challenges are enormous, we always experience that these refugees are a great blessing and encouragement for our faith," said Martens.

“We invite our brothers and sisters from the LCMS to our services, so that they can see with how much joy these former Muslims practice their faith and are strengthened by the body and blood of our Lord again and again,” he continued. “Thus our guests will experience the truth of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ together with us here: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me … as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matt. 25:35, 40).”

You can deliver this “body and soul” care to these strangers, the displaced Christians and other refugees, desperately fleeing violence, persecution and personal hardship.

In response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, we have established a unique fund that will enable us to provide the Gospel of Christ and His mercy when and where it is needed most, to whom it can help most:

Christ’s Care for the Persecuted & Displaced
Mercy for the Body and Soul

It is unprecedented — 50 million desperate people on the move worldwide.

May we, who have received the underserved and abundant mercy of Christ, be compelled to bear His mercy in body and soul to the persecuted and displaced as God enables us to will and to do.

Please join me now in coming alongside our German partners, and other partners in the future, as they care for so many strangers in their midst!

Your gift can help. May God grant it.

Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Prefer to give by check and U.S. mail?
Please make checks payable to: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (or, "LCMS")
Write Christ's Care for the Persecuted & Displaced in the memo line of the check or on an enclosed note.
Mail to:
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod | P.O. Box 66861 | St. Louis, MO | 63166-6861

Prefer to donate by credit card over the telephone? 
Call our toll-free Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438
Call our Donor Care Line or e-mail us:

 Thank you for sharing hope in Christ!
If you have questions about this email or need assistance, please contact the LCMS Church Information Center at 888-THE LCMS (843-5267) or

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