spreading god's love Near and Far
At St. John's we are always looking for ways to minister God's word to others.
The Confirmation students, Little Lutherans, and I presented the following two projects we have been working on this year to the congregation on Mission Sunday. For the first two weeks both classes were together on Wednesday nights. We started learning about the Armor of God and how we can use it in their everyday lives to keep the devil and sin away. Building off of that, I showed the kids a poster of Vilmar’s six current servicemen and women - some still in training, some overseas, and others stateside.
Then I passed a basket around the room. It was filled with toy army men. I asked them to pick out a soldier, take it home, and place it somewhere where they would see it everyday and remember to pray for not only Vilmar’s, but for our community’s servicemen and women, where ever they may be. The kids and I would like to ask you to do the same thing. In the narthex, we have the basket of toy army men. We encourage you to pick one up, place it in your home, and help us lift up our servicemen and women in prayer throughout the weeks to come.
About a week after I asked the kids to do this, I received a letter from Amy Fehlberg. Her son Dylan was recently deployed, and she was asking for donations to help send items overseas to the guys. She said some of the guys don’t have a lot of family or church support back home, and she would like to send as much as she can to Dylan so he can use the items and share them with his fellow troops.
So we have decided to begin a mission project with the goal of sending one package a month to Dylan for the remainder of the school year. We would ask you to consider helping us fill these boxes. We have lists of items that we are collecting; they are things that we know are OK to send. Those lists are on the table in the narthex. There is also a blue box on the table where you can leave the items. Also, we encourage you to write letters that we can send along. Those can be left in the blue box too.
It costs a little over $17 to send one box overseas. Since this is a youth mission project, we will be using the Parish Ed. account to pay for the postage, but we are also accepting monetary donations to help with the cost of sending the packages, if you would rather donate that way.
Since our presentation, the donations and support have been overwhelming. We want to thank you for your continued service and help. Rhonda, Aimee, and I thought it was very important to get the kids involved with helping others through these mission projects, and the congregation’s cooperation has been a great teaching lesson to show generosity to the kids.
Monica Edeker – Parish Ed. Director
Over the past few years, Vilmar has been supporting mission trips to Les Cayes, Haiti with GoServ Global.
• In October of 2012, six members of Vilmar (Pastor Mark, Jason Edeker, Warren Van Dyke, Robert Dralle, Tim Stoner, and Ken DeBower) embarked on a journey to the island.
• In June of 2014, Jason Edeker went again with a neighboring church from Nora Springs.
• In April of 2015, six members (Pastor Mark, Patty Walker, Jason Edeker, Robert Dralle, Margaret DeBower, and Jenise Westendorf) traveled to the island (left).
The groups work at the orphanages and villages in many different ways. A big project for many of the trips is to complete a Safe T Home (right), work on welding projects, work on the fish hatchery, and provide love and interaction with the children.
• Most recently, in January of 2017, Jason Edeker made his way back to the island. His mission was to help with clean-up and re-construction from destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in the fall of 2016.
Videos from each trip are displayed below.
Ron Salge also went on a mission trip to a northern region in Haiti, with a church from Hampton. They did a lot of manual concrete work and provided love and support to the orphans in that village.
Closer to home, members of the congregation spent time after the church service one Sunday writing letters and drawing/coloring pictures (center) for the shut-ins, the sick, and the servicemen in our congregation.