spreading god's love Near and Far
St. John's congregation is always looking for ways to minister God's word to others.
Upcoming Haiti Mission Trip
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, I will be answering the call and going on my 5th mission trip to Les Cayes, Haiti, through GoServ Global. My group will consist of people from around Iowa–some I’ve been on trips with before and some newcomers. We will once again be doing work at the orphanages and villages in the Les Cayes area. We will return on Friday, Jan. 25. At this time I would like to ask for your prayers for myself and the team as we prepare for this journey, and for safe travels to the island to do God’s work. I don’t know what supplies our team will be collecting to take along, but as I have more information, I will announce it in church. I would also ask that you prayerfully consider helping me financially. I have placed the offering globe in the entrance to the church if you feel called to do so. If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask me. Thanks for all your continued support for my mission trips. – Jason Edeker
NALC Global Worker, Pastor James Puotyual speaks at Vilmar
On Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, St. John’s–Vilmar was blessed to have Pastor James Puotyual, a Global Worker of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), who will be leaving in January 2019, to serve in Word and Sacrament ministry with the South Sudanese refugees living in and around Gambella, Ethiopia. His ministry there will be a partnership between the NALC, the Lutheran Church of South Sudan, and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church-Menake Yesus. Vilmar was also blessed to have Pastor Jordan Long, President of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan, present during the morning worship service as well. Both spent time with the Sunday School and spoke during worship. Pastor James also assisted with portions of worship. St. John’s is thankful they were able to share first hand about their ministry.
Feed My Starving Children MobilePack Event
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church – Vilmar held a Feed My Starving Children MobilePack Event on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29, 2018. A total of 101,088 meals were packed and later shipped to Guatemala. Roughly 410 volunteers, ages 5-90, from 11+ congregations including individuals from all over the state, joined together in one great mission. This video doesn't even begin to scratch the surface at showing all the time and energy that was put into making this event possible. We have enjoyed the countless, heart-warming stories from all the different volunteers who took the time to be a part of this amazing mission with us, and we cannot thank you enough. Until all are fed...
At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, the Confirmation and Little Lutheran students began a mission project of sending boxes to Vilmar's military men and women. The congregation’s support was amazing, and we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who supplied items or gave monetary donations. A total of 19 boxes were sent to six of Vilmar’s soldiers. We received many thank yous from them for the boxes; some even expressed that they were so happy to share all the contents with their company, and how it lifted them up with the unexpected gifts. This project wouldn’t have been possible without all your contributions.
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.