By Paula Schlueter Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Is there anything that God — and the estimated 250,000 members of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League — can’t do?
The two, it seems, are a force to be reckoned with, especially in recent weeks as the LWML announced that it not only has met its record-setting 2013-15 mission goal of $1.83 million, but it has surpassed it by more than $19,000!
As of April 27, the total for the biennium stood at $1,849,178.96. But one LWML district’s March “mites” — or contributions — still need to be counted, so that figure is expected to increase.
“What a blessing it is to see again how the LWML has stepped out in faith, knowing that God would provide for our every need,” said LWML President Kay Kreklau. “And indeed He has, as He has not only gifted us in reaching our goal, but to once again exceed that goal. To Him be all honor and glory!”
Just six weeks earlier, on March 5, LWML leaders had asked members to pray because 11 of the 18 mission projects the LCMS women’s auxiliary had pledged to support still required full or partial funding before the end of the fiscal biennium on March 31.
After the announcement of the shortfall, a good number of districts and individual donors responded with additional contributions.
“As I heard the good news that we had met our goal, I thought back to a few days earlier as I was praying for the LWML mission grants,” Kreklau said. “I knew God would answer our prayers for the mission goal, but I also knew that my will may not be His will and that God’s plan is always the better plan.
“He is faithful! In that faithfulness He has answered our requests to fully fund all the mission grants we chose for the 2013-15 biennium with a resounding ‘yes!’ Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
Those 18 projects to receive LWML funding from the current mission goal include:
- training K-9 Comfort Dogs for LCMS chaplains to use in their ministries.
- providing Lutheran children’s books in Southeast Asia.
- helping to rebuild a Lutheran school — and constructing permanent housing — in Haiti.
- distributing Bible-story books to deaf children in places such as Kenya and India.
- preparing Native American Lutheran ministry leaders.
- strengthening and expanding U.S. campus ministries.
The Rev. Bart Day, interim chief mission officer for the Synod and executive director of the Office of National Mission, believes “the Lord has richly blessed” the LWML.
“It is wonderful to hear that they have exceeded their mission goal for the past biennium,” Day told Reporter. “These powerful mites are helping spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
“The Synod’s work has been multiplied a hundredfold because of these dollars,” he added. “We thank the Lord for these dedicated women of mission in our church who continue to give sacrificially for the sake of the Gospel.”
For more than seven decades, members of the organization have used cardboard “mite boxes” to collect spare pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters — and larger contributions — that together total more than $100 million for Missouri Synod mission work, both in the United States and worldwide. That total also includes money raised by each of the LWML’s 40 districts to fund their own biennial mission projects.
Every two years thousands of members attend a national LWML convention to choose a new mission goal and as many mission projects as they can fund with those dollars. This year’s convention is planned for June 25-28 in Des Moines, Iowa, under the theme “Bountiful! Sow • Nourish • Reap.”
Any mite offerings over the current biennium’s $1.83 million mission goal — as well as all mites donated from April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2017 — will go toward meeting the soon-to-be-adopted 2015-17 mission goal.
Donations also may be given via the LWML website at lwml.org (go to “Giving,” then “Donate Online”), where tabs are available for mission gifts as well as the endowment fund (earnings are used to train and equip LWML leaders, provide programming and “carry out the LWML mission”) and Joyful Response® (an electronic, automated method for contributions).
Also available on the website (go to “Giving,” then “Giving Plans”) is information about planned giving and Web-based opportunities to earn dollars for LWML through Goodsearch (goodsearch.com), AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) and the Thrivent Choice Dollars program from Thrivent Financial (thrivent.com/thriventchoice).
As she approaches her last LWML convention as president after the maximum four-year term, Kreklau says it’s exciting to see “how amazing” God is “as He uses coins and bills, along with larger gifts, to see to it that the lost and the erring hear His Word and that many are brought into eternal fellowship with Him.”
Posted April 27, 2015