“Every good and perfect gift
is from above”
It wasn’t just the smell of turkey roasting in the oven or the sight of traditional decorations; the white linen tablecloths and centerpieces made of gold, the red mums, the yellow leaves sprinkled on the table as if they had fallen there by accident. And it wasn’t the warm glow of the candles as they burned or the little wax Pilgrim boy and girl who found their way to the table every year.
It was the gathering of family that I’ll never forget as we met at the parsonage next door to the church to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was the warm comfort of being with mom, dad, and my brothers, of spending time with dear aunts, uncles, and cousins that I was, and still am, most thankful for every Thanksgiving.
As a member of our family at Lutheran Indian Ministries, I want to share with you how much we have to be thankful for!
In September, our staff from around the country and Canada gathered together for our annual retreat in Green Lake, Wisconsin. It was a time to re-group and re-connect. The opportunities to pray, praise, and give thanks were everywhere. For us, it was an early Thanksgiving celebration!
Here are some highlights:
- We gave thanks for the 6 baptisms that took place at Teen Camp in Fairbanks, Alaska this summer (bringing the total to 18 over 3 years). We even had the opportunity to baptize one of our own at morning devotions!
- We gave thanks for programs like Celebrate Recovery and Sacred Ground that will enable our ministry team members to help Native peoples heal from historic trauma and overcome addictions in places like Haskell Indian Nations University and the Hawaiian Islands.
- We gave thanks for the volunteers that travel to Alaska, Navajo, and Neah Bay at their own expense so Native children can learn about Jesus’ love for them at Vacation Bible School.
- We gave thanks for the donations of food and clothing to the Hope House that encouraged our work with Native peoples on the Olympic Peninsula.
- We gave thanks for the opportunity to grow and add mission-minded people to the ministry.
- And we gave thanks for friends and partners like you!
We know that all good gifts come from heaven above. And we also know that God works through people… like you. Without you, the work of this ministry would simply not be possible.
Because of you…
- Tim Norton was ordained into the Holy Ministry in August.
- Clarence DeLude and Rick McCafferty are able to continue towards ordination.
- Ben Maxson was able to enroll in his pastoral training in the seminary’s SMP program.
- Bob Prue was able to complete his Deacon training and take over the Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry as Ministry Leader.
- Tom and Cathy Benzler were able to minister to the real needs of Native people on the Olympic Peninsula.
- Hundreds of lives, Native men, women, and children, were impacted and changed by the grace of God upon hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- In every place where we have missionaries, Native people are being discipled and mentored to proclaim their faith, as children of Christ, to their Native brothers and sisters.
Oh! How I wish you could have gathered with us in Green Lake to celebrate the thanksgiving that took place and to hear, first-hand, the gratitude our mission staff has for the support that you give them. Even so, your presence was felt by all because they know they can continue to share the Gospel message with their people, assured of your support!
By the grace of God and because of your passion for Native ministry, we have done so much! And yet, we know there is still so much more to do. With your help, we will answer God’s call to do more.
We are grateful for your gifts and thankful for your faithful presence and generosity to Lutheran Indian Ministries. Time and again you not only tell us but show us how important this work is. And, of course, we feel the same way. In fact, our Board of Directors and staff are so passionate about this work, they agreed to match the first $45,000 we receive this month!
As you give thanks for the family, friends, and blessings God has bestowed upon you, I am asking you to celebrate those blessings by making a generous gift to Lutheran Indian Ministries.
We praise God… and WE THANK YOU!
May God bless you and keep you always.
Tim Young Eagle (Pawnee)
Lutheran Indian Ministries
P.S. Your gifts have made a significant difference in the lives of Native peoples from Hawaii to Washington, from Alaska to New Mexico and Kansas.
Your gift today will make twice the impact as we continue the work that God has begun in you and our ministry staff. It not only sustains our work but encourages us to grow.
Ministry opportunities abound, and your gift is the flame that can ignite the fire!
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