For more than a decade, Deacon Tom (Ioway) and Deaconess Cathy (Cherokee) Benzler have served the Lord on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Based in Port Angeles, Tom and Cathy work primarily with the Klallam People of The Lower Elwah Reservation but over the years have expanded to serve a number of other tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
In addition to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through home Bible study and prayer groups, Tom and Cathy have ministered to the physical needs of their “flock” through Hope House which provides food, clothing, and a variety of supplies for those in need (through donations from generous donors like you).
"It is amazing how God has provided over the years," Cathy explains. "We'll receive clothes or supplies that we don't think we need and then shortly after we'll have someone ask for that exact item. God knows best!"
Tom and Cathy work tirelessly for the Native peoples on the Peninsula and have used their ministry training skills and talents to reach out to individuals in communities who have been victims of abuse, helping them to strip off the shame they feel in order to see themselves as the child of God the Creator made them to be.
But all good things must come to an end. At Lutheran Indian Ministries' most recent staff retreat, Tom and Cathy announced their plans to retire. Tom officially retired in December 2017, and Cathy will join him in retirement at the end of June 2018.
The Olympic Peninsula has been richly blessed by Tom and Cathy, as have each of us. Their love of the Lord and their passion for Native peoples is on display in every moment of their lives. We will miss them tremendously.
But, this is not the end of Hope House! Tom and Cathy have been working with Ben and Natalie Maxson in Neah Bay to transition the ministry to become a part of the Makah Lutheran Church activities.
We give thanks and praise to God for Tom and Cathy Benzler. We feel honored and blessed to have been able to work alongside such faithful and dedicated servants!
“Well done thou good and faithful servants.”
May the Lord bless you and keep you always as you enjoy your retirement years together. Enjoy your next adventure!