Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church
Christ to the Nations — Lutheran Hour Ministries develops culturally relevant programs and projects that proclaim the Gospel to the unchurched, encouraging those people who are reached through these ministry efforts to respond by contacting staff or volunteers.
Nations to the Church — Lutheran Hour Ministries then cultivates relationships with those who respond to ultimately facilitate a relationship between them and a congregation, thus helping grow the kingdom of God.
The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into His harvest field. Mathew 9:37-38.
LHM – Uganda reports that they have been reliving this verse, as they went out witnessing to a diverse audience of non-believer resident in Kampala’s large slums of Kamwokya, Ggaba, and Kisugu. These comprised street vendors, hawkers, street kids, drunkards and prostitutes entrenched in drug abuse, prostitution, theft etc.
Amazingly, as they shared with these people, it was evident many of them were willing to change and give-up their old ways to embrace the new life in Christ Jesus, with the help of prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon!
This allowed an opportunity to witness to them about the unchanging love of Christ; who loves us anyway and does not judge us. What better way to tell of God’s unending love than through His great love story where God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to come live in this filthy world and later die to take away our sin.
This was better understood through the Jesus film, which attracted over 1200 people generating over 800 responses. They came forward to tell about how the program had impacted their lives. They were willing to provide their names and contact for follow-up.
Indeed the Lord of the harvest is ready to work, if only we determine to move.
Ltheran Hour Ministries – your partner in International Outreach!
To God be the glory,
Thanks to Harvey and Joanne, for all you do with the Lutheran Hour Ministry.
He had only the best intentions when he went behind his daughter's back regarding his grandchildren. But his son-in-law didn't take too kindly to his interference. Now he isn't welcome in their home. For the time being his daughter still answers his phone calls. He apologizes every time, but she says they can't trust him. He's walking on egg shells -- afraid he'll say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, look the wrong way, and the separation will become permanent, and he'll never see his grandchildren again.
He asked if I had any ideas. I gave some advice on how to slowly rebuild their trust. I told him to be careful what he said and how he acted the next time they spoke. Then he asked if I thought there was a chance the estrangement wouldn't end. From my experience I had to tell him there are times it doesn't. His face was downcast when he muttered, "I feel so helpless. There's nothing I can do."
I tried to help him step back and look at the bigger picture. I reminded him God is at work, trying to bring them back together. And even if his worst fears are realized, even if they never reconnect in this life, he can take comfort that God will bring perfect reconciliation between believers when life is over and we are together in heaven. With all barriers removed, we will live in perfect harmony and joy forever. I reminded him too that God is bringing people into their lives to bring them to faith.
Then he floored me: "I don't believe in God and all those things you are talking about. God had nothing to do with this. It was my fault, and I have to fix it." The pain and anguish in his voice really cut through me.
All I could do was say a quick, silent prayer; then I witnessed to him. I told him God is in the reconciliation business. That's why He sent His Son -- when we were estranged from Him by our sins, Jesus Christ came to save us, to restore our relationship with God our Father. Jesus even took our guilt and sin on Himself and suffered in our place to turn away God's wrath from all we do to offend Him.
But Jesus wasn't only reconciling us to God. He was reconciling us to each other. I reminded him that God would keep working on his daughter and son-in-law's heart. I encouraged him to pray and read the Bible.
He didn't seem to be feeling any better when we parted, which made me wonder, and pray, what more could I have said? What more should I have said?
Saying or doing something that can't be undone can have some major consequences in this world. Even with honorable intentions, things backfire -- sometimes with both barrels.
Have you been on either side of a family estrangement? What advice would you give if your friend was this father? How about if your friend was his daughter or son-in-law?
Life after Delivery
Here's an interesting thought I came across recently: in a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?"
The other replied, "Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later."
"Nonsense," said the first. "There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?"
The second said, "I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can't understand now."
The first replied, "That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded."
The second insisted, "Well, I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here. Maybe we won't need this physical cord anymore."
The first replied, "Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere."
"Well, I don't know," said the second, "but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us."
The first replied "Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That's laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?"
The second said, "She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist." Said the first: "Well, I don't see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn't exist."
To which the second replied, "Sometimes, when you're in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above."
The life and care of mothers is so typical of what we can enjoy with the love and care of God. Maybe we don't realize that God is all around us. But when we rest and focus on the peace of our life we can get that blessing in our hearts and minds and enjoy His loving voice, calling down from above.
Love and Blessings to all,
Harvey and Joanne Emery,
your LHM Ambassadors