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Global Mission Update: A Lenten Request (February 2013)
As we begin this season of Lent, our thoughts are fixed on Christ and His mercy for us upon the cross. The GOOD NEWS is that Christ was crucified, died and was buried and on the third day rose again from the dead for you, for me and for all who live in this world broken by sin and death.
Few hymns capture the magnitude of what Christ did for us like this one:
Christ, the life of all the living, / Christ, the death of death, our foe,
Who, Thyself for me once giving / To the darkest depths of woe:
Through Thy suff’rings, death, and merit / I eternal life inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, / Dearest Jesus, unto Thee. (LSB 420)
This is the GOOD NEWS of hope that carries our work in word and deed into every dark corner of this world, to those who suffer, to those who have no hope, to those who fear the future. I continue to be amazed at the generosity and outpouring of support to those in need following Superstorm Sandy. Thank you again. Our director of LCMS Disaster Response recently shared this report to update the Synod on the ongoing work following Sandy:
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, people all across our Synod are joining hands to touch hurting lives with Christ’s compassionate care. Urgent pleas for material, financial and spiritual resources are being met across the stricken Northeast. Within hours of the storm, teams from the LCMS national office, districts and local congregations spread out to assess damages. It was a rapid response made possible by many generous gifts flowing in from individuals, congregations and groups all over our Synod. Beyond responding to people’s physical needs, the national team, together with district staff, addressed spiritual and emotional trauma by making pastoral-care visits in homes and along streets. Many who were severely affected by Sandy told us that we were the first to check on them, pray with them and listen to their stories of the storm’s severity and its effects. Because of your generosity, we are positioned to sustain our mercy work long after other relief groups have moved on. What I call our “Lutheran Accompaniment” will continue in the weeks, months and years to come in response to this “once-in-a-lifetime” disaster.
Your giving has been and continues to be a blessing! There is a challenge, however: a great majority of giving in late 2012 was restricted to disaster-relief efforts, and the generosity toward this disaster affected the support for our national and international mission work. I am bold to ask you for a gift to the Global Mission Fund to support our life together as together we share the Gospel through acts of witness and mercy, nationally and internationally. You have shown we can count on you. I do count on you.
All gifts – $50, $100, $500 – as God leads you to give are vitally important. Please use the enclosed response form to speed your gift out into the world to support Christ-focused acts of mercy and witness. Please give as our Lord leads, as He blesses.
Finally, I have watched our tremendous staff in amazement. I would be honored to have you come to our offices or visit our work anywhere in the world. Our staff is made up of intensely faithful people. They are conscientious, creative, tremendously professional and good stewards of resources. They know how to work hard, and they care about people in the Name of Christ.
Hope in Christ is ours!
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod
PS: Read the full disaster update in the 2013 January/February issue of Lutherans Engage the World, online at www.lcms.org/lutheransengage.