Recently representatives from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), based in Macomb, MI, carried our crosses, along with Bibles and other materials, with them on a mission trip to Gambela, Ethiopia. The mission of this foundation is to translate, publish, distribute and introduce Christian books of a Lutheran conviction, helping to point people to Jesus. These publications are currently in about 100 languages and 83 countries around the world.
One of the many things they did while there was providing Lutheran theological books to the library of the Mekane Yesus Seminary, including a translation of the ACG (A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories). This was the first new material provided for the Sunday school children since the 1920s or 30s so everyone was thrilled to receive the new copies!
They visited local schools and churches; they spoke to pastors and translators, distributing Christian materials to them. Sadly, due to the violence in this country, the representative group was not able to visit any of the refugee camps (which house approximately 245,000 Sudanese total); also due to the dangers, they reported there are no missionaries currently in the region.
Here are some pictures of the materials distribution:
Approximately 3500 pastors lined up in the hot sun, eager to receive their copy of the Book of Concord:
The churches they visited are built of bamboo which doesn’t keep much rain or dust out but they were filled to capacity, with refugees sitting on a dirt floor covered by plastic. The singing, they said, was infectious and constant, despite the dire circumstances.
One of the representatives said:
‘There were around 20 children that sat for the duration and I had picked up a six foot stick on the way into the church and tied a wooden cross to the end of it. I used it for my lesson based on Hebrews 12 – “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus”. During the night, I had the phrase of a hymn running through my mind and I taught them the phrase – “I want to follow Jesus”. I had the children march around the church singing the phrase. We then distributed the little wooden 3” cross to all in attendance. I placed the processional cross in the front of the church and told them it would remind them “to follow Jesus”.’
Distribution of the crosses to the Sunday School:
Thank you to the representatives of LHF for sharing their trip experience with us. It is obvious, from the smiles on the faces, their visit, with our crosses, was well received!
When our relationships are born in the heart of God,
they bring out the best in us, for they are nurtured by love.
– Don Lessin
We welcome the following to our Cross The World family during the month of May:
Lutheran Heritage Foundation – Macomb, MI
Church of St. Joseph – St. Joseph, MN
Hope Presbyterian Church – Spicer, MN
Emily Wesleyan Church – Emily, MN
Carla – MN
Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Lakeview, MN for a mission trip to Dominican Republic and Honduras
Heritage Meadows – St. Peter, MN
Phyllis – MN
Good Samaritan Society – Carver, MN
Rev. Herb – MT
Jan – KS
Lakeview Covenant Church – Duluth, MN
Bill – MN
Don – MN
Phyllis – MN
We HAVE to tell you … You are truly wonderful! Because of you, our small wooden crosses are walking all over the world, bringing God’s love to many hungry hands and hearts. This spring, we have given away over 100,000 crosses and can’t begin to tell you how humbling (and thrilling!) this experience has been to us.
We also want to thank you for helping us continue our ministry through your generous monetary donations; we remain 100% funded by donations and rely on your kindness plus local volunteers to help us prepare the crosses for distribution. When you make a donation to Cross The World, please remember that it is tax deductible.
AGAIN, YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!! THANK YOU!!!!