When we started up the Cross The World woodshop in 2011, our goal was to make and distribute crosses to 340,000 people (at that time, 340,000 represented the daily worldwide birthrate). We hoped (and continue to hope) that our efforts would introduce or reunite 1% of the 340,000 to God, so they could know His love, feel His presence and come to believe in Him.
And, because of you, the wonderful disciples of our CTW family, 2016 has been a monumental year for us; two terrific events happened. Over 35,000 of these compact little crosses were given away and, more amazing, the number of crosses distributed since we began reached 170,000! Hallelujah … we’re halfway to our goal!!! We are very excited to see how God has blessed our family members and the recipients of the cross. While we have a record of where our crosses have been sent or delivered, we will never know just how many miles they will ultimately travel in their life. We know our crosses were recently sent to Argentina and Malawi, Africa and that they will be traveling to Burma next month but, again, we can only imagine how many miles their journey will see.
I wondered how many miles we could come up with given the information we did have. So, I started calculating the mileage these crosses would accumulate enmass as they begin their journey here in our woodshop. To date, we’ve created 170,000 crosses, each one being born from a 6.5” piece of wood. Calculating (and if my math is wrong, don’t flog me as I am NOT a mathematician AND I will gladly accept the correct calculations!), these 170,000 crosses equal an impressive distance of 17.5 miles. And, that’s before they’re shipped to you to begin the second chapter of their incredible life … WOW!
Since 2011, we have shared awesome testimonials about the impact these pocket crosses have had on people’s lives; all of us at Cross The World are so blessed to play such a teeny tiny role in God’s big plan. We know our crosses have traveled many, many miles in their search to comfort hurting souls. As Ernie and I drive to our neighboring town (which is almost exactly 17.5 miles from our house), I imagine a line of our little wooden crosses, laying end to end like Christian soldiers, along the side of the road, waiting to be picked up and placed in the eager hands of people hungry for God’s love. We encourage you to imagine the crosses lining the shoulder of the road you’re traveling on … and, although shorter, to think about the distance Jesus struggled to carry His cross to Golgotha, His last act of love for us and how hungry we are for Him. Both images will be a humbling experience.
Recently, Immanuel Lutheran Church in neighboring Crosby requested some crosses to be taken on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa. This church has supported the Malawi Orphan Care Project, which is an organization that helps to support the Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministry of Malawi, for many years. This ministry currently helps to feed over 300 orphans in 19 villages, orphans due to losing one or both parents usually to AIDS or malaria.
Immanuel Lutheran Church has answered the call for support by hosting fundraisers, silent auctions, etc. every year. This summer, in one fundraiser, they were able to raise $35,000 through their efforts. What a blessing to give to the orphans at the Care Ministry and what a dedication to serving our Lord!
Here’s what they had to say about their visit there:
‘490 crosses were delivered this past week to Malawi, Africa. The children were so pleased to each receive one. We are one of 6 churches around the country who support these children. We have helped build wells for them and also helped to start their chicken business to sell eggs in the village. Many from Immanuel have been there to do the labor. Two gals are coming back this week from sharing in our sponsored “daughter’s”, Stella, graduation which a bunch from Immanuel paid for her schooling. She is coming back to the village to help with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that makes so many orphans. We love these happy children who have so little. Thank you for helping!’
For more information about Malawi Orphan Care Project, please visit www.malawiorphancareproject.org.
In November, our CTW family was busy! Here’s where our crosses traveled:
Aurdal Lutheran Church – Portland, ND
Hope Lutheran Church – Fargo, ND
Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ
Immanuel Lutheran Church – Walker, MN
Immanuel Lutheran Church – Crosby, MN for mission work in Malawi, Africa
Darlene – MN
Cindy – TX
My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN
We thank you for your service to our Lord!
And, here are testimonials from some of our family members:
Thank you for all the crosses. I enjoy doing this mission of keeping God’s love visible one cross at a time! God’s blessings and my hugs. Darlene, MN
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I need to share the blessing from your obedience as servants doing God’s work. We have one more bible study left for the fall quarter. Each woman in our table group received a cross at their spot today. They were very appreciative. I had taken some extra and told them to feel free to take more and the box is almost empty. Just as the tomb was empty HE is not here, just as HE said. HE is being spread right from here to whomever GOD chooses. It is so exciting. Thank you for your love. In Christ, Pam, WA
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Several months ago, I purchased 700 crosses from your company. I thought I would let you know where they are going. I am one of the youth leaders at Community Lutheran Church here in Las Vegas. Our youth group has been doing a lot of community outreach. We have a huge number of homeless people here. Our kids came up with the “Matthew Kits” idea (based on the scripture verse Matthew 25:35-40) and it has been well received by our church. These bags are filled with hygiene products, snacks, a bottle of water, list of services available and maybe a new pair of socks or a new T-shirt. They are handed out to anyone that needs some help. Our congregants welcomed this option because some of them were not comfortable just handing out money. Each bag has one of your crosses in it. Blessings. Nelly, Community Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, NV
(JoAn’s note: These kits are made available to the congregants to put in their cars; the congregants are asked to pass them out to anyone they see in need. So far, over 3600 Matthew Kits have been passed out. What a successful and loving venture in God’s name. You are to be congratulated! Thank you!!!)
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The ember story…. I have always had a strong faith….but now I KNOW I don’t want to be that lone ember. I am so blessed that I received your cross and card today. That is a true miracle from Him, I am in recovery from several issues and every single thing I read in your site had to be put there by Him to be found by me today to save me just like I have been praying for, especially last night!!!!! I DO believe I WAS drowning! Melanie
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A lady at my church gave me the cross and told the story and we knew right away we would like to share the crosses with those who attend my daughter’s wedding in April, 2017. We weren’t going to give out gifts at the wedding, but when we saw the crosses, we knew in our hearts we would be remiss if we didn’t. Their wedding is to glorify God and it is one week before Easter. Thank you for all you do. We feel so blessed. Holly, WA
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Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.
This Christmas may you experience the simplicity, peace and genuine joy only Christ brings.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Cross The World.