During October and November our congregation will be working on filling shoeboxes full of gifts and personal hygiene items for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program. More information and instructions are available in the church bulletin and in the narthex. The shoeboxes will travel to children around the world in more than 100 countries. The shoebox distribution results in evangelism and discipleship. Pastors and trained volunteers host the shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ, orphanages, and other at-risk areas. “The Greatest Gift” a Gospel story booklet developed by Samaritan’s Purse is distributed with the shoeboxes. Thru this mission project boys and girls across the globe not only receive a Christmas gift but also have an opportunity to learn about Jesus!
Our December mission project is titled “Warm Hearts.” We will be collecting warm weather gear such as winter coats, gloves, scarves, etc. for men, women and children in need. The winter clothing items will be distributed locally, as well as thru Orphan Grain Train.
Each Sunday, the children collect “Noisy Offering” during the worship offering time. The collection of coins from churchgoers and the clinking sound made in the large metal bowl as the children drop what they’ve gathered bring smiles to both the children and the adults. This year the children of MLC Sunday School decided to begin sponsoring two children in need through the Compassion International Program with the funds collected thru the Noisy Offering.
Compassion International works in 25 countries around the world, partnering with local churches. At the Compassion Child Development Center ran by the local church and volunteers, a sponsored child is provided with Bible studies, health screenings, health and hygiene educations, games, community service opportunities, counseling, and school fees. The center staff will also provide meetings and parenting education for the parents or guardians of the sponsored child.
Our Sunday School children are sponsoring Milkah from Kenya and Lawrence from Uganda. They look forward to the relationship they will be building and the encouragement they provide Milkah and Lawrence who are half-way around the world! The Sunday School children also remember Milkah and Lawrence in their prayers!
MLC has been a long time supporter of the local BackPack programs at Johnson-Brock Public School and Johnson County Central School. The BackPack Program’s mission is to help alleviate child hunger in southeast Nebraska by providing hungry children with nutritious and easy to prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Martin Luther Church regularly supports the BackPack Program at different times of the year by designated offerings, proceeds from our annual consignment sale, and special projects; as well as by members’ volunteer time.
The “Sewing Ladies” are another proud organization of the church. They meet weekly except during the summer to sew, tie and/or quilt pieces of fabric together into beautiful blankets that are then sent through Lutheran World Relief to people in need, to local charity organizations, and to local care homes. These past several years, the ladies have graced our young people graduating from high school with blankets to take with them wherever they may venture, remembering along the way the warm memories of growing up in the Martin Luther Church family.