Psalm 145:1-3— “I will exalt you, my God and King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”
I am grateful. Grateful for the fellowship of believers who make up the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. Grateful that we can depend on each other and know that our dependence on God is our anchor.
Clearly, our stewardship appeals were heard by our Church body. The response for the fiscal year 2014-15 was amazing. Once again God has demonstrated his grace through the provision that he made possible for us in the final month of our 2014-15 fiscal year. God is good, and we are so thankful for the people of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren who responded to God’s prompting.
The April response was especially strong in the “Where Needed Most” (undesignated giving) category. That enabled us to shift funds into those individual ministries that were lagging in their progress toward their goal. As a result, we were able to achieve a high level of contribution support in every ministry. I thank you for entrusting us with this method of funding our ministries.
Recently, I attended the Central Region Biennial Convention. Here are a few of my impressions:
• The testimony of Jeremy and Sallee Stanton: I was blessed as they spoke of the unrest in their hearts, and then the Lord’s leading as they felt the call to become involved in our LBIM work at the Welcome Center in Chad, Africa.
• A conversation with a youth leader: She had attended a large college but had decided to take a year off to work at her home church. She wants to serve.
• The business session: We were privileged to hear a report about how our Regional Pastors are serving. It was encouraging to hear how the congregations want to support this ministry that is so needed in our Regions.
• Sunday morning: President Paul Larson spoke to us about the Church as a whole. It is not all about numbers—not in money or people in the pews—but about what is in each of our hearts. Through each individual prayer and each individual gift, we become one. Our shared ministry through the Church of the Lutheran Brethren—this is what binds us together.
On a personal note, I recently stopped by my farm, where I saw a bountiful crop of wheat growing. I am always reminded, as I look on the fields, that it is not just wheat that will be harvested. It is each person who needs salvation. Only through the grace and love of God is that possible. The harvest is plentiful.
Your faithful giving has brought the Gospel to villages in Chad, to the Hakka people of Taiwan, and to people in Japan. Your giving has sent Faith & Fellowship magazine into thousands of homes, encouraging and resourcing Christians who live as salt and light in their communities. Your giving has trained pastors and missionaries who teach the inerrancy of Scripture and proclaim Jesus Christ as the only road to salvation.
Thank you for sharing the love of God through your gifts.
LaWayne Rogness serves the CLB as Director of Finance and Personnel.