Immanuel Lutheran Church
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." So writes the Apostle, Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:6. This verse became personal to me as I was part of the youth mission trip in early June. During our week in Sisseton, South Dakota, we served the Native American community in many ways painting homes and school classrooms, providing a day camp for children, and visiting seniors in nursing homes.
The group I was working with started the week scraping and painting a home of a Native American family. We finished one side of the house and about half of another side. There was a sense of accomplishment at the work we completed but a desire to see the whole job finished. The next few days others picked up where we left off. By the end of the week the house was 95% done. There was just a little bit of high work that they needed an extra tall ladder to get to that couldnt be finished that week. But another group of people would be coming to be part of the YouthWorks ministry the following week, and we have confidence that they would complete the project.
This painting project was a very tangible illustration of how God works through people to do ministry. We each have a little role to play. None of us can do everything. We depend on one another and ultimately on God for the results.
We saw that also with the children who were part of Kids Club. Youth-Works has been active in Sisseton for 17 years, so the community is familiar with Kids Club. The kids loved it. They were so excited to be part of this VBS type program. Many of them had participated in previous years and were very eager to be part of it again. Our group was the first group of the summer in Sisseton. Other groups from other churches of many denominations will be there throughout the summer. So the children of Sisseton can participate in Kids Club all summer long.
What an impact that makes on these kids! What an impact that makes on the community! What an impact it makes on each of the youth and adult leaders who come into this community as Gods hands and feet sharing Gods love! The cumulative effect of the work we do in Gods name is powerful. But none of us does it alone. We are part of a bigger team Gods Holy Christian Church on Earth each playing our part in living out Gods plan.
While we were on the trip I got the news that Shannon Lindgrens mother, Diane Stelton, had died.
Diane had been an active member of the Methodist church in St. Croix Falls, but the family wanted to hold the funeral at Immanuel and they wanted the retired pastor that knew Diane well to be part of the service. So our congregation hosted the funeral. Pastor Mark Peacock and I co-officiated. Our congregation offered hospitality to many family members and friends who we had never met, but who came to hear Gods message of salvation in their time of grief. To my knowledge Diane had not set foot in this church during her life, but she brought many people here in her death.
How powerful that is! What an outreach! What a privilege it is to commend Diane to Gods eternal care, to open our doors to many visitors and proclaim the gospel of Gods love and salvation.
Being part of Gods church is like being part of a relay race, where we take turns running our lap and handing off the baton to the next runner. We may never get to see the final results, but we run our lap to the best of our ability and trust God for the results. To God be the glory!
In Christs service,