“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” - Psalm 121:1-2
Greetings from the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan! My wife Brenda and I are here this week assisting our AFLC Home Missions department and Abiding Word Lutheran Church of Felch, Michigan, as they present special meetings promoting, “Hope for North Dickinson,” the community surrounding Felch, and we have much to be hopeful about!
Looking back on this month, we are hopeful after meeting with those who attended this year’s Summer Institute of Theology, August 2nd-7th. Beside the excellent and practical classes, it was good to visit face to face (with masks) and hear how pastors and congregations are doing in these difficult times, and to share with them how Evangelism and Discipleship is looking to “serve, support, encourage and assist” them in doing evangelism and discipleship in their ministry.
It was great to follow that up with our postponed Annual Conference, August 10th-12th at the ARC and to once again gather with many of you in worship, prayer, and fellowship, as well as to discuss the days we are living in and how we see God at work in our various AFLC ministries. It was good to be able to visit with many of you as we shared some of the goals we have as your Evangelism and Discipleship department.
We received a lot of support and encouragement for our plans to expand our Speaker/Teacher Database to include over 50 men and women who will be available not only for evangelistic meetings, but also deeper life, men’s, women’s, and youth gatherings.
We also received many positive responses to our desire to work more closely with our sister ministries, partnering with them in serving our AFLC family, like we are doing this week in Upper Michigan.
We were also glad to share our desire to develop new Free Lutheran-specific resources, like our partnering with AFLC pastor and author, Scott Stroud in developing a “how to” guide for churches looking to do jail or prison ministry. Pastor Stroud, who came to Christ as a young man in prison, has recently written, Get Out for Good: a practical biblical guide for released prisoners and their families. The book gives practical directions to those coming out of jail or prison with a faith in God on how to continue to grow in their faith in Christ and to “stay out for good”. It also includes advice to families on how to best support their loved one who is or has been in prison.
These are just some of the things we are working on to assist and support our AFLC Church family, and we look forward to sharing more about these and other areas we are working on during September, AFLC Evangelism and Discipleship promotion month for 2020. Be sure to look for materials that will be sent out to our church family in the coming weeks, including a brand new 1-minute video that we hope our congregations will share during their worship service next month.
One of my big takeaways from this busy month has been that even during these trying times, we can have a solid hope that is not shaken, and is in fact a source of great strength as we are confronted by the difficulties of our day. In Psalm 121 it says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” The truth is that we all have been looking to the “hills” that surround us, and wondering, “where will my help come from?” And as the systems and philosophies of man have failed us over and over again in recent months, many have no hope as to how to answer this question. “Where does my help come from?”
For those who place their faith and trust in Christ, there is a solid answer that is intended to strengthen and encourage: “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” My prayer is that by faith in Jesus Christ, you have confident assurance that not only are your sins forgiven and you know the promise of eternal life, but that He who made the heavens and the earth is your unshakeable hope.
In His Love,
Pastor Randy Nelson
(L) Special Meetings, Abiding Word Lutheran Church, Felch, MI
(R) Outdoor Service, Hope Free Lutheran Church, Ishpeming, MI
Thank you again for your partnership in this ministry. Please know that we are praying for you and your congregation and if we can be of assistance, please contact me at email@example.com, or call my office at (763) 412-2021. I’d be glad to visit with you to see how we might help you in sharing the Good News and teaching others to live as disciples of Jesus.
AFLC Evangelism & Discipleship Finances
2020 YTD Receipts through 7/31 $57,029
2020 YTD Budget through 7/31 $87,730 ($30,701)
Monthly Receipts for July 2020 $7,534
Monthly Budget $12,533 ($4,999)
AFLC Evangelism and Discipleship
3110 E. Medicine Lake Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55441
Thank you so much.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." – Matthew 28:19-20