Healing! In the Fall, and particularly at our 105th anniversary, we were collecting funds for the needed health care of the Tanzanian church leader, Toto, who is also Dan Harms’ “adopted” son. At Christmas time Dan returned once more to Rwanda and Tanzania for mission work and to check in with his “son” Toto. The above picture is a testimony to Toto’s health and well-being, and a testimony to the value and effectiveness of the congregation’s care and generosity. Our collection enabled Toto to receive the medical care that helped him survive. I find this picture of Toto and his family to be one of Thanksgiving and Hope, to and for us all.
Good Gifts! At the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service, during the children’s message, and with the children’s encouragement, it was decided that in the Spirit of God’s gift to us in the Christ Child, we would send “good gifts” (ELCA good gifts: God’s Global Barnyard) to those in need in Africa.
As a symbol and a pledge to do so, the children all set various animals around the Christ Child in our Creche Scene. We have fulfilled that promise by taking a portion of the evening’s offering gifts ($500) and sending one fish farm, 2 goats, 3 pigs, a hive of honey bees, a clutch of chicks, and 2 roosters through the ELCA Good Gifts program to help families break out of the cycle of hunger and poverty.
We give thanks for the inspiration of our children and for the hopeful, helpful support of their families. It is the light of Christ living in and among us.
– January 10, 2019