Monday, August 27, 2012

DEVOTION: (Jesus said) "Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." Luke 10:36-37

A week or so ago, two stories came out of Texas. They are as different as different can be.

The first has to do with Staff Sergeant Chad Staples. Staples, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, had taken a bullet to protect a wounded comrade. That bullet left Staples paralyzed at the waist.

Recently, Staples was left stranded on the third floor of a Best Western Hotel. A power outage had put the elevator out of commission, so Staples called the front desk and asked for help in getting his bags and wheelchair down the stairs.

Rather than assisting, the clerk laughed. Sad story.

The second story is that of Xander Veno. Recently, four-year-old Veno saw a little girl struggling at the deep end of a swimming pool. He swam to her and held her head up, so she wouldn't drown. Exhausted by his efforts, Veno dropped to the bottom of the pool and was soon comatose.

The girl is in reasonable condition; but Xander Veno died at the hospital.

As I said, those two stories are as dissimilar as night and day. As far as I can tell, they have only one thing in common.

Each tells of how a person reacted when they were put into an unexpected situation. As you have seen, one person did well, and the other did not.

The same conclusion can be drawn in Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan. When confronted with an opportunity to serve, the Samaritan passed with flying colors, while the religious leaders crashed and burned.

This leads me to ask, how will you do when the Lord drops an unexpected opportunity in your lap? What is the cost you are willing to pay? How much inconvenience will you endure?

I know how far Chad Staples was willing to go. He sacrificed his legs and was willing to offer his life for a comrade. I know how far Xander Veno was willing to go.

Most importantly, I know how far the Savior went. Jesus gave His life for all of humanity. It's true; Jesus came into this world to offer up His life as the ransom that had to be paid if sinners were to be saved. He gave His all for those who didn't want, appreciate or applaud Him.

So the question remains: as someone who has been blessed by Jesus' sacrifice, how far would you go to show your appreciation and help someone else?

It's something worth thinking about, before the unexpected arrives.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are some who are heroes and some who are not, some who do what is right and others who prefer not to be disturbed in their wrongdoing. As Your saved children, allow us to show our thankful hearts by doing what is right. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

Thursday's QUIZ: Who is the Righteous Branch that Jeremiah is speaking of in Jeremiah 23:5?  Jesus
Dianne Hance and  Bob Nitzschke got it right. 
TODAy'S QUIZ: (2 part question)
Who was Irijah son of Shelemiah and what did he do to Jeremiah?
Question: How has Christ rescued you from the power of the devil?
Christ has completely conquered the devil.  Therefore the devil can no longer accuse me of my sins, and I can resist temptations. 
Tues- quilting 9am-2pm; Bible study 11:30-12:15; PRAYER GROUP MEETS 6:30pm
Wed- Youth Group meets at 6pm in youth room, pizza and soda provided;  BE THERE!
Sat- worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; worship 11am 
It will be a very simple time to lift each other up, and to lift up our church in prayer.  We will be gin with a devotion, have discussion about the situations and people that need our prayer, pray for them and go home refreshed and knowing that our Lord God is with us and caring for our needs. 
We are going to clean out the youth room, reorganize it, play some video games and maybe some air hockey or foosball, get a little basketball going outside, eat some pizza, and do a little Bible study!  
Right now I have two possible helpers if schedules can be worked out.  I could use at least one or two more!  Let me know if you are interested!!

As many of you know, CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) does an after school program called "Good News Club".   The change to all elementary schools being preschool-5th grade has created an opportunity for us (St. John's) to host a GNC at Rebecca Boone.  CEF has leaders in place to help us get started (They would eventually step out of the way and let us take over fully.)  What we need is two or three volunteers, who like working with kids and want to see more of them come to Christ, to be a part of this exciting opportunity. 
Please call me at 359-1061 to let me know if you are interested!!
SAVE THE DATE:   Partners in Christ Married Couples Weekend Retreat
Immanuel Lutheran St. Charles invites you and your spouse along with other married couples throughout the Missouri District to the Partners in Christ Married Couples Weekend Retreat on  Oct. 12-13, 2012.  It is an updated regional adaptation of the former LCMS MO. District "Strands" weekend. It is designed for Christian Couples to get away from daily distractions, spend quality time together, rekindle romance, and celebrate our partnerships (with your Spouse, with Christ and with the other Christian Couples attending). The event will start with a "Meet and Greet" and build up to an "Old Fashioned Church Hall Wedding Reception"(Remember your special day?). Check out more details on Immanuel's Web site at
Projectors NEEDED for this weekend!!!
I still need people to sign up for the projector.  Here are the openings for the next few weeks:
 Sept 2- 8:30-                    11am-
Sept 9- 11am-
Sept 16-  11am-
Sept 23- 8:30-     
Sept 30- 8:30-                    11am-

What a great opportunity to support a mission right here!  If you don't want to do the golf outing, but you still want to help Little Lambs just put a check in the offering plate that is specifically designated to Little Lambs.  They start school on August 16.  
For MARY AUBUCHON who is hospitalized with severe eye pain.
For PAUL BRENDEL, Barb Dreyer's dad) who is recovering from internal bleeding.
For RAYMOND, son of Lillian Winter, who is having surgery this week.
For DONNA HEITGERD who is having surgery this week.
For CLYDE SPRICK, grandfather of Shawn and Sierra Jaeger, who is dealing with sever cancer complications.
For SIERRA JAEGER, as she recovers from pneumonia.
For BRENDA, daughter of Cal and Betty Tameler, who is dealing with complications and a fever after her hysterectomy.
For DOLORES DEBLAZE as she has two more days of radiation left. 
For Denise Schlesselman's grandma, DOROTHY SCHLESSELMAN, as the spinal tap the doctors did revealed an unidentified virus.  
For ERNA VANHORN who is recovering well from surgery at Delmar Gardens
For BILL MCKENZIE as he recovers from a stroke at home.   
For JOYCE SCHIEN as she recovers from a stroke.  She is at the DePaul rehab hospital.
For BOB LAMPEN, Karin Klaustermeier's dad, as his treatment is doing some good, and as he is starting a new treatment for his liver cancer.
For JEANETTE KOEHLER as she reocvers from vascular surgery to relieve pain and help with circulation in her foot and as she works hard to get back home.
For ALL OF OUR FARMERS AND ALL WHO DEPEND ON THE LAND AND ON RAIN, that God would provide for their needs even during this drought.   

Letter from Mike and Ann Wade

Good Morning Folks,
As many of you know , for many years we have supported a missionary couple, Mike and and Ann Wade.  Below is a letter from them detailing what has been going on in their lives.  Enjoy!


  The Wade Report

       from Mike and Ann Wade

              Working among the Dungan

                      people of Kyrgyzstan

                  via the TSMS and the LCMS



August, 2012


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


When Mike and I were farming, we enjoyed having lunch together and timing it so we could catch Paul Harvey's  radio program, The Rest of the Story.  There was always a break between the beginning and end of the story.  We told you in a newsletter in May about Hussein, one of our soybean farmers, and his daughter Fatima.  She had gotten married our first weekend back here in the early spring.  Things seemed fine at first but with time, she stopped eating, talking and seemed to be at times nearly paralyzed , she was so immobile.  Eventually the groom and his family brought her back to her father's house and left her.  Everyone had concluded she was demon possessed.  Since Hussein is one of our soybean farmers and a friend, he told Kip about her, and Kip offered for us to come pray for her. 


Hussein said he wanted to first continue a treatment he had already begun of taking her for daily prayers at a mosque.  The attending imam ( the Muslim equivalent of a pastor) was thought to be able to cast out evil spirits.  After weeks of this at several mosques and different imams with no results, Hussein called Kip.  On the fourth day of our praying for her, she fell asleep while we were praying.  Hussein came into the room and read the Bible, which was laying on a chair open to the gospel of John.  We left not knowing if we were doing any good but believing we were doing what God wanted us to do. Up to this point she had made improvements every day but was still far from normal.        


When she woke from her nap after we left, her parents found she was her old self.  She got up and ate and drank and talked and even laughed.  Kip explained to Hussein that he and Fatima and their household needed to give Jesus the glory as God's Son for this miracle.  He read him the passage in  Matt. 12: 43-45 about how if a house is swept clean but left empty, a demon will return and bring more with them.  Even though Hussein and his wife were thrilled at the healing of their daughter, they wanted to give Jesus the credit as the great prophet talked about in the Koran, not as the Son of God.  Hussein could not imagine leaving Islam.  He agreed to read the gospel of John but told Kip he could not talk any longer right then because he had a group of men and his imam coming for a special meal and reading of the Koran at his house in preparation for the fasting month.  When Kip came back the next day, Hussein told him that during the special event at his house the night before, his daughter returned to the state she had been in before we had started praying for her.  He asked Kip if we would come pray for her again.  Kip said he wanted our team to pray about that and give him an answer in a few days.  After several days of prayer, we all felt that there was no point in praying for her if they were unable to accept Christ as the divine Healer and Son of God.  In the mean time, Hussein read the gospel of John but said that to him it just seemed like a biography. He still felt that Jesus was a great prophet as described in the Koran but not God's Son. 


Weeks passed and his daughters' condition seemed to worsen.  Her husband and his family came and got her and took her to a different imam who was suppose to be able to cast out demons.  Again their efforts failed and they brought her back to her parents.  Finally Hussein took her to a Russian woman  known to use spells  to undo any evil spell cast on her by someone else.  These practitioners do not pray or use the name of Jesus or Satan either, though we have to think this is certainly a work that involves the aid of the devil since God is not called upon.  Fatima began to improve and after  a number  of expensive treatments, she was back to able to function normally again. 


What do we make of all this?  Really, it seems like that would have been the worst thing that could have happened.  Instead of God being given the glory, what we would call a witch doctor at worst or a charlatan at best was given the glory.  We had all prayed for Hussein not to call Kip if it was not God's desire for us to be involved.  On the day she was healed, her parents were immediately talking about other cases they knew of that needed help. We had often wondered if it would not take miracles for the Dungan to be open to Christ.  For  a few hours it seemed that God was going to use this as our means of reaching the Dungan and God being able to demonstrate the power of prayer in the name of Jesus.  We thought we were seeing a miracle that came straight out of the New Testament.  Did Satan win because Hussein rejected Jesus as the Son of God? Perhaps.  Was there something going on different from what we could see or comprehend?  Maybe.  We just don't know.  What we do know is how difficult it is for a devout Muslim to see Jesus as the Son of God, no matter how clearly the power of  His name is demonstrated.  Even though this all looks bad at the moment, we still realize God has the power to write a different "rest of the story".  We ask for your prayers for Hussein and his family to all come to faith.  We know God can take the words of the gospel that he read and bring him to faith.


This experience has convicted us anew of the urgency for prayer.  We do not know when or how God will bring the Dungan to faith.  We know that He called us here and that He is ever faithful.  We really appreciated a visit last week from our area team leader, missionary Jon Muhly.  God has blessed Jon with that characteristic precious gift in a pastor to be able to encourage His followers.  Kip and Ivy have been encouraged by a book on prayer by a man who was a missionary in India.  They have passed it on to us and we are also encouraged by his words and stories about how God moves through prayer. 


We are convinced that it is only with lots of prayer that the hearts of the Dungan will become open to the truth of Jesus as the Son of God who can offer them salvation.  Could you, your family, your Bible class, your church, commit to daily prayer for the Dungan? Pray that God will enable us to have the words He wants us to speak about Him and that He will create opportunities for us to respond to questions people ask us about our faith in a way that makes their hearts burn.  Pray too for our witness, that we will all live lives that reflect the love of Christ in all we say and do. 


Mike has our computer programed so that when he calls up the weather report here, it shows the weather in the midwest at home as well.  So we have followed how you  have suffered a terrible summer of drought and heat.  We know for some of you, this means no crop or a poor crop.  Even as we ask you to pray for us, we want you to know that we pray for you too.  Our most frequent prayer is for God to bless you.  Sometimes, His blessings we have learned from personal experience, do not come in the form we had expected. And sometimes they do not seem like blessings at all at the time.  But over the years, He has given us so much evidence of His goodness and love, of His faithfulness and His personal interest in us that it has become easier to trust that He is blessing you just as He is blessing us.  May we all be able to count our blessings every day.



22 Ovcharova Street, Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan

Due to the sensitive nature of our work, please ask our permission before sharing this with others. Thank you!