Home & World Missions

Let the little children come to me

Matthew 19:14A

Home Mission Support:

Yarmeto's Helping Hand Foundation

Albert Yarmeto was born in West Africa Liberia and came to America as a teenager. He returned to his homeland several years ago and was struck by not only the poverty but most of all by the lack of opportunity and education for children in this war-torn country. Using his own funds provided some food distribution for the children of the community. He has since formed a federally registered non-profit and purchased land on which he has built a distribution warehouse, from which volunteers give food and clothing supplies to needy families and provide basic education.

But Albert realized that it's not only bodies and minds that need care, but souls most of all. Everyone needs to hear the good news of Jesus because he is the only way to eternal life with God. With that eternal goal in mind, two Liberian volunteers, Tommy Naeyee and Peterson Ballah, have begun taking theological training classes through the TELL program, and we at Ascension Lutheran Church Of Plymouth have shipped Bible story lessons and Bibles so they can start instruction.

So they have capable teachers, they have a building to shelter them from the elements, they have Christ-centered materials from which to learn. To take things to the next level, they need some things that we so easily take for granted in the US: clean water (via a hand pump well) and a bathroom for the kids. All donations given to our VBS will go towards that goal. You can support this mission by giving online.

World Mission Support:

Ukrainian Lutheran Church

The Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC; Українська Лютеранська Церква), formerly called the Ukrainian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, is a Byzantine Rite Lutheran Church based in Ukraine. The Eastern Christian denomination consists of 25 congregations within Ukraine, serving over 2,500 members and runs Saint Sophia Ukrainian Lutheran Theological Seminary in Ternopil in Western Ukraine.
  • The ULC is a member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), a worldwide organization of confessional Lutheran church bodies of the same beliefs.

Aid Distribution in Ukraine:

  • As Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine, the effort to support WELS’ brothers and sisters in Ukraine has been blessed by our Lord Jesus. WELS has received more than $1.4 million from individuals and groups to support the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC), WELS’ sister church body in the Ukraine, and its efforts to help members and others affected by the conflict.
  • WELS has sent more than $300,000 in aid to Ukraine. Approximately $200,000 has been sent to the ULC (as it has requested it) for clothing, food, medicine, and other supplies. About $100,000 has been sent to Direct Relief, an organization equipped to provide emergency medical supplies to those remaining in Ukraine or who are refugees in Poland. As the conflict continues, and as needs arise, additional funding will be sent. WELS also is anticipating significant rebuilding costs when, Lord willing, the war ends.
  • Rev. Roger Neumann serves the Board for World Missions as the WELS liaison to Ukraine. He maintains regular contact with ULC leaders and provides updates about how the aid is being used and how doors are opening to share the gospel, even in trying circumstances.

MN District Home Missions

Hispanic Services and Mission Outreach in St. Paul, MN 

In spring of 2022, St John’s in St. Paul, MN installed Pastor Tim Otto to serve as pastor to focus on outreach to the Hispanic community.  Over the past year, San Juan (St. John’s) has started up Hispanic services and held various local community events.
In September 2023, San Juan had a table at Fiesta Latina.  It served to create a prospect list of around 100. The group gave away over 100 Bibles and a lot of flyers advertising their Hispanic ministry. This event was held next door to the church as CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) is located there.  St. John’s rents four classrooms to them. 
In January 2023, San Juan started an evangelism program to the community called Kicks and Conversations (in Spanish: Patear y Platicar). They invited the community to come out of the cold and to play soccer or basketball in the gym.  Attendees could also practice their English on six Wednesdays in January and February leading up to Ash Wednesday.  There was good participation as attendance from the community varied anywhere from 10 to 30.
Over the Summer months, San Juan started a summer evangelism program partnering with Raices y Ramas which is the Spanish version of the English pregnancy counseling organization New Day. The program is called Jueves en comunidad (Community Thursdays) and ran for 6 weeks over the Summer.   San Juan opened the gym and Anglo volunteers organize and run crafts for the moms. Advertising was done through Facebook, flyers, word of mouth, and WhatsApp.
God is truly blessing the ministry work at St. John’s in St. Paul, MN.  St. John’s went from a church that considered closing its doors a few years back to a church that has opened its doors and hearts to a new Hispanic ministry.  In St. John’s building the Gospel is preached in Hmong and English and now Spanish. St. John is an old church and they still follow Jesus’ same old command to Go and make disciples of ALL nations.

One of the members at St. John’s reflected that through the years when the congregation’s direction was unclear to them, she clung to that image of the valley of dry bones (Ez, 37) and God’s promise that He can create life where there is none. These days, the vision rests more in Revelation 7:9. What a joy to see God answer in greater fashion than we could ask or imagine: the building now hosts worship in 3 languages every weekend!

The Minnesota District mission board has a direct relationship with St. John’s, Immanuel Hmong, and San Juan.  We continue to support and encourage the congregations.  God has truly blessed San Juan’s first year and we pray that God would continue to bless this home mission!
For more information on St. John’s/San Juan, please visit their website: www.stjohnev.net

New Minnesota District Missions Board Member
In March 2023, the Minnesota District Mission Board added a new lay member, Glen Schulz, to the board due to the growing focus and work of our home missions and mission enhancements.  Glen is from Branson, Missouri and is currently a member at Zion Lutheran in Springfield, Missouri. We welcome Glen to the Minnesota District Mission Board!

New Missions or Enhancements
If you have any Home Mission ideas or questions, the Minnesota District Board would love to work with you to solidify these New Missions and Mission Enhancements.