August 3, 2012
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God. Luke 18:27
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Recently, our Lutheran Hour Ministries' office received a large donation from Usma, a small congregation in the countryside of Latvia.
Some Lutheran Hour supporters might remember the congregation. Years ago there were two Lutheran Hour volunteer teams that helped build the new church in that community. At that time the congregation was growing rapidly, and everyone was driven by a desire to put up a facility where the Christ could be worshipped and proclaimed.
Wishing to express our appreciation for the generous donation, we contacted some Usma church members and, on a Sunday morning, went to visit them.
We were surprised to find only one person attending worship in this beautiful facility. When we asked about the change, a number of answers were given:
• People are leaving the community because there are no jobs.
• Internal conflicts had caused the pastor to leave and be replaced by another.
"Even so," we reasoned, "is the situation so bad there is only one person who feels the need to attend a worship service?"
In spite of what we had found, the Lutheran Hour Ministries team remained confident that our good Lord always will find a way to touch and gather His thankful people unto Himself. Trusting in God's grace, which comes to us through His Son, our Savior, we volunteered to help the congregation.
Thankfully, our long-standing service in the church and community allowed our offer to be received in a most positive way.
As this devotion is being written, we are planning to share many of our programs with the Usma church. If the Lord wills, the congregation will soon experience activities like PandaMania and the Christian-friendly hip-hop classes for children. We also hope to bring on board our concert With the View to the Sky and Sport Day for families.
But that is just the beginning. If the Lord wants, we will also be conducting our evangelism training seminars and having a spiritual survival school.
With this background of what is happening in Latvia, we invite you to join us in asking the Lord Jesus to bless and be with all who work at this task.
By the Holy Spirit's power we will share the Savior with those who have never heard His story. Furthermore, it is our goal to reach out in Jesus' Name to those ex-congregation members who have lost their spiritual home. If the Lord wills, once again, the Usma congregation will be reborn.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, in spite of our weakness and shortcomings, grant us wisdom and strength to share Your Son with the world and with this small congregation. Send the Holy Spirit to Usma, so difficulties may be overcome and Your peace may bring calm and comfort to a congregation and the people she should serve. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Lutheran Hour Ministries' co-workers in Latvia. LHM works with its ministry center staff and volunteers in Latvia telling the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ to people of that country. Established in 1991 in this Baltic country of two million people, LHM-Latvia uses Equipping the Saints (ETS) and Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) to communicate the message of God's eternal love. The ministry center there also conducts weekly radio broadcasts, informing listeners of ministry opportunities and encouraging involvement.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries