The Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) John 4:9
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
I was born and grew up in a place called Caguarene.
When my husband and I married, we moved away from that location to San Buenaventura. The community is a nice place but, unfortunately, when we first came here, there was no church. I cannot over-emphasize the emptiness I felt because there was no time to meet with the brothers and sisters and worship the Lord or to receive the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Communion.
Thanks be to God. Eventually, we ended up building a church and my needs were met.
Yes, my needs were met, but the natives who spoke another language were still without a church and the Savior who had given His life for their salvation.
One day, after a worship service, I spoke with the church leaders. At that time I suggested that we should take the message of salvation to those people. My suggestion was not accepted. Yes, we wanted to share, but there was that language barrier, and none of us felt qualified to go forward without assistance.
Time passed and eventually we were given the support material we needed. This material had been developed by Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Translated, that is "Christ for All Nations," and it is the name that has been given in our country to Lutheran Hour Ministries.
The program for children, along with the evangelism training program, equipped us to speak to the natives and offer them a solid, scriptural witness on how salvation can be theirs.
In a short time, the Lord turned our congregation's focus. Rather than just "taking care of ourselves," we became a witnessing congregation. Today the Lord brings an average of 50 children to our Bible school. All of them, I am pleased to tell you, are eager to learn from the Word of God.
But there is something else I need to share. I also need to tell you we discovered the Lord doesn't distinguish between peoples and races. Indeed, Jesus came to save all people.
Despite the cultural and racial barrier that existed between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, the Savior still offered her the "water of life" (see John 4:7-15). It is a gift He continues to offer to the world. Through Word and Sacrament, the Lord forgives our sins and unites us with Christ in Baptism. He sustains our faith and gives us that which permanently removes our spiritual thirst.
Because of what the Holy Spirit does, we have been given peace and have the ability to share God's blessings with others -- just as the Samaritan woman shared the Savior's blessings with those in her town.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, You created us, saved us, loved us, and now You help us show that love with those who do not know You. To that end may we be faithful servants and witnesses. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Lutheran Hour Ministries has always stood for bringing Christ to the Nations, but we also want to share the Savior with those who are close by. If you would like to know more about how you can be prepared to bear witness to the Savior, we are having an outreach conference called SENT, in Detroit, from July 24-27. You can learn more about it at www.lhm.org/conference.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Lidia Mathias. She was born in Paraguay on July 27, 1971. She is a member of the Lutheran Congregation of San Buenaventura, and is married to Mario Mathias. They have been blessed with two daughters and a granddaughter. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Paraguay was established in 1999 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, a South American country of approximately seven million people. This ministry center's staff and volunteers make personal visits, host rallies and lectures, and visit churches to share the Gospel. Using a variety of social media tools as well as radio broadcasts, this center stays connected with individuals throughout the region. For outreach training Equipping the Saints (ETS) is available to assist people in speaking their faith, while Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) are offered for instruction and growth in Christian doctrine. To find out more about the work being done in Paraguay, check out its blog at cptlnparaguay.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries