Monday, December 8, 2014

FM Monthly News December 2014

Endeavoring to obey the Word of our Lord...Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. 

Spotlight on Kenya

The Foreign Mission trip this November was our fifth one to lovely Kenya.  Each year a new and different team has joined in serving there.  For reasons outlined at the end of this column, we will look at three first timers to Kenya.

Ryan: (pic above) We were thankful to have Ryan Ruotsala along this year.  He has been stationed as an FM missionary for the past eight years in Guatemala.  Many of you have worked under his leadership there.  The people of Kenya really appreciated Ryan, just as they do in Guatemala.   Ryan's teaching and preaching gift was very well received (they are already begging for him to return), as well as his gift of working with children and youth.  God is good all the time!  All the time God is good!  (that is a very popular phrase in Kenya!)

David:   David Niska heard a presentation by the FM administrator in Sweden and was moved to come with us on a mission trip.  He is 25 years old, and surely was a pleasure to be with in Kenya. David worked well with all he came in contact with. Below he is teaching the children.   David has already signed up for India 2016! We thank God for willing workers!

Marilyn:  Since our very first trip to Kenya in 2010, they have been asking for a woman to come to teach their women.  In Africa, one must be married to be considered a woman.  We have had 33 year old women along before, but they could not teach on family and children issues because they were not married.  God saw fit this year to allow us to have a mature, solid, and loving Christian woman along.  The Kenya women fell in love with her, so while the conditions in Kenya are sometimes very harsh, it would be very hard to go without Marilyn Hilman in the future! (the white one in the middle is Marilyn!) 

The other two people on this trip, you have seen plenty of in the past, and Lord willing will in the future as well.   The purpose of highlighting the above three individuals, is not to give glory to man, but rather to show that the Lord can use people of various ages, backgrounds, and talents.  This includes you if you are a Christian!  Jesus said, "so send I you!"   You are sent!  Where will you go?  Most of you are needed right where you are!  Your mission field could very well be right in your own family and town!  Some are also needed abroad!  If that is you, or you want to learn more, email  

May God Bless your Month!  

Always the best clothes for church! 

 Notes from the field: 

Dear pastor, God's peace.

First i thank God for His great protection that you arrived home safely. Glory to Jesus. I would like recommend that you dearly did good work this year. Send the information to the directors that the Lord led you well right from Nairobi in the sermons delivered and teachings.

Pastors training was so good that we need days for that to be added next round. Let me thank whoever donated for the success of the trip and for preaching equipments.

I have supplied the bibles to four churches and soon will be going to Joseph's church and one here at Samuel's. Thank you and wish to hear from you. Pastor Fredrick.   (pictured above with Bibles to give out) 

Pictured is the St. John's Children's home which is currently under construction in Kenya. This was made possible by Christian ladies in Canada who were given the top five list (referenced on right) and chose this project!   This home will greatly improve the health and welfare of the 32 children that call this compound home.   Who are the children? Most have no parents and some have Aids themselves.   Why does the pastor take the children in when he has very little means to support them?  He asked me, what am I as a Christian pastor supposed to do when they have no one else in the world to care for them?  

This year I was able to have three different sessions with groups of pastors about the possible pitfalls and hardships that come with opening a children's home.  When poverty is so prevalent, people are often tempted to begin a home in order to better their own financial situation.  They were told this is NOT a reason to start a home.  Children are so precious in the sight of God, and must be cared for with great love, never to be used as an income source. 

This question is often asked: If God created us in His image, why are you white and I am black? 

Red or Yellow, Black, Brown or White, Jesus loves all the children of the world! 

Support options 

Email or click on the Donate link above for regular support options.

Special projects
Only funded with earmarked funds
 December is another time for caring:  Here is an alternative way to gift.  The Foreign Mission gift catalogue: Click here to open.   

Top five list:  Please be aware that the FM administrator keeps a list of the most needed humanitarian projects around the world where the FM works!  These are not funded by general FM funds, but many people often come forward asking to support special needs.   You can receive this list by email for you or your group to check over and decide what you would like to work toward funding!   Click here to email! 

Other news items: 

 God is our protection!   Many of you have heard of the mob that attacked the missionaries in Kenya this year.  The mob was on their way to perform an ancient circumcision ritual down at the river.  They surrounded the car and threatened with machetes, canes, and shear numbers of people,(between 50 & 100)!  They wanted money!  Thankfully, the Lord heard all the prayers for safety, and watched over us. The mob only managed to get away with few shillings!

Some of you helped this poor child when he was about to lose his leg.  The father brought his five boys for a special visit to say thank you! The leg has a long ways to go, and therapy is needed, but the poverty of this family is just so great, every last thing is so difficult for them.  After I met with them, these boys who lost their mother this year, have now lost their aunt who was their main helper and caretaker after their mother died.  Please pray for Simeon and Jackson (the boy with the bad leg) and his other brothers.  There is so much pain in this world.  Jesus wept. 

This church was officially dedicated on November 5, 2014.  It was built with funds donated by the Ashburnham ALC, who provided matching funds for a "sister church" when they did some renovations on their church!  Thank you kindly!  Cost? $1700 USD. 

Just a few more of pastor Timothy's 84 children.  See more with Ryan above left.  

Upcoming events

As always, we know that we may plan, but God decides! So if it be His will we plan on: 
> The South Africa mission leaves on January 6th.  Please pray for Bob Maki and the team as they go forth in obedience!
> We are thankful and excited that Julie Matson begins here tenure with the Foreign Mission as Youth Leader on January 1st!  Please pray  that God would guide her as she embarks on this new chapter in her life of faith. 
>The trip to India begins January 19th. The team is quite large, but due to some cancelations, if you really want to come it may still be possible! Otherwise, start signing up for January 2016, should God give days! 


Prayer and praise

> We are thankful for your prayers for the Kenyan mission trip, and that God answered those prayers in dramatic fashion!
> Pray for the people of India that are still devastated by the Cyclone of two months ago. 
>  Pray for our country, politicians, and the preachers of God's Word everywhere.
> Pray for the unreached, and the people we worth with abroad that desire to reach the unreached in their own counties.
> Pray for additional pastors willing to serve in Foreign countries! 
Mailing address for DONATIONS:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
1601 NW 4th Avenue
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Mailing address for CORRESPONDENCE:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
63 Poor Farm Road
New Ipswich, NH 03071


Monday, September 15, 2014

Preaching the Gospel


Repentance and the forgiveness of sins
With what instruction did Jesus begin his ministry on earth? "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 
What is the very last instruction Jesus himself left with His disciples (that includes us) as He opened the whole point of His Word to them  in Luke 24:45-49? To preach" repentance and remission (forgiveness) of sins in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (that is in our home towns and congregations)".
And what instruction did Peter give to the crowd of people who were "pricked" in their hearts by the powerful manifestation of the Spirit in his sermon on the day of Pentecost? "Repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!" Acts 2:38   3000 souls heard, repented, believed and were added to the Kingdom of God that day.
Do our teachings and messages regularly bring forth this central theme of the Gospel?

"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast!" Eph. 2:8
Here we see that the most critical component of faith is God's GRACE - HIS GIFT TO US - not anything we have done or can point to of ourselves - it is only by His grace that we can believe  - lest we could boast or point to anything WE have done. This text is very clear.
Abraham's faith:  "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness!" Genesis 15:6
"He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he believes not shall be damned." Mark 16:16
This brings us to the bearing question - BELIEVES IN WHAT? 
"That whosoever believes in Him (God's son Jesus Christ, who He gave to atone for the sins of the world!) should not perish but have eternal life!" John 3:16
"But as many as received Him (that is who received this gospel of atonement in the name of Jesus and through the wondrous power of His blood), to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
There are millions of people on this earth who "believe" there is or was a Jesus but who have not received Him as Lord and King and Saviour who died for their sins and purchased for them the gift of eternal life.
"Do you believe that there is one God? You do well: the devils also believe and tremble!" James 2:19
Is he some great historical super hero?  A mega star in the religious world?  Like the earthly king the Jews tried to force Him to become?  A hyper Miracle Man? 
Where is the Man of Galilee, rejected, scorned, spit upon, humiliated and crucified for our sake?!  Who shed His own blood, died and was victoriously resurrected to release us from the power of sin, death, hell and the devil and to bring us EVERLASTING PEACE and open those glorious portals of heaven to eternal life. 
 WOW!!!!  THIS IS WHO THE REAL JESUS IS!!  Not a crutch, not an emblem or a medal, not an attractive ADD-ON to our lives!
The only condition I find in God's word for  "receiving" such a priceless gift into our lives is a true change of heart, "a broken and a contrite heart" as David puts it in the 51st Psalm.  Or like it says in John 3:3, "You must be born again"! And this is nothing but a gift of God's grace and His grace alone. This is not a repair job, a patching of something new into the old.  This is a complete transformation whereby a sinner becomes righteous in the sight of God and receives a spotless robe to cover him TOTALLY by faith.  As we also heard Peter say on the day of Pentecost he receives the gift of the Holy Spirit right then when he so believes!  So he is NOT transformed in his flesh - for that we will always carry with us on this earth, or by something he has been able to accomplish, any self improvement he is able to brag about and show off for others, but simply transformed in his heart  by that very gift!
The fascinating part of this is that even after we have believed and received this blessed Gospel of why Jesus came to earth we are STILL SINNERS.  Sinners saved by grace! So that means that there are just two kinds of sinners here on earth,  the saved and the unsaved.  Like Apostle Paul brings out so clearly in Romans 7 and 8 we are still sinners even though we who are born again but with a new heart and in the power of the Holy Spirit we strive daily to follow His word.  But often we fail. Therefore Paul puts everything in the right perspective when he says how he can only thank God that the answer to this DILEMMA is in Jesus Christ and Him alone is !  We all need Jesus - to hear His Word for us personally and to be reminded of His blessed Gospel as often as possible - to feed us, encourage us, lift us, strengthen us and give us Life and Hope daily. Especially those of us who profess his name and are leaders or members of believing congregations. THIS SAVING GOSPEL IS FOR "BOTH THEM WHO ARE AFAR OFF (outside the church) AND THOSE WHO ARE NEAR (inside the church)!"
"Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done and you that are near, acknowledge my might.  The sinners in Zion are afraid......!" Isaiah 33:13-14
To the human mind and to probably most people in this world and even to many nominal Christians the preaching of this Gospel is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21), old fashioned and even very complicated.  But in Matthew 11:25 Jesus says, "I thank you, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them unto babes!" It is amazingly simple.
All the thief on the cross had to offer  was a repentant heart and faith - and he was instantaneously forgiven, clothed by the words of the Gospel from Jesus' own mouth with a perfect robe of righteousness and a home in the Kingdom of God in Paradise eternally!

Pastor Dennis

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June FM News

Endeavoring to obey the Word of our Lord...Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
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God is calling yet:

As we see our world being tossed about with more and more turmoil, God is still calling out and listening to the lost and unsaved through His Holy Word. 
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 
 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:13-17

Your Foreign Mission prays that God would continue to also use each of us to carry forth His Word to this fallen world.

At the current time, Pastors Tom Lappi and Ansten Tretten are in Guatemala for the annual ALC Convention in that country, which was this past weekend.  We pray that their visit will be an encouragement for the people in all three of our churches in that wonderful country.

The picture above is of Pastor Tom delivering a sermon in Spanish during the convention.  It is wonderful that we now have at least two preachers in our federation that can have sermons in Spanish.  Tom will be having a sermon in Spanish at our US ALC convention in July, which will be translated to English by a Guatemalan / American woman named Mayra.

We are also thankful for a contingent of volunteers that are working in their homes typing our Sunday School books for email distribution and translation around the world. Children need to be taught God's Word, so we are attempting to share what we use in the USA with children around the world. This work will be ongoing for some time, Lord willing.

We hope to see you all at the convention in WA.  If you cannot make it, please be in prayer as nothing good will be done or said, except by the Spirit of God!

May God Bless your Month!

Word from the field:

The below is from Kenya, where the ladies group in Sylvan Lake recently raised money to purchase some items for the poor children being helped by Pastor Charles. 

God's peace brother!
May God grant you long life as you look forward reaching many lost souls.
So tomorrow I may bring beds, mattresses and some ten nets. I will take the picture and scan to you. Have much greetings from my wife( Mary), my church leaders and orphans.
Pray for the remaining things, such us some nets, blankets and bed sheets,cloths, and shoes

Pray for them to get food even although the prices are too high because farmers experienced a lot of loss due to diseases. We hope to hear from. Greet the mission board and on behalf of these children Give them their regards.
Pastor Charles
A new book called The Weekly Diner is available now through the FM.   It is a weekly devotional book with 52 short articles.  The suggested donation is $12. It will be available at the convention in WA, as well as at all the churches the FM administrator visits this summer,  or you can order it by clicking here.  All proceeds go to the Foreign Mission.

ALC Churches Worldwide

This congregation in Kenya  is taking the long term view and building a church one piece of wood at a time as they can afford it. Just to reach these churches that are so rural with no real  roads is a huge endeavor.  But with God, nothing is impossible.

Special Needs

 1) Bibles, Catechisms, other books badly needed.
2) Click here is you want to donate to a special cause.

Read the Word

Pastor Ansten reading the Word, as he does so often.  This time it was between sermons in Guatemala.

Mother's Love

You may remember from past years pictures, this faithful mother from Guatemala.  Her daughter has CP, cannot walk, and needs constant care, yet they still attended the Guat. ALC convention.  What an example of love to us all!

Upcoming events

> After the convention in WA there will be a special time with the Foreign Pastors on July 14 and 15. Please attend these session if you plan to come on a mission trip within the next few years, or if you have an interest in missions!
.> A trip or trips to Russia is being planned for July and beyond!


Prayer and praise

> We are thankful that injured, handicapped, and orphan children in multiple countries have received much help from North American Christians this month.  The help has been life changing for each one!
> We are thankful for our many typing and posting volunteers! There is work in the mission for you too!
> We are thankful for our faithful accountant Susan Tyni, and the key people of our newsletter Kris Matson, Alvar Helmes, and Eloy. They do a great job!
>  Pray for the Guatemala ALC convention
>  Please pray that the events taking place with Russia and Kenya, do not hinder mission work from being done there.
Mailing address for DONATIONS:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
1601 NW 4th Avenue
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Mailing address for CORRESPONDENCE:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
63 Poor Farm Road
New Ipswich, NH 03071


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 2014 Foreign Mission News

..preach the Gospel:

This month we have all been united in the observance of Holy Week and Easter.  What a blessed time of year it is for Christians!  We were reminded and we focused once again on these most important and blessed events.  However, for all true believers, these events are not just one week per year, they are our very life and being!  What Jesus has done and accomplished for us, has become our reality, and our life!

Some of the first words that Jesus spoke when He showed himself after the resurrection were:
Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.  Mark 16:15

This month the Lord has allowed us to once again go into the following places:   Pastors Robert Maki and Dennis HIlman finished up in West Africa. (Ghana and Togo).      Dennis Hilman has moved on to India where he will serve together with his wife Marilyn until May 20th.  It is nice to have them there only a few months after our larger trip to India.  They will be doing individual congregational visits, as opposed to the large gatherings and pastors seminars held earlier.

At the current time, the Foreign Mission is honored to have in Guatemala, the confirmation class from the Ashburnham, MA ALC, together with some of their parents, Pastor Colin Kinnunen, and the FM country leader for Guatemala,  Pastor Scott Niemitalo.  They are serving in all three of our churches in that lovely country, as well as doing home visits and so forth. This is another testament to the fact that one does not have to be a pastor to serve in the mission field. (the picture above is this group together with others in our Zacapa, Guatemala church.)  Please feel free to join us as the Lord leads you!  Click here to begin an email conversation should you desire.

May God bless all the efforts done around the world, and may we each of us be a willing servant should He choose to use us in His Vineyard!

May God Bless your Month!

Word from the field:

  Dear Pastor John, God's Peace !!!
I am sending greetings to you in the mighty name of Jesus.
The Lutheran Church of Christ of Togo,The Board , all the members and the Sister Churches through this mail are sending their thanks to you ,to FMB/ALCA for the help and making everything possible for the success of this seminar in Togo.
Personally I thank you within my heart in the name of Jesus.Everything went on well and all the Participants,Pastors are very happy and equipped by these Teachings and Preachings.We keep our relationship in prayer so that God help for the work in Togo.
Pastor Bob and Pastor Dennis will give you the report of their wonderful seminar.We look forward to working closely for the sake of the Gospel as it is writen in Matthew 28: 18--20 and in Romans 10 : 14---15.
May the Lord bless your day ,your family and all your collaborators.
Thank you for your call last week.


ALC Churches Worldwide

The above ALC mission church is in a most wonderful location.  It is in one of the worlds largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya.   Notice the large speaker outside so the sermons are broadcasted to the countless poor people living close-by.   This year we endeavor to have many special services in this very impoverished area.

Special Needs Section

All the items posted here each month are funded by your special earmarked donations, not from the FM general fund.

This month the below needs were brought forth during the recent trip to Liberia. (same as last month since the needs are not met yet)

1) Motorbike for Pastor O. (to reach more people than is possible by walking)
2) Bibles, Catechisms, other books badly needed.


Upcoming events

> After the convention in WA there will be a special time with the Foreign Pastors on July 14 and 15. Please attend these session if you plan to come on a mission trip within the next few years, or if you have an interest in missions!
.> A trip or trips to Russia is being planned for July and beyond!


Prayer and praise

> Please pray that the events taking place with Russia do not hinder mission work from being done there.
> Give Thanks, Glory, and Honor to the Lord, for He is good
Mailing address for DONATIONS:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
1601 NW 4th Avenue
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Mailing address for CORRESPONDENCE:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
63 Poor Farm Road
New Ipswich, NH 03071