Grantee Feature Stories

Program to End Recidivism Marks Milestones, Moves Forward

“Chopping for Change,” a groundbreaking program helping women in the criminal justice system re-enter the community, achieved two significant milestones in January 2017. In addition to commemorating...

more

Program Helps Families Take the Right Steps to Success

Tiffany and her family left Puerto Rico in 2015 for a brighter future in the United States. For a while, they lived with her mother in New York, but employment opportunities were few and her mother’s...

more

Young Leaders Develop Innovative Ways to Care for Dementia Patients

Katelyn McKinley, Director of Community Life at Artman Senior Living Community (Ambler, Pennsylvania), wanted to help residents and staff ease through late afternoon/evening hours—often a difficult...

more

Healing House: A Medical Respite Program with a Difference

Recovery from surgery is challenging enough when you can recuperate in your own bed—but what if you are homeless? If you’re lucky, you can grab a shelter bed at night, but during the day your...

more

Upbring Extends Lifelines to Former Foster Youth

While some young adults recall vacations or Christmas gifts as childhood milestones, Trevon simply recalls the three homeless shelters, four foster homes, and two treatment centers where he grew up....

more

Cooking up Hope in Chattanooga

Pastor Josh Woodrow of Bridge Community Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, understands the value of a home-cooked meal. Biblical hospitality is one of his personal and biblical foundations – and years...

more

Church’s Mission Helps Families Weather the Storm

Louise de Fontenay, outreach director for the Lavallette Food Pantry in Lavallette, New Jersey, remembers the day she met Tysheena, a single mother of two with another on the way. de Fontenay chatted...

more

Reflections from Stateville Prison

As we moved from cell to cell and between corridors, I noticed a group of men whose bus had arrived at the same time as ours lined up along a wall in unmatched prison uniforms awaiting their...

more

Grantee Develops Big Data for Big Change

In March 2016, Amy was at the lowest point of her life. Recently released from Sierra Vista Mental Health center after attempting suicide, she knew she needed something different to break her 15-year...

more

School Transforms Vulnerable Rwandan Youth into Leaders

Robin Strickler has learned a lot since she founded the Rwanda School Project (RSP) in 2005. First, she learned a lot about establishing a high school in Rwamagana, a semi-rural district in Eastern...

more

“Chopping for Change” Creates Hope for Inmates

Kimberly spends 40 hours per week training for a career in the culinary arts. Every day she leaves her quarters at the Northeast Reintegration Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and rides a bus with...

more

More Than Money: 3 Cool Quotes Show What Crowdfunding is Really About

“We raised more than a roof. We raised hope! We raised faith! We raised joy!” shared Pastor James Brooks of Harmony Baptist Church in Chicago. Brooks, along with Sue Foran from Grace Lutheran Church...

more

Ministry Provides ‘New Neighbors’ for Refugee Families

When the Syrian refugee crisis came to a head in fall 2015, the plight of refugees became a topic of conversation among average Americans. The number of refugees worldwide rose to an all-time high—and...

more

Burst Grant Recipient Hits the Right Note With Special Needs Chime Choir

Weekly chime choir rehearsal at Kings of Kings Lutheran Church, Fairfax, Virginia, is a place of smiles and acceptance. The rehearsal room echoes with the chimes and the children’s sounds of delight....

more

McPIE Encourages Students, Boasts Impressive Success

As you look around McClintock Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll see a school where students are actively engaged in learning, parents feel welcome in the school, and a strong sense...

more

Summer Camp Using Burst Grant to Teach More than Just Wrestling

Growing up in Columbus, Georgia, Brandon Porter always thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps onto the football field. But, in Porter’s words, he was no good at it. He also admits that...

more

Cooking classes promote healthy eating for low-income families

It isn’t every day that chopping an onion can inspire joy instead of tears. But such a moment, made possible because of our generous donors, is a happy one for Rachael Sharpe, program director of...

more

Learning to Earning—Providing Job Skills and Second Chances

We all know that life has plenty of twists, turns, and directions we don’t foresee. Take Jacob Bosch, for instance. He intended to be an academic. But after grad school, working with low income students...

more

Young Adult Leaders Convening Provides Encouragement and Learning

In early October, Wheat Ridge Ministries hosted its Young Adult Leaders Convening, which brought together 15 young adult leaders from Lutheran-affiliated organizations around the country to learn, share...

more

Youth Ministry Changes the Game for Students on Chicago’s South Side

Melissa Grady is a busy person. A member of Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Chicago for approximately 17 years, she participates in the choir. She oversees the church’s Worship and Music Ministry....

more

Christ Clinic Expands Community Care

Christ Clinic in Katy, Texas, began in 2000 as a ministry operating one night a week out of Memorial Lutheran Church’s gymnasium. The goal: meet the medical needs of people in the community who were...

more

Wheat Ridge Grant Helps Families Rise Above Disabilities

When Trudi Rychwalski registered her 29-year-old daughter for the new Lift Disability Network Breakaway day camp in Missouri, she didn’t know what to expect. Breakaway looked like a wonderful opportunity...

more

A Congregation’s Artful Ministry

To some, the idea of an art school in a church may sound out of place. But Pastor Gary Grindeland and the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church in Bayonne, New Jersey, are proving that it’s the perfect...

more

Grantees Partner to Combat Grief in Lesotho Orphans

It was last summer at a Wheat Ridge Ministries event that two grantees from African-based nonprofits bumped into each other.

“I was asked to speak and Tony Stephens, a board member from Hope...

more

Soup, Salad and a Side of Compassion

When volunteer Mike Tobia began preparing for the three year anniversary of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church’s Community Supper last month, he passed out 3×5 index cards to all their guests, asking...

more

Church Garden Growing Fruits and Vegetables … and Community!

It can be daunting for churches that want to begin a new ministry, but don’t know where to start.

In some cases, the answer is lying right before a congregation’s eyes. This was the case...

more

CHAP partners with Tanzanian villages to create sustainable health care

Late in 2013, Cindy Wilke heard stories about the poor living conditions in the rural Maasai villages in the Same District in Tanzania. It was estimated that out of 21 villages in the area, only one...

more

Wheat Ridge Invites Grantees to D.C. for National Afterschool Convention

As Director of Programs at Wheat Ridge Ministries, Joanne Otte is always looking for opportunities to help support grantees as they continue to grow their new ministries.

That’s why Otte and...

more

GRO Helps Former Inmates Give Back through Gardening

As head gardener and coordinator for Green Reentry Opportunities (GRO), Glen Rizzie is hardly new to the practice of gardening. But unlike other community gardens, the program he leads in southern Illinois...

more

Supporting a Unique Community in Shanghai

Moving your household is a stressful experience, even if the move is just across town, with new neighbors, a new route to work, and possibly new schools to navigate. Now imagine moving to a foreign...

more

Church’s “Senior Wednesdays” Creates Community for Local Seniors

Every Wednesday, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church opens its doors for “Senior Wednesdays at St. Paul’s,” bringing together seniors from the Olney neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The program,...

more

Former School Bus Gets New Life as Community Outreach Tool

Pastor Josh Woodrow laughs when he recalls his first reaction to WeRaise.

He had never used Wheat Ridge Ministries’ crowdfunding platform before and wasn’t convinced his small church in south...

more

Project I.C.E. Helps Students to Excel

Heather Farrar first walked through the doors of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Gary, Indiana, when she was just 14 years old. After being invited by some friends who lived nearby, she attended worship...

more

Boost Activity Nights for Families with Disabilities

When a little boy runs up behind a pastor who is preaching on Jesus’ walking on water and dumps a huge cup of water at his feet, most places might see that as a bit of a problem. But not at Boost...

more

Waukegan to College Helping Students Pursue the Path to College

“I didn’t think college was possible. Waukegan to College opened my eyes.” Evelin Serrano is a graduate of Waukegan High School in Waukegan, Illinois, and Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin,...

more

Congregation turns Adversity into Advantage for its Community

In March 2012, a fire gutted the preschool/fellowship building of Living Savior Lutheran Church in Tualatin, Oregon, and severely damaged its three-year-old sanctuary. As the congregation navigated...

more

Success Forward Puts Homeless Families on the Track Toward Stability

Courtney couldn’t believe it. After living in one room in a shelter near Tallahassee, Fla., with her husband, Kadeem, and four small sons since last fall, she and her family were able to move into...

more

GrantsPlus recipient embraces the lost, the last, and the least

The Under the Door prison ministry at Redeemer Lutheran Church (Park Ridge, Ill.) began quietly—with a question—as the church moved through a 40 Days of Purpose series. Pastor Fred Nelson was a...

more

A Leap of Faith: Grant Helps Domestic Violence Survivors Heal

Maria Santiago, right, Healing Center educator and family worker, counsels a client at the Brooklyn, N.Y., ministry inspired by the need to assist women struggling with the devastation...

more

Sowing Seeds of Hope While Helping Homeless Individuals to Rebuild their Lives

Karen and her husband were living the American dream. Married for more than 30 years, they had raised two children and owned a home in the western suburbs of Chicago. In early 2013, however, her husband...

more

Church Summer Camp Uses Wheat Ridge Grant to Transform Neighborhood and Congregation

Heidi, a third grader at Thompson Elementary School in Washington D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood, was a little nervous—and a lot excited. For the first time, she had the opportunity to attend...

more

Invite Hope—Enabling Others to Reach Out and Overcome Adversity

Burst Grant Recipient

Who knew that skipping a chance to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro would result in inspiration for a calling? But that’s exactly what happened for Alyssa Safty and her traveling...

more

Fit for Life, Fit for Him

One church’s journey to bring health and wellness to community

Attaining a healthy weight. Adopting good eating habits. Making exercise a priority. These statements are more than bullet points...

more

Wheat Ridge Grant Helps Give Second Chances

It was just about a year ago that Walter West felt “this close” to being on the street. On probation after serving time for a felony arrest, he was cautiously excited when he learned about a ministry...

more

Living Water Dental Ministry on the Front Lines of Serving the Community

David had been teaching at two private schools in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when his elderly mother’s health took a turn for the worse. With no other family to take care of his widowed, homebound...

more

Congregation’s “Soul Kitchen” Shares the Love of Jesus while Offering a Warm Meal

Joshua Grant Recipient

In an age where people have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, the reality is that there is a growing isolation and disconnect. In an effort to develop real connections,...

more

NOAH Project Helps Caregivers Navigate Alzheimer’s Disease

After watching her mother suffer for many years, Peg Lahmeyer knew firsthand what Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia (ADRD) could do to a person. She knew what the disease could do to the individual’s...

more

Hope for Grieving Children-Africa Extends a Lifeline for AIDS Orphans

In America, orphaned children spark feelings of compassion and concern in others. In Africa, where many orphans’ parents have died of AIDS, they are considered a burden by extended family and caregivers....

more

The Micah Project Aims to Tackle Bullying One Person at a Time

Statistics show that one in four youth are bullied on a regular basis, and that approximately 160,000 students miss school every day because they are afraid of being bullied. The problem is large and...

more

Giving Purpose and Dignity in Southwest Detroit

Elizabeth, 15, wasn’t interested in “techie stuff” until she found Radical Productions, a youth technology cooperative for young Detroit artists that designs websites and Android applications,...

more

Healthy Living Programs for Teens at The Bridge Center, Orland Park, Illinois

Priscilla Steinmetz heard the call pretty clearly. When the superintendent of the local public high school told a group of local pastors and youth workers (of which she was one) that he needed help...

more

Operation Barnabas of Des Moines: Supporting Military Personnel and Their Families

It is moving and powerful to see a group of veterans rise as the notes of their service song are played – to see them recognized for their service when that recognition may not be as forthcoming as...

more

Bringing Light to the Darkness of Homelessness

The Dayspring Women’s Center in Valparaiso, Indiana, was open only 15 minutes when a woman walked in clutching a tear-stained newspaper with an article about the center’s grand opening. Homeless,...

more

Wheat Ridge Seed Grants Spur Ministries’ Growth, Providing Healing in Times of Crises

On Dec. 14, 2012, Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, received a call from the Lutheran District Office in Connecticut, asking for his assistance. A few hours earlier, a mentally-ill...

more

“Seniors in Transition” Ministry Offers a Lifeline to the Elderly

The loss of a spouse, living with a chronic illness, or suffering from a fall can be a stark reminder for many elderly individuals that life does not go on forever.

Dorothy Wagner faced just...

more

New Starts and Safe Homes for Domestic Violence Survivors

After leaving an abusive relationship, Mary became homeless. She ended up crashing at different places almost every night for a month until a Narcotics Anonymous counselor told her about the Domestic...

more

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Supports Special Needs Children and Their Families

Attending church is not supposed to be stressful. But for Alicia Peiffer of Plainfield, Illinois, who has two young sons with significant special needs, it was disheartening for her to pick up her boys...

more

“GrantsPlus” Grant Program Infuses New Ministries with Resources to Become Sustainable

Every Friday afternoon, two facilitators from Still Point Theatre in Chicago visit the Lake County Jail in Lake County, Illinois, to lead a theater and writing workshop for female inmates....

more

Providing Hope and Peace of Mind for Immigrant Women

As an exile from his homeland, Pastor Isaac David knows firsthand the feelings of fear when faced with the uncertainty of the future. Orphaned at the age of 10 when his parents were killed during civil...

more

Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteers Put Faith into Action

Ruby (left) and Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer Eileen Anderson

Once a week, 97-year-old Ruby Holt embarks on a cherished ritual she has done for decades – a visit to...

more

Bloom Africa Helps Orphans to Flourish

As the son of two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors, Andrew Steele’s passion for service was instilled at a young age, yet he didn’t have a clear sense of his life’s direction. That...

more

The Oasis: Homeless Care Center Extends a Hand to Those in Need

Kenneth, 28, originally moved to Florida to assist his father, who lived in a retirement community. He found a job with a carpentry company, but was laid off when work slowed down. He got another job...

more

A Caring Place Offers Respite for Caregivers and Camaraderie for Participants and Volunteers

Like many of the 66 million caregivers in the U.S., Frank had been so busy taking care of a family member that he ignored his own needs. Then, one morning, desperate and exhausted from lack of sleep,...

more

Faith Community Nurses Fuse Health and Faith

Drugs and addiction had sent Mary’s life into a downward spiral. A 90-day jail sentence provided a harsh wake-up call and upon her release, Mary checked into a local halfway house, ready to sober...

more

Philadelphia Church “Welcomes Home” Refugee Families

For the first 19 years of his life, Laxmi Dulal never had a place to call home. He was only an infant when his family exiled from Bhutan.

“The Bhutan government didn’t...

more

Project San Mateo – Changing Lives One Family at a Time

When Project San Mateo began offering community lunches in a low-income apartment complex in Springfield, Virginia, its leaders envisioned it would mostly serve immigrant day-laborers waiting around...

more

Christ Cares Clinic Provides Affordable, Christ-Centered Healthcare for Those in Need

The nation’s challenging economy has made it difficult for many who have lost jobs or who have been affected in other ways to meet basic needs, such as health care. The congregation of Christ Church...

more

High Tech Faith-based Parent Education

The years that were spent raising her two daughters didn’t prepare Dawn Hemmelman for her third child—a highly energetic, precocious little boy.

“In many ways, it was a lot easier with...

more

College Rooftop Garden Feeds Hungry Minds

Like most children her age, 4-year-old Lily Samuelson loves to play in the sandbox and dig into the dirt to search for new seedlings in her garden. But, unlike most, Samuelson’s playground is 75...

more

Fit for Life – Fit for Him!

Christ Lutheran Church in Costa Mesa, California, is taking St. Paul’s advice to honor God with their bodies very seriously, believing that an abundant life is for the whole person – body, mind...

more

Congregations Creating Solutions to Combat Domestic Violence

Regardless of race, gender or economic class—there’s a victim of domestic violence in the pews of every church. It’s estimated that one out of four in the faith community has been either a victim...

more

Milwaukee Free Clinic Ministers Health and Hope

For years, Cheryl had been skipping out on laboratory tests and buying medication for her chronic illnesses because she didn’t have health insurance.  But last year, her blood pressure reached a...

more

A Ban Against Neglect

“Today is my happiest day,” said a beautiful, almost singing young voice. Excitement surged through the phone line. “Why?” I asked.

Though Denicia and I were speaking for the first time,...

more

Bringing Health and Hope to Kuwaa through the Gift of Water

For many families in the Kuwaa region of Liberia, life stories are composed of daily desperation in the struggle to survive. Jensen Seyenkulo’s family story reads no differently. But after many years...

more

NEW WELLNESS CENTER SERVES VITAL NEED IN ONE OF DETROIT’S POOREST NEIGHBORHOODS

Chandler Park, once a stable, middle class African American community on the east side of Detroit, Michigan, has lost half of its population during the nation’s economic crisis. Nearly 50 percent...

more

Care-Connect Helps the Austin, Texas, Community Care for Its Seniors

Every week, Cheryl Dotson visits the homes of five elderly residents in and around Austin, Texas, to take them to lunch or to appointments, help them with light housekeeping or just provide companionship....

more

Project H.E.A.L.

Nearly two decades have passed, yet every detail is still as vivid as the moment it happened. It was there on the floor that three-year-old Susan* found her mother lying still after overdosing on drugs....

more

Sustainability at Rwamagana Lutheran School

Just as he took his first steps as a toddler, Jimmy walked into a world gone seemingly mad. At the age of two, both of Jimmy’s parents were killed in the widespread political genocide that swept across...

more

Nurturing Health and Hope in Camp

John* was frustrated, but even more so he was hurt. Just a teenager, John was confused about the changes he witnessed in his grandmother who battled Alzheimer’s. They used to be close. But now, she...

more

Lutheran Schools as Centers of Wellness

It’s Wednesday afternoon on the remote Navajo reservation at Rock Point, Arizona. Sixty-five bright-eyed students from the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission (NELM) School file into the Mission’s...

more

Murphys Senior Center

Retirement … ahhhh! After a fulfilling professional career in the San Francisco Bay area, Carol looked forward to relaxing with her husband in their retirement community in the Sierra Nevada foothills....

more

REHAB at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church

The stroke Frank suffered 15 years ago still haunted him, leaving him weak on the left side and interfering with his balance. Now 87 years old, Frank shuffled slowly with the help of a cane. His hands...

more

The McClintock Partnership for At-Risk Youth

Responding to the challenge presented by the Charlotte, North Carolina, school superintendent, Christ Lutheran Church stepped forward to support and engage its local public middle school, McClintock,...

more

Churches, Volunteers “Step up” to Aid Ex-Offenders

“If it wasn’t for her I’d be in the street,” said T.K. “(Sister Ruth) not only gave me a hope for the future, but also a hope in people. I don’t know of anybody...

more

St. Luke’s Ministry Immigrant Support Program

Taddy and her husband, Mengesha, are well-acquainted with new beginnings. The couple built a good life for themselves and their four children in their home country of Ethiopia. Taddy worked as a registered...

more

College Prep Center at St. Marcus Lutheran School

Jocquori (left) and Rowland

Joquori, a senior in high school, was devastated when his two closest friends were killed last spring. Lonely and despondent, Joquori nearly...

more

“Strong Connections” Gives Foster Youth a Voice

Plastic grocery bags bring back painful memories for April. They remind her of the many trips she took from one foster home to the next, all her meager possessions crammed into a plastic grocery sack....

more

Health Education for the Navajo

Mosi (not her real name) hobbled into the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission (NELM) Community Health Clinic at Rock Point, Arizona, with one shoe on, the other shoe off. Her left foot, ripe with odor,...

more

Welcome Them Home, Help Them Heal

“I stood at the bus station with my suitcase like an alien in a strange world,” shares a Vietnam veteran. “Just a week earlier I was in a bloody firefight where two buddies died just before they...

more

Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center

Margie was 56 years old when she faced seismic losses. Her husband of 39 years died after battling cancer and heart disease. Her source of income was gone with him. Without an employed breadwinner in...

more

Phil’s Friends: Christ-centered Support During Cancer

Jess and his family

“Is Daddy going to live through this?” was the repeated question of the six-year-old boy. Daddy, in this case, was 44-year-old Jess, who was diagnosed...

more

Generations Project at Concordia University

Eunice (not her real name) was turning 78 years old – a milestone, no doubt. But in recent years, her special day boasted little reason to celebrate. Eunice’s husband had passed away and her children...

more

Supportive Care Network for Ex-Offenders

When Jarvis’ 50-day jail sentence was up, the guards drove him to inner-city Milwaukee at one minute past midnight. Jarvis exited the vehicle into the pitch-black night and stood on the street corner....

more

DuPage County Refugee Senior Services Initiative

With seven decades of life behind them, Vladimir and Maria understand hardship. The couple fled their native Ukraine in 1994, victims of religious persecution. They resettled as refugees in Rockford,...

more

FEAST Ministry Changes Lives, Congregations

The odds are against them.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that about two-thirds of prisoners released back into the community will be rearrested within three years.

But the Lord’s...

more

Pailalen – Parental Training to Prevent Violence

When Alicia immigrated to the United States from her native Mexico, she spoke very little English. So little, in fact, that she struggled in her Michigan high school and eventually dropped out. Several...

more

Health Care Center Bangladesh

Shemoon knows what it’s like to live with chronic pain. To fear its ramifications. To have nowhere to turn for help.

Yet Shemoon had few options. As a subsistence farmer growing vegetables...

more

K-9 Parish Comfort Dog Ministry

Maybe it’s the soft, soulful eyes.

The inquisitive, wet nose.

Or the vest that declares, “Pet me!”

Whatever it is, people can’t keep their hands off of Fuerst, a two-year...

more

Building Bridges of Hope in Early-Onset Dementia

At her 50th birthday party, Chris Baum VanRyzin said a permanent good-bye to her family and friends. She knew her mind was slipping—she possibly wouldn’t recognize those closest to her the following...

more

Healthy Babies, Healthy Families

As a senior at Westbury High School in Houston, Texas, Joy discovered she was pregnant. While certainly not alone in her plight, teen pregnancy is often a lonely place. Yet a new friend came alongside...

more

The Persephone Project

The nine women in standard prison issue made an unlikely cast. They performed in an even more unlikely venue. After months of creative writing, improvisation and rehearsals, these women incarcerated...

more

HOPE Christian Schools

Precious knows what it’s like be awakened by the sound of bullets ricocheting off the walls. The high school senior’s home in inner-city Milwaukee was riddled with gunfire during a drive-by shooting....

more

Amazing Connections

The newborn’s squall jarred the teenage mother from her sleep. Not again. She patted the baby’s back, pacing the room. She had to have a moment of peace. Had to find a ride to the food pantry to...

more

The Timor Water Project – “To Save a Village”

“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
                                 — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi,...

more

Tapping Parish Nurses to Train Family Caregivers

It was hard for Sue Callahan to watch her once-capable parents become frail and needy. Even harder because they lived a four-hour drive away from her home near Portland, Ore. She sacrificed much of...

more

Detroit Urban Lutheran School Christian Mentoring

Davon was hurting and it showed. The 13 year old was angry at the world, always bemoaning his circumstances. He felt justified in lashing out: since losing his father at the age of 11, his whole world...

more

Circle of Life

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ripped through the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, leaving a trail of destruction, debris and despair. Like their neighbors, parishioners and friends, Gulf Coast church leaders...

more

Shepherd’s Shelf Life Skills Coaching

It was the end of the month. Diana (not her real name) was short on grocery money and patience. Life was chaotic and stressful for the 40-year-old mother of three. After working three jobs, she lacked...

more

Liberian Refugee Assistance Program

In his home country of Liberia, John knew nothing but civil war. He was recruited into battle at a tender age. He witnessed the devastation of his family, his community and his nation. He escaped the...

more

FEAST – A Welcoming Ministry to Ex-Offenders and their Families

In the 33 years Tommy spent in prison, he had one visitor. One person considerate enough to check up on him. One person who took the time to care.

As Tommy neared the end of his prison term,...

more

Embrace the Experience – Experience the Embrace

Twelve-year-old Daniel grins from ear to ear as a volunteer helps him stroke the velvety rabbit. No words come from his mouth. But no words are needed. The sheer joy is written all over his face.

Daniel,...

more

Lutheran Blind Mission

Four years ago, Della’s world clouded over. Inoperable cataracts caused her to lose all vision in her left eye. The retired school teacher could no longer drive or read—a frightening change of life...

more

Congregations Supporting Seniors’ Independence

When 74-year-old Molly of Miami, Florida, spent nearly a full year in the hospital due to complications from a kidney transplant and a heart attack, she was confident of one thing: God had her where...

more

Holistic Health at Sea

As the ship pulled into the Port of Savannah, Georgia., a young Filipino crew member named Arnold suffered with a throbbing pain in his mouth. His cheek was swollen to the size of a golf ball. His discomfort...

more

Bayou Grace Community Services

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took their toll on Margaret, just as they did on thousands of others living in the bayou communities of southern Louisiana. Margaret’s home was flooded, making it uninhabitable...

more

Hope for Grieving Children – Zambia

At first glance, Laweyer, Ruthie and Mary appear like any other child in the southern African nation of Zambia. But, closer observation shows signs they are not so “normal.” Nine-year-old...

more

The Welcome Ministry

God give us hygiene.
Please God help us stay clean.
And if you have the time, keep us safe.
We do not want to live
in crime-filled streets.
God please get us out.–By Belinda...

more

Latino Connection/La Conexion

At 50 years young, Elizabeth left her hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico, to begin a new life in Minneapolis. She arrived without family, without English and without money. She was on her own.

Then she...

more

The Haven Network for Perinatal Death and Bereavement

As they left the Chicagoland hospital, Sara and Scott felt both giddy joy and gut-wrenching sadness. They carried home Sam, their newborn baby boy. But, they left without Sam’s twin sister, Grace,...

more

Rejoicing Spirits

It was a typical Sunday worship service in many ways: songs, a sermon, the Lord’s Prayer. But when it was nearly over, Freddie, a 16-year old boy with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum, snagged...

more

The Dream Makers Project

“Angela” is a single mother with three young children. When she came to the Lutheran Settlement House, she was homeless, reading at a level below first grade and knew little about childhood...

more

Serenity Inns

Lewis has called many different places “home” in his 40-year lifetime. There was the prison cell he shared with another inmate and the cold bridge he shivered under in the winter. He remembers...

more

Rehabilitation for Children in China

Ling Wie, 8, is a normal girl in every way, except she can’t walk properly. She is engaging, attentive, conversant and intelligent with a variety of interests. She has a wonderful sense of humor...

more