About three weeks ago, the head preschool teacher and a preschool student came into the church office. The student had drawn a picture for me and put it on a square piece of cardboard. You can see what the picture looks like above. I asked the student about the picture, and she told me that it was a picture of Jesus and the cross. I thanked the student for drawing the picture for me and told her that I would put it up on my door. If you’re in the office, you can see it posted on my door. It looks very nice!
The next day, when I saw the student’s grandmother, I asked her if she could give me some background on the picture. She said that cardboard was leftover from something (she couldn’t remember what) and that it was her granddaughter’s idea to draw what she did and give it to me.
I’ve been thinking about this picture ever since the student brought it to me. Can you see Jesus with His longer hair and beard? Can you see the cross next to Him?
This simple picture of Jesus and His cross are a good representation of the wonderful things that are happening in our preschool and daycare missions. Trinity Lutheran Preschool started in January of 1982. Kids of HIS Kingdom Daycare started in August of 2012.
Over the years, as teachers and pastors have taught the children in their daily activities and in chapel, the students have heard the good news about Jesus as their loving Savior—that He died on the cross for them and rose again from the dead for them to rescue them and all people from sin, from death, and from the power of the devil. John 3:16-17, ESV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
If last year is like this year, then about half of our students and their families in both missions have church homes in the area. The others do not. Whether it is here locally or globally in places like Honduras, we are thankful for the privilege that our living Savior, Jesus, has given us to participate in that work of making “disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 25:19) With God’s word that we plant among people in different settings by ourselves and with the help of others, the Holy Spirit works to bring more people to repentance and faith in Jesus as their loving and living Savior.
Thanks for your support of missions with your time, abilities and finances over the years, so that others can hear the good news about Jesus as their loving Savior. As I said in the last newsletter, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the reformation of the church. Even as we remember and celebrate this important milestone, I pray that you and I will continue support the mission work that we’re doing together as a congregation. I pray also that you and I will grow in being personally involved in telling others the good news about how God saves us—by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. That’s what God tells us so clearly in His Holy Word – the Bible. We do so not for our own glory, but for the sake of people like that preschool student who drew the picture of Jesus and His cross for me—so that they will hear about Him, believe in Him as Savior, join us in following Him in faith as Savior always, and enjoy life together with our living Lord forever in His heavenly home. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
God’s continued blessings to you and your families!
Pastor Jon Rathjen
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Download: Labors of Love April - May 2017