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Mission Update
Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive 
South Wisconsin District
414-464-8101 Kelm@swd.lcms.org
Passionate believers... confessing Christ for the next generation
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  
(Luke 11:9-10) 
Read all about this Rural & Small Town national conference taking place in Wichita, KS, November 1-3, 2016.
July 2016
Thank you, and good-bye!
"And there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

As I grew up in a wonderful, nurturing Lutheran church in suburban Milwaukee, those words from Revelation struck me as very other-worldly. You know, stuff that only happens in heaven.

But through a spring break building houses in Mexico, to a summer on the mission field in Eastern Europe, to a vicarage in Ghana, West Africa, and most recently to my last three years as Mission Executive here in Milwaukee, God has graciously shown me that the vision from Revelation doesn't have to be so other-worldly. Oh, don't misunderstand. This is not heaven on earth...and I still can't wait for the heavenly banquet. But the church in the here and now is a foretaste of the feast to come, and I've been blessed to be a part of it.

I've learned so much in these last three years. Most of all I've learned how little I know: about other cultures, about planting churches in this culture, about church politics and its culture. But this much I do know: God is using our little LCMS to spread the Kingdom of His Son among so many different people of so many different nations, tribes, people and languages.   
Thank you to my Hispanic brothers and sister (Alfonso, German Jr. and German, Sr., Edmundo, David and Bessie) for showing me just how critical it is for our church body to take ministry to our Spanish-speaking neighbors seriously. Your commitment and faithfulness inspires me, and I always felt welcome among you.

Thank you to my African brothers! Chris, Afam, Gui, Elijah, Ebou, and the sainted Benjamin. Your zeal for the Gospel and your ability to communicate in a truly Lutheran - and truly African - way has filled the void in my heart since we left Africa. You labor without much of the comfort and security that many of us take for granted...trusting that the Lord will care for you. And He has!

Thank you to my Hmong brothers! Faiv Neng, Blong, Moua, Moses, Joshua and Neal. You taught me so much about Hmong culture, and the incredible challenges that you face in reaching that culture for Jesus Christ. Being Hmong and Lutheran is not always so easy...but you live your life and discharge your ministry with honor and courage.

Thank you to my Indian friends Praveen and Priya. Your personal stories of faith and ministry remind me that our God still does miracles. Your willingness to simply follow Jesus with trust and confidence is so encouraging to me. God bless you!

Thank you to my Karenni brothers and sisters in Christ. My ministry among you will always be one of the great highlights of my life. Your willingness to share your lives with total strangers from a strange place called Freistadt will stick with me forever.

Too many more thanks to hand out. Thank you to President Wille for the opportunity to serve the District. Thanks to Peg for filling in the gaps of my knowledge and memory. Thanks to my predecessor Dan McMiller for doing such incredible work. Thanks to all those I've worked with at the SWD office: Mark, Herman, Diana, Chris, Karen, Robin, and Barb. Thanks to John and Bud for showing me that passion for the deaf is important, to Dan and Ken for sharing your hearts with college kids, to Judy and Bessie for reaching out to and welcoming international students and families. Thanks to all the pastors and laypeople who have helped me, encouraged me, and prayed for me - especially as I was diagnosed with cancer last year. And a special thank you to my wife Angie, and Jacob, Caleb and Chloe for being so supportive.

But above all goes thanks to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. In His great mercy, He has allowed me these three years to serve Him and has now called me back to the parish at First Immanuel in Cedarburg.

LWML-SWD mission grant

Praise God! In their convention in Madison at the end of June, the LWML-SWD voted to approve our District's grant request for Free at Last to focus ministry efforts on women, both those incarcerated at the House of Correction and those family members of inmates. We look forward to developing this ministry with the LWML's help!

For a summary of other news from  their convention, please go to this link
YOUR turn to be the missionaries! 
Please share this with M.D.s, P.A.s and R.N.s whom you know or are members of your congregation!

Many of you have been on a short term mission trip of one kind or another. Some such trips are to assist areas that have been devastated by hurricanes, tsunamis and the like. Others are intended to build relationships through the teaching of English, or to build safer housing, or even to build a chapel. And some bring medical teams along to areas of our world that do not have access to basic health care. All of them, especially those initiated by an LCMS organization such as MOST Ministries, are motivated by our desire to share the love of God, Who in mercy sent the His Son, our Savior, to our broken world.

At the encouragement of Carol Claybaker, a District member who has gone on many medical mission trips, we are very interested in putting a medical mission team together through MOST Ministries. If you are at all interested-no commitment needed right now-in joining such a mission team to leave next spring or possibly fall, and likely going to Guatemala, please read further, and let us know ASAP!