Negativity and hatred bombard us in our newsfeeds, on our TVs, and even in our conversations. Evil invades our lives and often drives us toward despair. In this tornadic darkness, one message of love slices through the bitter gloom—the message of Jesus.
Our mission as Christians is to share the unconditional love of Jesus with the world, and that often involves modeling Jesus’ love for those in need. Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church, an inner-city LCMS congregation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sought to share that love by supporting new parents in their community.
Pregnancies—planned or unplanned—can be daunting for families facing poverty, homelessness, and gang violence. Choosing life in these circumstances may not be the easy option for families who would raise their child in a broken home. Knowing these difficulties, Shepherd of the City wanted to support the low-income families in their community and hosted their second-annual “Diaper Giveaway” to provide these families with much-needed baby supplies.
Through donations, grants, and loving service, Shepherd of the City gave away about three thousand diapers. Each of the sixty-four families received twenty-five to thirty diapers per child. But the congregation wanted to give people more than infant necessities.
Deaconess intern Emily Daniels contacted Concordia Gospel Outreach (CGO) about the program, explaining that Shepherd of the City wanted to give away Arch Books as well. CGO sent them the books right away, thrilled to help the community in Fort Wayne and Shepherd of the City.
Over fifty Arch Books were given out during the event, sharing the Gospel of Jesus—that message of love—with each family. One refugee woman from Sudan who recently migrated to the United States was “thrilled to receive an Arch Book for her unborn child,” Deaconess Daniels recalls.
Along with their parents, children were ecstatic to receive the Arch Books. At one point, a scuffle broke out as three little brothers fought over an Arch Book. They each wanted the book for themselves, but their rivalry evaporated when a smiling helper gave them two more Arch Books. Joy replaced their scuffle, and their hands held the Gospel.
Deaconess Daniels thanks God for making the event possible and successful. She says, “Sharing the Arch Books opened up conversations about the Gospel,” the all-important conversations about Jesus’ death and resurrection that Shepherd of the City desired. They wanted these conversations because, as Daniels says, “We care!”
Negativity and hatred sometimes dominate our conversations, but amid our sinful world the best conversations center on the Gospel. The best conversations occur because we care.
We here at Concordia Gospel Outreach are thankful for the love shown at Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church, and we want to connect with more churches and more partners to share the Gospel around the world. Please consider donating to or partnering with us today as we seek to serve the lost and share the Gospel with the globe.