"Go into all the world and reach the Gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15
Several members of OSWLC, Cathy O'Meara, Bill Pfancuff, and Jean Hergenroeder (who is now in Texas), met with our missionaries, Derek and Mimi Ellis, to witness and bring supplies to families in the mountain villages around Zacapa and Antigua, Guatemala. Their activities included both home visits and participating in worship services. While the visits were focused primarily on outreach to women and families, there were also opportunities to share the gospel with men in the various communities.
Of significance was a group of teenage girls who are very focused on their future thanks to Mimi and Derek. These young women study hard, participate in sports, and are fully engaged in church. It is so important to get the girls to focus on staying in school and participating in activities to further their education and social circle in Guatemala. Without this guidance, many girls drop out of school and end up young mothers, some sadly in abusive situations. This group of young ladies are able to do this primarily through a program our missionaries started several years ago called KIS (Keep in School). Because of the high poverty rate, children are expected to help earn income for the family from an early age by harvesting crops. During the harvest seasons children are sent to the fields to work for about $30.00 per month and are not able to go to school. The KIS program locates sponsors to replace the child’s wages and parents sign a contract to ensure the children stay in school.
Haiti 2016 and 2017
During the summer of 2016 as well as 2017, small groups of congregational members went on a mission trip to Haiti. They visited an Orphanage there, conducted a Vacation Bible School, handed out Bibles, and ministered to children.
During the summer of 2016, a small group of members and Open Arms staff went on a mission trip to Guatemala. They helped to build a small center, conducted a Vacation Bible Study in a small mountain school, participated in a Women's workshop, and visited a Men's Rehab center to see how mission work is being accomplished in this area of the world.
In the summer of 2017, a group of members returned to Guatemala. Over the course of ten days, the team renovated a mountain village school outside of Antigua, ran a family game day, and made visits to homes and a senior center, delivering gifts and praying with the residents.
Southern Virginia 2017
In September of 2017, We participated in the Hope Festival located in Emporia, Virginia. Through the Hope Festival, we reach out in love and grace to those outside our Northern Virginia area.
High School Summer Mission Trips
Hurricane Sandy Relief- Crisfield, MD
Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States in October 2012. Sandy became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, and caused almost $62 billion in damages in the United States alone. Hurricane Sandy badly damaged Crisfield, Maryland. We have gone on over 15 trips to Crisfield since the storm, where we have helped build and renovate houses by painting, installing flooring, and other jobs. Also we have participated in community-building events to help support the children and elderly of Crisfield. We believe it is important to rebuild this community, not only repairing the homes, but also developing lasting relationships with the people!
Some of the other Worldwide Support
- Lutheran World Relief - "Affirming God's love for all people, we work with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice and human suffering."
- Orphan Grain Train - "In loving response to Christ, the Servant, the Orphan Grain Train movement encourages and enables God's people to share personal and material resources in bringing Christ's name and character to needy people both far and near."
- Lutheran Partners in Disaster Response - "LPDR is an integral part of the Long Term Recovery effort in Somerset County Maryland."
If you would like to financially support any of our missions click here.