Kudos and God’s blessings to Katelyn Hiett from one of our sister congregations in the Mid-South District, Nashville North-South Circuit. Katelyn is in the deaconess program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and will be embarking on a mission to serve an orphanage in Ntshogweni, South Africa. Katelyn works with Hands of Mercy, a recognized service organization of the LCMS, in Yambio, South Sudan, to encourage people with disabilities and “train them in marketable skills to provide for their livelihood.” Katelyn has started a blog to chronicle her mission that begins in August. We’ll be following Katelyn on this blog as well. An excerpt from her first blog post introducing her new mission is below. You can also find out more about Mid-South Missions here.
“Not by Might” says the Lord
It is quiet and dark outside and the early morning dew has yet to set in. The rest of America is still sleeping, but I am wide awake. I suppose that is what 36 plus hours in transit from the other side of the world will do to a body. I have returned, now for the third time from Yambio, South Sudan where I work as a missionary deaconess for Hands of Mercy. For those of you who maybe are not so familiar with Hands of Mercy, it is an outreach of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan to people with disabilities. My involvement began when I was sent to Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN to begin my deaconess training. There I met Deaconess Pat Nuffer, founder of Hands of Mercy. Ever since it began in 2005, she has been going back and forth to Yambio to continue the church’s outreach to people with disabilities and to further strengthen Hands of Mercy as it moves toward self sustainability. It has been that goal which HOM has striven toward since its inception. As one might suspect, achieving it in a cultural context where war, disease, and poverty dominate is a bit of a challenge to say the least. It has taken quite a while and has been an uphill climb for Hands of Mercy to be in such good position to actually make this long time goal a reality.
Self sustainability is a buzz word among NGOs and non-profits working in the third world, and most especially in Africa. If anything is true, the way to self sustainability takes an almost inhuman measure of patience and perseverance. A measure I certainly have not attained to, but am learning well under the direction of Pat. This recent trip to Yambio brought to the fore the message God gave to Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts (4:6).”
Read the entire post here: four degrees north: “Not by Might” says the Lord.