St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Orange CA
The people of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Orange annually organize a School Supplies Drive to reach out to their community. Now in its 8th year, the School Supplies Drive distributed more than 100 backpacks filled with necessary school supplies to students in need.
Originally aimed at helping neighboring families in Orange, this outreach has grown internationally. For the first time, St. Paul’s is partnering with Lutheran churches in Tijuana and Sonora, Mexico. Vicar Job Jimenez at Iglesia Luterana Cristo Redentor, recently loaded up his car to deliver the backpacks to Mexico.
Of course, these backpacks are filled with pencils, paper, rulers, crayons, scissors, and binders, but they are also filled with the love of Jesus as they combine the needs of the community with an invitation to worship and a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Gail Kanneg, a St. Paul’s member and one of the participants in the effort, said “We are blessed with so many resources here in Orange County, California, but there are so many in need all around us. Through this expression of Jesus’ love, we are showing these children that we are concerned about their educational and spiritual formation.”
The PSD Hispanic Circuit has proven to be a building block for partnerships and collaborations of this type. As part of this affinity circuit, this year Pastor Marcelino Velasco of Centro Cristiano Emanuel Iglesia Luterana, Santa Paula, CA will be working to supply backpacks and schools supplies in Ventura County.
This partnership was brought to the attention of Lutheran Church Extension Fund, who is helping with a generous donation. Tyler Fewins, LCEF District Vice President for the Pacific Southwest District shared, “A main goal of LCEF-PSD is to work in partnership with our congregations, beyond loans. So, when I heard about this outreach and partnership between ministries, I wanted to get involved. It is my privilege to be able to help sponsor the backpacks and school supplies. Our PSD ministries should feel free to reach out to us with these types of opportunities.”
God’s hand has been very evident as this outreach continues to grow. Vicar Jimenez said, “The parents are so very thankful for this expression of Christian generosity and the joy on the children’s faces when they receive their backpacks is beyond description.” God is at work through this creative gifting of school supplies and backpacks!
Join us in Prayer
Gracious Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the ministry of St. Pauls and ask that you continue to bless it. We lift up all the students who were blessed by the School Supply Drive and pray they feel your love and presence in their lives. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
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