Remember we talked about trying to document our connections and I mentioned the 6 degrees of separation theory. It’s in the July 11th blog on Pastor Carnicom and the July 30th blog on Pastor Maland, both serving in Minnesota North. That gives you an idea about how this works. This one is complicated so…..
John Halake is the General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya. He works with David Chu Chu to make sure that projects are funded and carried out properly. He was at the meeting when Project 24 was created by Bishop Obare. The Project 24 guys present at the meeting were, Bill Sharpe, executive secretary of the North Dakota Distirct, Ed Bean who at that time was working for the ND District, Bob Wurl from Hankinson, Kurt Daudt from Isanti Minnesota and me. When we returned home Roger Weinlaeder and Mark Hatloy also joined up and became part of the action. Roger had already helped in the building a dormitory that we consider the start of the Project 24 centers and Mark and Roger traveled to Kenya and purchased land that would ultimately become, through a lot of winding and wending, the Ukunda Center (see the Ukunda Tree, April 15th).
My interest in the different ways we “do” mission and mercy work was picqued when I visited St. Andrews in West Fargo ND. I found out that they have their own “mission society”. I also learned that Ken Koehler the youth director at St. Andrews is Bob Wurl’s (an original Project 24 guy) cousin. I have since learned that Minnesota North is a hotbed of “mission societies” and I have some theories about that. That is another topic for some other bog. However it was at St. Andrews where I met Rev. Zellers – I think his wife ironed my shirt, but I can’t remember why, and I remember talking with them about their children, but I don’t remember much else. Then Rev. Zellers took a call and I heard no more.
John Halake came to visit the United States a few years ago and his journey brought him to Maddens Resort in Brainerd where the Minnesota North Pastors were having their conference. I went to pick John up and Rev Zellers had been kind enough to shepherd John around for awhile. We visited and Zellers told me where to find John. We brought him over to Ada MN where he did a presentation and then we took him to St. Andrews where he did a presentation as well. Then John went and spent some time at Bob Wurl’s place in Hankinson. John enjoys coming up here and wants to come again, in fact he just emailed me and wants to come in October but that too is a story for another time. (See April 27th – “Connection – Partners – Seeds)
At any rate when the North Dakota and Minnesota North Presidents wanted to make Project 24 a mission/mercy emphasis I wanted to run a program that Roger Weinlaeders sister had dreamed up. Roger had a picture of two kids holding bricks that had been made on site at a center that would become Rongo, outside of Kisei town in Kenya. Her grab live was, “How Do You Build a Rescue Center?” Answer – “One Brick at a Time”. The idea was to get Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools to buy a brick for a dollar and the proceeds would go to build a center. I needed someone to head up the operation and District President Baneck suggested a teacher in Bismarck named Kristin Nistler. She made paper bricks that the children would get, one for every dollar they spent and Sunday Schools, Parochial Schools and VBS’s could build there own wall with these bricks. Kristin did an excellent job and I am very appreciative and came to find out that Rev. Zellers is Kristin’s Father. When I asked her where her Father was serving she told me that he was in Weber Minnesota. Weber is not far from Isanti where Kurt Daudt lives.
I don’t know if anyone else finds this sort of thing interesting but I think it is amazing. I want Pastor Zellers to know that his daughter did a great job. Anyone interested in “Brick by Brick” for a parochial School or Sunday School let me know and we will get you the stuff.