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Posts Tagged ‘Project 24’

Harvala Speaks to Convention

Rev. Larry Harvala is a former President of the North Dakota District and one of those interchangeable parts we talk about that cross between Minnesota North and North Dakota Districts and contribute to our life together.

In his address to the Convention Harvala talked about one of the folks who were not at the convention and that was Bill Sharpe who passed away.  We don’t do eulogies someone said, and so Harvala did not give a eulogy but a commendation to a faithful servant.  In rich and beautiful Gospel language Larry proclaimed the unity of the church and the power of the Holy Spirit to enhance our life together even when we sometimes “step on each other’s toes”.  Toe stepping does not have to be damaging when our feet are “equipped with the Gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6). Brothers and sisters in the family of God exist in spaces that overlap with one another and cause toe stepping  to happen.  The fact that we are “in Christ” removes the pain.  Folks working together is offices and working on projects can sometimes step on one another toes.  Bill made the work easy and fun and kept the toe stepping to a minimum. He is missed to this day and folks are still truing to figure out all the things he did that will need to be duplicated.

Larry gave a wonderful commendation to a fellow servant that was much appreciated and heart felt.  Thank you.

Bill Sharpe has been memorialized by Resolution 2-07.  All funds given in support of Project 24 – Christ’s Care for Children – Kenya be given in his memory.

You can read more about Bill in the blog from April 11, 2017







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Prayers Ascend.

vikenI had the privilege of preaching in Hesperia California at Faith Lutheran church and talking about Project 24 a few years back thanks to Pastor Brad Viken who used to be at Immanuel in Grand Forks.  Hesperia is in San Bernadino Co in what is called the High Desert.  The so called Blue Cut fire on El Cajon Pass has brought a lot of evacuees into that town.  Pastor Viken posted this picture and these words.

“Fires are still crazy. Prayers encouraged. Several from the church are evacuated but no injured and among our church family there have been no structures lost. Several stranded away from home. Faith Lutheran church will gather today for those available from 3-6 for fellowship, games etc. at 5 pm we will eat pizza. At 6 pm we will gather in the sanctuary for a prayer service. Join us if you can.”

Lord Have Mercy.


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Britt Odemba and Project 24

photo (36)

Looking forward to working with Britt and thankful for the partnerships that have developed since Project 24 had some issues and floundered for a while.  Much appreciated.

From Pastor Trump –

Britt is an LCMS missionary in Kenya who has
served here faithfully for almost three years. She has been instrumental in
assisting me with the development of the Project24 proposal and the groundwork in
bringing Kissinger on board as Director.  Britt’s  background is in early childhood
education with more than a decade of experience as a preschool director in the
States before joining our team in Kenya as an education consultant. Britt is
currently transitioning in her responsibilities as an ELCK school in Kenya that she
has helped rescue has found new footing and blossomed under her care. As she
transitions the school over to a head teacher, Britt is available to provide some
support to Kissinger on a part-time basis, primarily focused on communications with
interested parties in the LCMS and further developing the digital packet system and
donor-child match system as those components of the project begin. One thing Britt
will do is send out the P24/CCC monthly newsletter.

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Minnesota North Convention

View of Lake Darling on Convention Morning The Minnesota North Convention Started on Monday at Arrowwood Resort on the beautiful shores of lake Darling near Alexandria Minnesota.  I went down on Sunday night to deliver and set up a display for Project 24 and bring along the movie that Stephanie Erlandson and the team had worked so hard on.  It was like driving through a hurricane the whole way down.  When I got there a gentleman from Concordia Publishing House was setting up his display and I said that if the temperature dropped another four degrees we would have some troubles.  It did and we did.  This is the view of Lake Darling I saw in the morning.  I chipped my vehicle out of the ice and finished my display.

Rev. Don Fondow was elected on the first ballot.  President Matthew Harrison spoke at the convention and on Tuesday Project 24 was officially adopted as the Project for Minnesota North.  The question was asked if North Dakota had officially adopted Project 24 and the answer was ‘yes’.  So it is official and one of the reasons that this blog exists is to show the partnerships and connection that Minnesota North and North Dakota have and have had.

In the weeks ahead I am going to try and lay out the meaning of Districts partnering with a partner church overseas, which is what we are doing, and the relationships we have to Synod and that partner church.  We (MN North and North Dakota) are going to be a ‘pilot Project’ for this kind of cooperation with overseas partner churches.

Congratulations to President Fondow and the other vice Presidents on their reelection.




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Deaconess Mary Okeyo – Requiescat in Pace

Those of us involved with Project 24 are, and anyone who has visited Kenya and the ELCK must be impressed with the Deaconess’.  They are the embodiment of the churches life of mercy and care for others.  I was priveleged to be able to present many of them with a certificate as they completed an AIDS training curricula and were preparing to go back to their areas and care for AIDS victims in their parishes.  Any one impressed with deaconess’ had to be impressed with Mary Okeyo.  Mary was a tireless worker for the Gospel.  Presidents Fondow and Baneck went on home visits with Mary and were so impressed that they want some of our young people to have the opportunity to work with and learn from these remarkable women ( see the August21, 2011 blog).
Mary passed away on Friday and those who knew her have lost a friend and the ELCK has lost a dedicated and remarkable worker.
Mary Akoth Okeyo was born on 27th October 1970. The father is the late Peterlis Ojowi who died Auguts 1995 and her mother is Pheobe Ojowi. Mary was born in Kamgan Village in Nyakach District. She attended Nyabondo Primary School, then proceeded to Naki Secondary school.
Mary attended her deaconess training at Ogango Deaconess training College in 1994 to 1996.
Mary joined the work with Diakonia Compassionate Ministry (DCM) in 2004 and was very instrumental in helping the families that were displaced with floods focusing mainly on the orphans, widows and the elderly. She led the formation of East Kano Joint Christian Disaster Response Group. Mary was a living example for bring Christ mercy to her communities. She one of the most experienced and hard working deaconess in serving the orphans and the needy in ELCK.
Mary was married on Dec 26, 1988 to Mr Evans Okeyo and they are blessed with four children: Jessica 20, Luke 17, Geoffrey 12, and Shadrack 10.
Rev. David Chuchu writes, “We were attending a conflict transformation workshop organized by ELCK in Nairobi. As I was taking my breakfast, a lady from Nairobi (Jane) who was Mary’s roommate told me that Mary is not feeling well in her room. I immediately called her and she told me that “Pastor come, I am not feeling well.” I quickly went to her room with pastor Jospeh Osumba and we tried to help her walk out of his bed and she was too week. We had her sleep in her mattress and used that to carry her out of the room to the car. Rev John Halakhe drove the car as fast as he could. We rushed to the hospital and on the way she told us “let me sleep well, I am dying” We reached hospital and as the doctors were attending her, she screamed a loud and said, I am dying. I called Bishop Obare to come and he immediately he came. I walked him to the room where Mary was being attended. The Bishop said, Let us pray. He prayed and as he finished Mary breathed her last as we watched. The Lord called her home. It was very traumatized to see one of the hardest deaconesses I work with die in our hands. I am still with her in Nairobi as autopsy is being done at Chiromo Funeral Home. I will share with you later the cost of her death after the postmortem is done. Mary’s body will be here in Nairobi, as we work on logistics on how to transport the body back to Kisumu possibly early next week and then oragnize the funeral. I have called her husband and he is on the way coming to Nairobi today. “

Deaconess Mary and Unita

This is Mary and I believe the other deaconess’ name is Unita.  If not I hope she will forgive me.  Mary is taking charge as she ususally did and pointing the way as always.  We will ahve more on Mary and all of these remarkable women in future blogs.
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