- SERVANT STORIES OF EVERYDAY CHRISTIANS
- Many people serve without fanfare. But the LDA recognizes those “everyday Christians,” whose love and care for people in need make them partners with deaconesses all over the world.
They are among us as ones who serve. If you know someone with a servant-heart, share their story. E-mail Diane.Marten@valpo.edu.
1. Let me introduce to you one of the saints of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio: Harriet Kraemer. Right after joining Messiah Lutheran in 1955, Harriet became involved with a group who would visit the shut-ins in their homes and nursing homes. She faithfully visited, read scripture and prayed with them. She brought Christ to others, and the people looked forward to her visits.
As the years went by, she joined the congregation’s visitation pastor, and when he retired, she helped start a Eucharistic Ministry program. She and others were equipped to bring Christ to shut-ins as they brought the bread and the wine. And that’s not all. Harriet taught Sunday school for students with developmental disabilities, so that none would be forgotten.
For 55 years, and to this day, Harriet’s strength and motivation come solely from an undivided faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Harriet never sought recognition. But the LDA recognizes Harriet, whose love and care for people in need makes her a partner with deaconesses all over the world.
Harriet Kraemer, Messiah Lutheran Church, Fairview Park, OH
From Deaconess Nancy Mickan
2. Gene’s passion for young people is pretty inspiring. One time, he shaved his long hair to be in solidarity with a 4 year old little friend who was going through chemo. His interest in youth and their faith journeys shines through every one of his smiles, hugs and conversations.
This amazing servant leader has been working with and alongside senior high school students for three years. He equips them for hope in the broken places of the world, like the Network Coffee house, a free coffee-house for the homeless in Denver. He not only teaches the youth, but engages and inspires the entire congregation.
Gene and his wife and daughter are voices of justice for the ostracized members of humanity through the hospitality of their home. He leads by example both on tip-toe and on bended knee, and is an inspiration and joy to be around.
The LDA recognizes Gene, whose love and care for people in need makes him a partner with deaconesses all over the world.
Gene Tesdahl, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Longmont, CO
From Deaconess Kristen Baltrum, Longmont, CO
3. Donna, one of our senior members, helps us host homeless families (four weeks each year). She takes some overnight shifts, shops for groceries, and does laundry at the end of the week.
This active woman keeps extremely busy with her plethora of volunteer activities, both inside and outside the congregation. You might find Donna at the Habitat Restore, or helping at the neighborhood community meal, or working with VBS.
The LDA recognizes Donna, whose love for people and compassionate heart for those who struggle for food and shelter, makes her a partner with deaconesses all over the world.
Donna Burgette, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Madison, WI
From Deaconess Juanita Ebert