Posted by: frankluter | March 3, 2014

Keeping Up

Hi Team!
We truly mean “Team”! You have made a great impact in our lives and encouraged us along the way, praying, giving, and just showing that you care about what we are involved in. Without YOU, we believe many of the opportunities with GAiN’s mercy ministry would not be possible.

Thank you for those of you who were able to share an extra gift at Christmas time to give our Cru account an extra boast to help with those travel ministry projects last year. It frees us up to do the things we feel God has called us to do.

Some of you were aware that we celebrated our Golden Anniversary last summer and were surprised by a gift from our generous “3” and their spouses honoring us with a Anniversary Cruise! IMG_8451

We were overwhelmed with such a flamboyant idea– us as humanitarian world travelers going on a leisure trip! We even suggested that we sign up for a “Mercy Ship” cruise and mingle the luxury with a bit of service. They did not agree to that idea!

So the plans were made to take a 7-day cruise on Holland America Lines to the Eastern Caribbean with ports of call; Grand Turks, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas!

Thinking our cruise would just be an exciting experience of sun, gourmet food and exotic locations, we were especially delighted to have the opportunity of meeting many internationals from Indonesia and the Philippians! They were our servers at the restaurants and stateroom attendants. By nature they are excellent workers and very respectful.

Interacting with them on a daily basis, we had opportunities to share our faith and some we gave the JESUS Film, DVD, in their language. A few of them were believers and met weekly for a time of fellowship and Bible study. IMG_8489We suggested that they show the JESUS Film in their study and invite other Indonesian cruise workers.

So wherever you go if you’re looking and available, there are always opportunities to share your faith. That made the cruise even more significant to us to be His representatives!

GAiN continues to be on course with sending containers of compassionate aid to all corners of the earth. One just arrived in the Horn of Africa and South Sudan and will be distributed to those in great need. Zimbabwe is receiving water filters. Other countries, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Central Asia, Middle East, & Zambia have containers in route. Partnering churches are effectively being utilized to facilitate the distributions of humanitarian aid and sharing the Good News.

Some of you have been part of providing medical supplies, sewing blankets, pillowcase sundresses, and sending checks to help with GAiN’s overseas projects. Even some of you have enjoyed going with us to our GAiN’s PA Distribution Center volunteering your time on a regular basis to process these donated items.

The Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer in Lansing owned by our three children & spouses, continues to be a successful undertaking. Mark, Andrea &Todd are actively involved in the business.
Our youngest granddaughter, Emma Grace (“Noob” & Juleen’s) is 13 months old now and keeps us on the move when she comes to our home for 2 days when her Mommy works.IMG_1095

Brynne (Todd & Susan’s), now a teenager, has been gifted with special vocal abilities. Her sister, Aslynne, almost a teenager, shows abilities in baking fantastic specialty cakes.
Andrew & Nick (Mark & Andrea’s) are both attending a Christian Mentoring Academy, DLA in Colorado Springs.
Lauren & Seth (Mark & Andrea’s daughter) live in VA with18th month old Piper and anticipating another baby in July.Image 1
Emily & Nathan (Mark & Andrea’s daughter) enjoy their 15th month old Cora.Image 2

Family is PRIORITY! As you have been partners with us for many years, you too have become “family” to us. You are appreciated for standing in the gap with us, praying for us, and giving!. Let this be a huge THANK YOU from us is coming your way for your part!

Frank & Ruth

Posted by: frankluter | December 7, 2013

Our Greatest Challenge Right Now

They come here needing to improve their English so that they might be able to carry on a conversation in English. In most cases they can read and write in English but need help and practice to be able to communicate better in the international business world (in English). They come to us (we don’t have to get a passport, travel thousands of miles, and we get to eat the food we’re use to and sleep in our own bed) to be friends and learn much of the Bible. Some come for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or more and they want to be friend with us and learn our culture and many want to learn what is in the Bible. They have a growing hunger to know what Christianity is all about. God does His work and some make the decision to commit their lives to following Jesus.

Now the challenge begins. What do you do with someone who has just become a Christian and they will be leaving to go back to their country where they may not have contact with another Christian. What happens when a couple have become a Christian and they have had two babies in the United States and when they return to their home country they will be severely fined and he will loose his job as a professor? What if they are from another faith where their family will reject them and even go to the point of murdering them. Hard questions but this is what is happening.

God is bringing them to us and now we have to trust them back to him. We have contact by email and sometimes by international phone calls but it becomes quite difficult to disciple them by email. One college professor became a Christian with Frank, spend many hours studying the Bible together, returned to his country. Frank suggested that he needed to find another Christian in his country or find a church were he could continue to grow in his faith. He said to Frank, “I have a Bible and you told me that when I became a Christian that God the Holy Spirit came to live in me and to help me understand the Bible. I have all I need to grow.”

I learned from him that this is truly the ministry of God and that He that drew them to Himself can also help each of these to grow. With some, he will bring them to those who will help them grow and the others we will trust the Holy Spirit with their growth.

These would be our greatest prayer requests: That those who have yet to decide to follow Jesus would do so. That those who have become Christians would be able to grow in their faith. That God would give us wisdom to do what we do by email and in countries where emails are searched and Jesus is not welcome protect our messages. As our partners will you join us in prayer concerning these challenges?

Thank you for praying,
Frank & Ruth

Posted by: frankluter | September 11, 2013

Sept. 2013 Newsletter

Dear Partners,                                                            September 2013

Summer is here and gone, with just a hint of Fall revealing the changing colors of the leaves along with the cooler nights.

With the world around us in constant flux, isn’t it comforting to know that our God is changeless….”the same today, yesterday and forever!”  (Hebrews 13:8).

Some things just never change—- in June we travel to Pennsylvania to work in the GAiN Distribution Center–in July we usually attend our CRU Staff Conference in Ft. Collins, Colorado, at Colorado State University with some  5500-6000 staff.  We joined Cru in 1969 and have served 25 years as full time staff. We celebrated this milestone along with other staff who would be nearing their 30th, some 40th and still others, their 50th year of service with Cru!

A “First” event for the conference was a smaller Legacy conference of some 230 staff who are over 65 years of age.  Cru upholds & affirms those in that age group who are well seasoned in their ministries. Encouragement was given to continue on to climb the “summit” to spiritual maturity specializing in the work that God has called us while accepting our aging physical limitations.   Many other older staff are mentoring younger staff with their knowledge & expertise. No experienced older staff is considered dispensable!

Vonette Bright, wife of founding, former president of Cru, Dr. Bill Bright, was present at the conference.  This July marked the 10th anniversary of Dr. Bill Bright’s home-going to Heaven.  Dr. Steve Douglas and wife, Judy, current president, gave affirmations to us older staff to stay with the program and use the ministry giftedness that God had build into us over the years.

Steve’s main message to the larger staff was the essential role of the Holy Spirit from Ephesians 5:18 encouraging us to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, always submitting to the Word of God and living in obedience to Him. No ministry is fruitfully sustained if the Holy Spirit is not empowering the submitting, obedient believer.

August is usually our vacation month.  It proved to be a rather fun, family/friend-filled month.  We celebrated our 50th anniversary with our family and friends making unforgettable memories. Yes, and 50 years have passed since ever so quickly since the commitment we made to each other before God, family. and guests in a church in Lansing, MI.  And He is the One who has cemented that covenant marriage giving us the power to say “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.” or just forgiving without hearing an apology!  Those three sentences are the glue that holds a marriage together.

Also in August we had more fun showing some of our international students the beautiful Upper Peninsula, seeing Tahquamenon Falls, White Fish Point, looking out at the massive Lake Superior, and the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Along with seeing outstanding sights, we enjoyed some fishing but catching only non-keeper.

Our work with Global Aid Network will not change.  Sometimes our goals change but giving Help & Hope, coupled with the Gospel, to the needy across the world is always our prime focus with GAiN.  We are targeting 5 countries; South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.

Internationals are still on our priority ministry list— it will not change!  As long as there are visiting scholars, graduate students or post-doc internationals who want to learn English, and many who want to learn God, the Bible, and how they can have a personal relationship with Him, we are available!   Our greatest desire is to reflect the life of Christ to those who come our way from many different Nations through the university.

We have them “sitting at our store step” looking for academic excellence and meaningful relationships. Some are very interested in knowing about the Bible and what are its teachings.

Thank you for your partnership with us. Remember to print this for others to read.

Frank & Ruth Luter

Posted by: frankluter | June 14, 2013

Baby Steps to the Mission Field

Baby Steps to the Mission Field

POSTED: 14 JUNE, 2013

USA (MNN) ― We tell you stories all the time about groups who are meeting physical needs all over the world. A team will typically arrive on the ground, set up, and start a distribution of goods.

Ever wonder how those goods get packed? Global Aid Network (GAiN USA) takes some of the mystery out of that. As the relief and development aid arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International, GAiN’s ministry spans the globe helping to meet physical needs in areas of poverty and despair, and providing hope through evangelistic outreach.

All of their aid is packed by volunteers. Easy enough, until you start thinking of the volume they distribute in a year: 8,000+ pounds of used clothing, 34,000+ pounds of new clothing, nearly 169,000 pounds of rice and bean meals, hundreds of boxes of medical supplies, nearly 14,000 pairs of shoes, Care Packs, Harvester Packs, Gospel Aprons, bracelets, and more.

How many volunteers would that take? If you look at last year’s aid levels, it would take over three thousand volunteers to pack all those goods about five days. That’s a logistical nightmare, right?

Not really, answers Steve Watson, director of relief and development for GAiN USA. Next week, starting Tuesday, June 18, they’re going to throw the doors open at their Distribution Center in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, and welcome thousands of volunteers.

After a short tour of the facility, a brief rundown on the ministry, and a short training session, the teams are organized on a project and put to work. The enthusiasm spreads quickly, and he says, “For a week, we just pack everything we can pack. So we will wind up with 20,000 Gospel bead bracelets, thousands of CarePacks, thousands of pounds of food, and it’s just amazing to see.”

GAiN says there’s something for people of all ages to do. They’re encouraging families to join them, too. The materials being packed are destined for use supporting evangelistic work, but, Watson says, that’s not the only place it happens. “The interesting thing is that we have people come in with school groups, or some are camp groups and things like that, some of whom are not believers. Throughout the day, they hear how we take the aid and share the Gospel.”

They also have break times and tell the stories of the people who receive the aid the groups are packing. That, too, has results. “We actually share the Gospel throughout the day, and I’ve heard people who have come and have become believers while they’re there.”

Some people use the packing event as a family vacation. For others, it’s a way to explore the world of missions. Watson explains, “People have that tug, but sometimes they’re reluctant to go to Africa, or to Central America, or outside of their comfort zone. This is a way you can come in and do something tangible that isn’t necessarily hard.”

From there, he says, more than one volunteer has begun the journey of a lifetime. He recalled one volunteer who worked up the courage to go on a short-term trip after her involvement with the GAiN packing event. Since then, she’s more than overcome her reluctance to go overseas, and has participated on eight trips outside of the United States.

Are you feeling that tug? Interested in giving the packing event a try? It starts June 18 and runs through June 22. You can register here. 

Posted by: frankluter | June 1, 2013

Luter’s Update June 2013

WHERE WE’VE BEEN?  This year has skipped by so fast.  It seems that the most fun, enjoyable and meaningful events in our lives, come to a close all too soon.  Our family gatherings never seem to be frequent enough.  Our 3 adult children, 7 grand children, and 2 great grand daughters are all precious to us but there is not enough time to be close to them.  Sometimes distance is a factor, sometimes brevity of time is a factor. 

We feel this way with our MSU international students that we tutor, engaging in fun events and building relationships –all to earn their trust so that they might find faith in the God of all Nations, whom we serve.

We look back to a year of building bridges of strong relationships with them.  Conversations that lead to asking their view of God from what we have studied in the weekly Monday night English classes.  Many come with a theological blank page written on their minds.  They have no God-concept believing that God does not exist in their experience.  So the faith journey is slow & tedious and we count on the Holy Spirit to use the Word of God to break through the darkness.

WHERE WE ARE GOING?   We have a busy summer planned.  This June, we travel to Pennsylvania to GAiN’s Distribution Center to help staff the huge event where some 4500-5000 plus volunteers will join us for a week of productive activity preparing donated items to be sent overseas.  This is always a great week of hard work but very fulfilling.  These volunteers feel rewarded by coming to be part of what our big God is doing all over the world through loving gifts of humanitarian efforts.

Then July, we take off for another CRU Staff Conference at CSU campus in Ft. Collins, CO where some 6000 plus stateside staff and some international staff gather for equipping, refreshing and challenging staff to believe God for the impossible!  Outstanding speakers, engaging workshops, and ministry planning will fill our weeks there on campus.

In August, we have plans to spend time with our family relaxing and celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary together.  Then some of our international “family” will join us for a small retreat and we hope to enjoy the Upper Peninsula with them and acquainting them with the most beautiful area of Michigan.   At least we think so.  Again planning these events to strengthen relationships and trusting this will open windows of faith?

WHATS THE FUTURE?    Now that Frank has a new pace maker and has his back pain somewhat under control our plans are to keep involved in ministry but on a little less scale.  We believe that God still wants to use us.  We could not be doing what we are doing without you partnering with us.  We pray each day to thank God for you and for Him to bless you for your faithfulness.

Have a great summer!

Frank & Ruth Luter