The Gospel of Mark states that "for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…"

God eagerly calls us to serve-- both near and far.  One of the greatest commands Jesus gives us in the New Testament is to,  "love your neighbor as yourself."  The heart to serve comes to us from the overflow of Christ's love for us and then from our Christ-like love for those around us.  We are committed to partnering with each other on mission, locally and globally, and through this commitment we all have the opportunity to use our own unique God-given abilities to change lives by shining the light that is within us… that is Jesus.

One of the most powerful ways to worship God is to simply serve His people.  And there's no better time than now to put our faith into practice by getting connected to one of our mission opportunities.  We partner with, and seek out, local and global mission organizations who share our passion for loving our neighbors and we encourage you to get involved in the work God has called us to. 

LOCAL MISSIONS

We encourage everyone in the Shepherd of the Desert community to get involved in the work of meeting the needs of people here in the great Phoenix area.  We encourage individuals, families, community groups, entire ministries, and our school and preschool to get involved in the mission of God here in the valley.

NEW CITY PHOENIX is a mission organization that we are very proud to work with to meet the needs of people here in our local community.  We partner with New City Phoenix on a regular basis by providing food and clothing assistance, Thanksgiving and Easter baskets, gifts for families at Christmastime, and hands-on projects in and around the great Phoenix area.  For more information about how to get involved in our local missions efforts, please contact Pastor Jeremy DaPena at jdapena@sotdaz.org.  For more information about New City Phoenix, please visit their website at newcityphoenix.com.

YOUNG LIVES... is focused on reaching teen moms by entering their world, modeling the unconditional love of Christ, and encouraging them to become the women and mothers God created them to be.  Through Young Life's time-tested methods and life-on-life mentoring, teen moms are empowered to make positive choices, set and achieve goals, and live a future rooted in Christ.  For more information, please visit their website at younglife.org.

MATTHEW 25 PROJECT... is a mission organization who's focus is to organize and equip volunteers to get involved in meaningful, sacrificial capacities.  They feed, clothe and comfort the homeless in Phoenix while providing dignity and love to everyone they encounter.  For more information about their work in a variety of homes in the Phoenix area, visit their website at matthew25az.org.

GLOBAL MISSIONS

In addition to meeting the needs of people in the greater Phoenix area, we also understand the importance of taking an active role in the mission of God to build the Church throughout the world.  This doesn't literally mean building a church building, rather it means that we are at work to see that people all across the world are being led to follow Jesus.  We want to see people from all across the globe and from all walks of life following after Jesus and we are constantly seeking ways to expand our reach into the whole world.

FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN... is a global mission partner of Shepherd of the Desert that is committed to feeding God's children who are hungry in body and spirit.  Over the last few years, Shepherd of the Desert has partnered with Feed My Starving Children to send more than 800,000 meals to children in need all across the world.  For more information about how to get involved in our work with Feed My Starting Children, please contact Chuck Gerken at cgerken@sotdaz.org.  And for more information about Feed My Starving Children and the work they do, please visit their website at fmsc.org.

GROUNDWORK GUATEMALA... is a global mission partner of Shepherd of the Desert that is committed to serving the people of Guatemala.  They exist to assist the least of these spiritually, emotionally and physically and their team of local missionaries in Guatemala have a deep desire to grow in faith through the study of God's Word in order to lead the people of Guatemala City and the surround villages and communities to follow Jesus.  For more information about how to get involved in our work with Groundwork Guatemala, contact John Grass at jgrass10@gmail.com.  And for more information about Groundwork Guatemala and the work they do, please visit their website at groundworkguatemala.org.  

THIS  IS  THE  DAY  THE  LORD  HAS  MADE

LET  US  REJOICE  AND  BE  GLAD  IN  IT    PSALMS 118:24

Written by  John Grass  Guatemala Mission Coordinator

     The alarm clock buzzer breaks the stillness of my sleep and shatters the dreams I long to keep. Many of us don’t like the coming of morning. Alarm clocks are so harsh as they wake us up. A new day brings another opportunity to get frustrated with the kids as they poke along and make us late. Traffic is a nightmare getting to work. There is no way possible we can get everything the boss wants us to accomplish done today.  What! You want us to go where tonight? All we want to do is get home, go to bed, and sleep. Tomorrow’s another day.

   Tomorrow is another day, but THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE. There is often so little to rejoice about in our day, isn’t there? But the alarm clock did wake me up on time; that’s something, isn’t it?  And I’m sure glad the kids are all feeling well and able to go to school. I really enjoy my commute. It gives me a chance to pray and relax with some good music. Boy! I’m really going to earn my salary today…. Lord, give me one opportunity to share about You with someone at work today. It will be nice to get home and spend some time with the family. And yes, sleep is such a blessing!

   We do need a reason to rejoice, if only that God has given us a new day! A new day to share the love that we have in Christ,  a new day to call on Jesus to get us through. On my desk, I placed a sign to greet me every morning. It says, “ Obstacles become opportunities with God.” Rejoice, for He has given us new opportunities, and maybe we can also find a kinder, gentler alarm clock.  SOTD has more days and opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the people of Guatemala – this time OCTOBER 6-13, 2018.

   We will be taking as many as 14 people, ages 17 and older. Groundwork Guatemala is a relational ministry- we will be doing crafts, songs, Bible lessons for about 600 children, 500 adults and 150 teens at 4 different places in Guatemala. There will be medical clinics to get involved in and home visits . There may be some repair work at some of the homes but no real construction. Doctors and nurses and medical people are encouraged to consider being a part of this mission opportunity.

   We will have several meetings to prepare for this trip. The first informational meeting will be February 18, 2018 at 12noon at the Mountain View Campus. We thank God for the support that Shepherd of the Desert Church and Schools have been. This will be the third trip since 2014 for SOTD. We thank God for the people that have gone to Guatemala so far.

Look for more information on this great mission trip in the bulletin. Consider going on this trip -it is a life changer- you will be a blessing to many and be greatly blessed in return.  Any comments or questions, please contact John Grass at jgrass10@gmail.com

 

GARUNA FOUNDATION... is a global mission partner of Shepherd of the Desert that exists to help raise prayer, volunteer and financial support for the emerging Lutheran Churches in Southeast Asia.  They specialize in Biblical leadership training for indigenous pastors and lay leaders, church development and planting, christian school ministries, and also self-sustaining ministries through agricultural development.  For more information about the Garuna Foundation and the work they do, please visit their website at garuna.org.

SERGE (formerly WORLD HARVEST MISSION)... is a global mission partner of Shepherd of the Desert that is a movement of churches empowered by grace for the world's good and God's glory.  They focus on "laying down our lives to proclaim the Kingdom of Jesus Christ through preaching, healing and equipping."  Serge's force of 220 missionaries primarily serve in Europe and North-Central Africa.  For more information about Serge and our primary  missionaries Eric and Rachel McLaughlin based in Kenya, visit their website at serge.org.

CHINA LUTHERAN SEMINARY... is part of the Asia Theological Association.  Established in 1970, it has grown into a movement committed to serving its members in the development of evangelical biblical theology by strengthening interaction, enhancing scholarship, promoting academic excellence, fostering spiritual and ministerial formation, and mobilizing resources to fulfill God's global mission within diverse Asian cultures.  For more information about our missionaries who serve at China Lutheran Seminary, Steve and Maggie Oliver, please visit their website lcms.org/oliver.