Amelca Food Pantry


In the year 2015 we have been of service to 7955 family members. We are somewhat down from the number we served last year, but feel like our economy has improved.

We have received food from the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive in May, Panera Bread, The Judy Mason Thanksgiving Project, hams from the Food Bank in Springfield, hams and turkeys from Caterpillar and from both church congregations. Monetarily we have received a small Federal Grant, Thrivent donations, Kim and Sue’s July and Christmas parties, Junior Welfare, a memorial for Aaron Hodges, both churches and individual donations. We have to purchase weekly out of our funds. Even though our numbers are down, food prices have risen so without all of these together we wouldn’t survive.

AMELCA thanks everyone for their support and we will continue to help to the best of our ability.


Respectfully submitted,

The Volunteers of AMELCA





Thank God for a successful 2015


We sponsored our 26th & 27th mission trips to Ghana in 2015.  The teams were made up of 9 volunteers, including, pastors, medical students and resident doctors from SIU School of Medicine.  We were supported by Ghanaian volunteers to provide medical surgical care to over 5,117 poor villagers in Southeastern Ghana.  IHDN hosted a leadership training conference for over 30 pastors, drawn from various congregations in the Ketu and Keta Districts of Ghana.

The IHDN Mission Hospital treated over 27,873 patients at the end of October 2015.  The staff strength has increased to 75.  We have started remodeling existing space to start a labor and delivery unit.  This will help us reduce the high rate of maternal deaths that occur during pregnancy and delivery.  The major challenge facing the hospital is the inadequate and unreliable payment from the National Health Insurance program. This has placed tremendous financial pressure on the operations of the hospital.  We continue to trust the Lord to give us strength to continue to serve in this ministry.

Construction work on the 5-storey, 30 unit staff apartment continued during the year.  Because of the acute need for decent staff accommodation, we are focusing on completing the ground floor to allow for occupancy by some of the nursing staff.  In 2015, we raised $55,000 at our annual fundraiser in Springfield, IL.  We continue to trust the Lord to provide the resources to help us complete this project, which cost between $600-800,000.

We received donation of services and goods from various churches in Springfield, including Hope Evangelical Church, Laurel United Methodist Church,  Blessed Sacrament & First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Decatur, IL.  We received donation of choir robes from First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Decatur, IL These were donated to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, at Agbozume. 

We thank the Lord for all the people He has used to bless our ministry.  We could not have achieved these successes without their support.  We continue to be humbled and encouraged by the numerous interest and support that we continue to receive.  Our prayer is that we remain faithful to the call and the Lord’s name be glorified by our service.


LWR Quilters

In 2015 the First Lutheran quilters donated to LWR:

95 quilts

100 school kits

100 personal care kits

$618.75 to be used to ship our boxes of donations

The First Lutheran quilters meet each Thursday morning, beginning at 9:00-ish and stopping at 11:30. We gather in the lower level of the church across from the Fellowship Hall. If you would like to join us in this “His Work, Our Hands” ministry please join us. If the word “quilting” scares you please be assured that there are many steps to making these quilts and none of them require expert quilting skills.

About mid-July each year, when school supplies go on sale, shopping becomes a top priority. All of the items that go into the making of the school kits and personal care kits are purchased at this time and at the beginning of October we gather to assemble these kits so that they are ready to ship along with the quilts.

In October, on a scheduled day, we take our donations to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign, IL to meet up with the transport trucks that make scheduled stops in central IL before taking the donations to warehouses in Minnesota. It is truly awesome to think how this whole project works. We are such a small cog in the wheel, starting with fabric and prayers and ending with a huge smile on the faces of God’s people in needy regions of the world.

I am happy to report that in October of 2014 when we sent off our annual donations LWR we added tracking codes to our boxes. Between the end of October, 2014 and the beginning of October, 2015 all of our donations had left warehouses and the destinations mentioned were Tanzania and Burkina Faso. We coded the boxes that we shipped on October 29, 2015 and as of January 3, 2016 our tracking shows nothing. WE will keep checking the tracking system on the computer and we’ll let you know when we know.

Remembering all those who donate to this ministry in time and materials and moneys and prayers we thank you very much!!

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Broeking



Story Book Project


LSSI:  First Lutheran took part in the Storybook Project at the Decatur Correctional Center again in 2015. Volunteers from First are Karen Wenger. Kris Sites and Marilyn Oftedal.

Lutheran Social Services brings books and inmates pick a book they want to read to their child or children. They go to quiet place with a volunteer and a the volunteer records them reading the book. The recording is then transferred to a CD. The book and Cd are sent to the child.  This is one way for inmates to stay connected to their children and in so doing are less likely to return to a prison. The many stories of how much the children enjoy hearing a Mother or Grandmother or Aunt reading the book are numerous and  it is the reason this mission is so valuable. This last year it was necessary for LSSI to eliminate hard cover books because of the cost of mailing. Monetary donations to help cover postage are greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilyn Oftedal