In 2017 we opened the pantry fifty-two times.  4384 clients were served, representing 8436 family members, including 2322 children.  This represented a small decrease in participation from 2016.  The clients may come weekly to receive a bag of food.  A bag includes a canned vegetable, a canned fruit, a canned soup, crackers, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, tuna, beans, toilet paper, and a snack.  Other items available are meat (once a month), pastries, bread, health and beauty items, and clothing as supply allows.

We receive bread and pastries from Panera and Northeast Community on a weekly basis.  The Letter Carriers food drive in May, the Judy Mason Thanksgiving baskets, and a Caterpillar Grant for hams to the Central Illinois Food Bank, helped us with additional supplies for the pantry.  AMELCA received grants from a federal ESL, the WSOY food drive, and Junior Welfare, as well as continued support from Kim and Sue’s Christmas parties. Donations also included health and beauty supplies and clothing.  The knitting group also donated hats for our clients.       

We were pleased to be able to help provide 20 food baskets for the Angel Tree and Transitional Housing projects this Christmas.

The major source of funding continues to come from both churches and members with designated donations.  This year we received a total of $18,824 in monetary support.  We spent $17,356 on supplies for the pantry at local grocery stores and the Central Illinois Food Bank. 

Many hours of time each week were given by volunteers from both churches to make this joint venture continue to provide help to our clients and their families in need.

Without all the help and support, we wouldn’t be able to operate. The church’s support with room space and utility expenses allows us to spend all your contributions on our clients.

AMELCA thanks everyone for their continued support in dollars, goods, and volunteer hours.

Respectfully submitted, AMELCA team  

International Health & Development Network (IHDN) Annual Report -2017     

The year 2017, has been a very challenging but successful one for IHDN. We thank God for His financial provisions, answered prayers and for friends and family who came along side us. Please accept our sincere thanks for all of the prayers and financial support that First Evangelical Lutheran Church contributed to IHDN in 2017.

IHDN Undertook Mission Trips to Ghana

We thank God for two successful mission trips to Ghana this year.  We provided medical care to 2,293 patients and performed 59 surgeries. During this trip, we buried both of Dr. Agamah’s parents (Benjamin & Irene Agamah) on July 21, 2017. A Cancer Care Fund was established in honor of Benjamin and Irene.  We thank all those who contributed to this fund. The IHDN Mission Hospital provided care for over 30,000 patients during the year. Our biggest challenge has been the non-payment of medical bills by the Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme. We are owed over $400,000 by the Ghana government, and we are not able to pay our bills.

Construction of staff Apartment

Construction on the IHDN Staff apartments continue. Thus far, we have spent $103,000 to complete the 2nd floor and added the roof to the five-story building.  We want to thank First Evangelical Lutheran Church for their generous financial contribution to this project and continued prayers for the IHDN ministry.

Students at Worgbato Elementary School

IHDN Mission outreach is a vital part of what we do. Two years ago, IHDN adopted a school in the village of Worgbato.  The school only had 50 students and one teacher, a few broken down chairs and no access to clean drinking water or proper access road. Today, the school has grown to 150 students and there are 11 teachers.  IHDN was able to provide books, shipped desks from Midwest Mission Distribution in Chatham, IL, construct a road and bring water from 3 miles away, so that students and staff enjoy a better quality of life. During our mission trips, we provide a nutritious meal to the students and staff as we celebrate the goodness of the Lord!

 IHDN to Host its 7th Annual Fundraiser Banquet at Hope Church, Springfield, IL

In order to continue the work of IHDN ministries, IHDN is hosting the 7th Annual Fundraiser Banquet on March 23, 2018 at Hope Church.  Our goal is to raise $150,000 towards the purchase of a digital x-ray machine and the construction of the Staff Apartment.  We are planning two mission trips to Ghana next year, 2018.

We would like to thank the First Lutheran Church for your continue support of IHDN, especially with the donation of the choir robes.

God bless!

Edem Agamah, MD


LWR Quilters


The First Lutheran Quilters who work faithfully throughout the whole year include Barb Ahlenius, Nora Beck, Peg Books, Carol Broeking, Wanda Dettman, Jan Isaacs, Carolyn Renton, Annette Summers, Marsha Thornhill and Karen Wenger.  Others who worked until other duties temporarily called them away are Mary Gendry and Carla Scott.  Grandchildren come on occasion to assist as well.  What a wonderful, faithful group who managed to go above their 2016 donation.


Once each year, when school supplies go on sale (about mid July), we purchase everything we will need to make school kits and personal care kits for LWR.  We store the purchases until October when we take one day to assemble these kits.  For several years our goal has been to make 100 of each of these kits and have them ready to ship along with the quilts in late October.

In 2017 the quilters were steadily working at their 2016 pace and hoping to get 100 quilts done by the shipping date of late October.  One day we realized that maybe we could do a little better and we did.  On October 22nd 110 quilts, 100 personal care kits and 100 school kits were blessed.  October 22 was also Noisy Offering Sunday and thanks to your generosity the $652.50 that it would cost to ship our donations was raised.....and then some.  On October 27 our boxes were taken to Good Shephard Lutheran Church in Champaign, IL where they were loaded on the 18 wheeler headed for the Minneapolis warehouse.


The tracking system that was implemented a few years back, tells us (as of December 31, 20017) that our quilts and kits have gone around the world.

1-17-17 Our school kits went to Djibouti

2-22-17 Our quilts went to the country of Georgia

2-22-17 Our personal care kits went to the country of Georgia

3-28-17 Our personal care kits went to Angola

7-20-17 Our school kits went to Nicaragua


Taking care of our brothers and sisters around the world is a commission from our Lord.


Karen Wenger has put out the goal of 125.  We are well on the way to 125 quilts.  Maybe, with an extra noisy offering sometime in 2018, we might get a little extra to make 125 personal care kits and school kits as well.  One big concern, at the present, is the condition of our sewing machines.  They will be needing repairs soon.  Please keep this ministry in your prayers and thank you for all you have done this past year.

If you are interested in joining us we meet in the rooms across from the fellowship hall every Thursday morning from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. 

Respectfully submitted, Carol Broeking



First Lutheran Volunteers for the Storybook Project at Decatur Correctional Center are Karen Wenger, Kris Sites, and Marilyn Oftedal.  Lutheran Social Services brings books. The inmates can pick a book to read to a child. The volunteer records the inmate reading the book. It is transferred to a CD. The book and CD are mailed to the child.  The child enjoys hearing the voice of Mother, Grandmother or Aunt. We hear many stories, like a child that had several books from Mom and carried them in a back pack to keep close at all times, or siblings that took turns sleeping with the book read by Mom.

LSSI has requested soft cover book to reduce the cost of mailing. Books and monetary donations are welcome. 

Interested in volunteering contact Karen, Kris or Marilyn

Respectfully submitted, Marilyn Oftedal