Sixty-five miles southwest of Lincoln, Nebraska sits the little town of Tobias, population 158. And three miles outside of Tobias, in the middle of acre after acre of cornfields, rises the tall, white spire of Zion Lutheran Church where for generations, the Bartels family has gathered for worship.
Traditions run deep in the various branches of the Bartels clan. One of those traditions is a strong commitment to spreading the Good News about Jesus, both at home and abroad.
Cousins ElRoy Bartels and William Bartels have been dedicated supporters of the LHF mission for nearly a decade.
“I find it very rewarding to support a mission like LHF,” ElRoy said. “LHF is an outreach to all the different nationalities, which is even more important now that so many immigrants are coming to the United States.”
William’s wife, Leona, agrees. She and William support LHF’s mission of publishing Lutheran books in the languages of the people because “the books are so much more easily understood by the people who need them,” Leona said. “We’re thankful to be able to support LHF. It’s a blessing.”
Recently, LHF was remembered in the will of Leonard and Lareta Bartels, brothers to William and cousin to ElRoy.
“Leonard and Lareta believed very strongly in providing the books of our Lutheran faith, like Luther’s Small Catechism, for their brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Rev. Matthew Heise, LHF executive director. “By remembering LHF in their will, they’ve left a legacy of God’s Word for generations of Christians around the world.”
Several other Zion parishioners have also supported the LHF mission.
“Sometimes churches think, ‘We’re so small. What can we do?'” Rev. Heise said. “But every day, we at LHF see what a big difference those small gifts can make in the life of the Church.”
To learn more about including LHF in your estate plan, call the LHF office at (800) 554-0723.