January is Mite Month! We make a special effort to bring in the mission money we have been saving and send it on to do its work for God. What are “mites”? Mites are our change – coins of all denominations and perhaps some folding money as well – from our shopping which we place in a special container to be dedicated to the Lord’s service through the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). If you would like a container for your “mites”, talk to Sharron Sheridan or Mary Martinal. This month as you put money into your mite container, say a prayer for Rick McCafferty, an Alaska Native studying at the Seminary. In Psalm 18:16-19, David writes, “But me He caught – reached all the way from sky to sea; He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved – surprised to be loved!” (The Message) Suicide, directly linked to domestic violence and sexual abuse, is six times higher for Alaska Natives than any other people group. Alaska also has the highest homicide rate for female victims of domestic violence with 75% of Alaska Native and American Indian women having been physically assaulted. Rick McCafferty, an Inupiaq Eskimo born and raised in Kotzebue, Alaska, who experienced the pain of sexual abuse and domestic violence and knows that drowning feeling of hopelessness, has come to know the hope and healing found in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Rick, who began his seminary training through the Ethnic Institute of Theology (EIIT) program at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and is being mentored by his pastor at Anchorage Lutheran Church, desires to bring the message of hope and healing of Christ to his own people. The Michigan District LWML, meeting in Boyne Falls, in July 2016, granted $5,000 to help Rick continue his seminary training by providing tuition assistance, educational resources and travel expenses for ministry to Alaska Natives.