A story of faith and service around the world
Jeff and Pam are college sweethearts. They met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at orientation the week before their freshman year and hit it off right away. Church was a big part of their lives growing up and college was a time as Jeff and Pam describe, “Where faith became our own.”
When Jeff was three years old, Jeff’s parents were Lutheran missionaries in the Phillipines. The oldest of five, Jeff recalls the most important lessons he learned from his parents are doing your best, having meaningful work to do, and that what you do and what you say have real impact—in ways that sometimes you’ll never know.
“We are ambassadors and witnesses in our words and in our deeds.”
Jeff and Pam have four daughters born in four different countries. They’ve also traveled together to 55 countries and six continents. They share a love of travel and both say, “It is fun to see God’s creation.” But wherever they go, they find a place where their talents can meet a need. Today, Jeff and Pam are active members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and support organizations that provide encouragement to people who are answering the call to serve such as Fund for Leaders, a scholarship program that trains future pastors and deacons. Jeff and Pam are also proud to support Lutheran Services in America and our innovative work.
“It is good when we can give to address issues; it is great to give to accelerate solutions.”
As Lutheran Services in America donors, Jeff and Pam want more people to know about the scale and impact of Lutheran Services in America across the country. Through the work of 300 Lutheran social ministry organizations serving one in 50 people in America each year, Jeff and Pam see that the Lutheran impact is growing, not shrinking. Jeff and Pam also note how many people are often surprised to learn that the beginning of Lutheran social ministry goes all the way back to the Reformation and the Common Chest.
As Jeff and Pam learn more about Lutheran Services in America, they become more excited about the work and the opportunity to build and expand its impact. Jeff and Pam also see that Lutheran Services in America is unique among its faith-based membership organizations and remark that, “Lutheran Services in America brings the collective power of its network together with national strategic partners in philanthropy, healthcare, and academia to dive into meaty issues and deliver compelling evidence.”
“There’s an accelerator effect that happens because of the way Lutheran Services in America does its work.”
Through its partnerships, Lutheran Services in America injects funding, expertise, and other resources and Jeff and Pam share the sentiment that this is a special aspect of what Lutheran Services in America does. Going beyond networking to accelerating innovation is key to the Lutheran Services in America network approach, which takes vision and exceptional focus—and seeing the impact of this innovative approach at the grassroots level is something Jeff and Pam find most compelling.
Jeff and Pam value Lutheran social ministry’s spirit of innovation, faithful presence in communities experiencing need, and ability to stand in the gap and thrive in extremely challenging circumstances. They both encourage you to learn more about your local Lutheran social ministry organization and ask them how their organization and the people they serve are impacted by Lutheran Services in America national programs. Hear their story.
To join Jeff and Pam’s contributions, consider making a gift to the Lutheran Services in America Lasting Change Campaign.
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By Deborah Hoesly, Vice President of Development