Special delivery: Bismarck church creates Christmas cards for Ukrainian mission trip

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 1:42 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The congregation at Charity Lutheran church in Bismarck is working hard to finish up some very special Christmas cards.

But these won’t go in the mail. Instead, they’ll be hand delivered.

Images of the war in Ukraine are all too familiar for Charity Lutheran Pastor Brad Miller.

A Navy veteran, he’s been to war zones before; three times to Iraq in his role as a pastor.

“ISIS had a bounty on me from the first trip,” he recalled. “The bounty was $150,000.”

Now, he’s preparing for another mission trip to another war-torn country. Pastor Miller and two others will be heading to Ukraine later this month.

“We prayed about it. I feel discerned that it’s something I’m supposed to be doing,” he said.

They’ll spend about six days in Ukraine, distributing handmade Christmas cards. The congregation at Charity Lutheran has made nearly a thousand cards. They feature Christmas images and Bible verses, all written in Ukrainian. It’s a language Pastor Miller doesn’t speak, but he hopes his actions might speak louder than any words.

“I know how to smile and hold the person’s hand if they’re crying. We will just show them some human compassion while we give them a card,” Miller said.

They’ll also give them food. And Pastor Miller says maybe most important, they’ll give them compassion and hope.

“We want to let people see a smiling face, shake their hand, pray with them if they want to,” he said.

All of this, he says, is inspired by another Bible verse:

“Do not merely listen to the word. Do what it says,” he read from his Bible. “James chapter 1, verse 22.

“Sometimes we have to move beyond good intentions and live out the walk of discipleship,” Miller added.

A walk that soon will take Pastor Brad Miller on one of the most dangerous and most meaningful mission trips of his life.

Charity Lutheran is holding a fundraiser on Sunday – they’ll be serving sauerkraut, sausage, knoephla and kuchen from 11:30-1:30 p.m. at the Bismarck Amvets. All proceeds will go toward the mission trip.

You can learn more, and even download a card to print, color and send with the mission team to Ukraine on their website www.charitylutheran.org.