Our best-kept secret

I had to let you know the Mission Central article on Gary Thies (September) arrived just as our church was planning a bus trip to Mission Central in Mapleton, Iowa.

I didn’t know what to expect, since I had never heard Gary Thies or toured Mission Central. So the story gave me some insight into one of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s best-kept secrets. What an outstanding day we had learning and being inspired to action for missions.

Any church within traveling distance should schedule a bus trip and time with Gary Thies at Mission Central. Those folks just out traveling our country, according to Gary, are also welcome to stop by and see what’s happening out on the farm!

Those who went from Our Redeemer were inspired and glad they made the trip, and those who stayed behind are hoping for a second chance to go. Please don’t keep these important areas of church mission and activities out of future issues.

Susan Kiger and Marian Noordsy
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Sioux Falls, S.D.

We are proud to know Gary Thies and have helped in his mission for several years. He never asks for money, but does ask for prayers. He sells mission projects with his enthusiasm. We have signed contracts to help mission projects in Kenya and Ethiopia. On visiting Mission Central, we were pleased to see the way a meaningful message of God is being spread worldwide from humble buildings by humble people who are willing to share money, prayers, and time. God’s command of serving one another is being done by many people who have mission work as a common goal. Come and visit and join in spreading the Word to a world eager to learn of Jesus. Our CEO goes to small and large congregations, planting seeds so the Bank of Christian Love will never go broke. Let’s be Christians serving and working together on spreading the Word.

Missionaries with Gary,
Art and Darlene Rehm
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Crete, Neb.

We enjoyed and appreciated so much the article on Mission Central in the September issue of The Lutheran Witness. The story should inspire all Christians to pray more fervently and support more generously the mission work of our church. We have so little time to carry out the Great Commission of bringing the Good News of salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.

We have had the privilege of hearing Gary Thies speak many times and also have visited Mission Central, which has made it possible to send missionaries to places we are unable to go.

Thank you for this very inspiring and informative article.

Ernest and Marilyn Schauland
New Ulm, Minn.

The September Lutheran Witness story about Mission Central—I have read the article many times, searching for the location of this barn in “western Iowa . . . 100 miles from Sioux City.”

My husband and I were raised in Iowa—northwest Iowa. When we go back to visit, we’d like to see this Mission Central. Every little town in Iowa has a name, and every road in Iowa—paved, gravel, or dirt—has a name. Why can’t you tell us where it is?

We finally went to the Web site, and near as we can tell, Mission Central is near Mapleton, but why does the article say that Gary Thies flies 300 miles from Mapleton every Sunday? Very confusing!

It seems like this is a great mission effort, and we applaud its enthusiasm and focus. Just wish we could know where it is for sure.

Mrs. Duane Schramm
N. Highlands, Calif.

The address for Mission Central is 40718 Highway E 16, Mapleton, Iowa, 51034; telephone: 712-882-1029. —Ed.


Diane Strzelecki’s September Mission Central article is a powerful story about one of the great grassroots movements in our church. Gary Thies and the entire Mission Central team work without pay to support many LCMS missionaries and dozens of mission projects. While the local Iowa farm setting makes it impractical to duplicate Mission Central in the details, their big vision and volunteer team approach are a model for all of us. Our church needs Mission Central operations in every state. Thank you for such an inspiring article. (Long overdue in our opinion.)

Rev. John and Kathy Duitsman
Hinkley, Calif.

It is about time The Lutheran Witness published an article on Mission Central.

What Gary Thies and 40-some volunteers have accomplished in witnessing to people in the United States and countries around the world is tremendous. Even one person brought to Christ is worth the effort. Through the efforts of Mission Central, the LCMS was able to bring the word of Christ to Indonesia with the help of two retired schoolteachers. Even this fact alone would have been worth an article in the Witness.

Praise the Lord for Gary and his volunteers.
Thank you, Gary, and all your volunteers.

Tom Muchow
Sioux Falls, S.D.

I enjoyed your article on Mission Central. It is good to see that laymen do spend their time, talents, and money to help extend God’s kingdom. Thanks again for your wonderful stories in The Lutheran Witness.

Louis M. Lueders
Glen Allen, Va.


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