We are so excited and grateful to God in announcing the beginning of the newest branch of Orphan Grain Train. Until now there had been no formal OGT presence in the state of Michigan. But it may now be announced with delight that Orphan Grain Train Michigan is a reality. The newest Branch location is centered in the Michigan Thumb at Sebewaing in the heart of the Saginaw Valley. 55 Lutheran congregations are within a 75 mile radius of Sebewaing which holds promise for positive future volunteer participation.
We are especially overjoyed to have received the gift of an 8,000 sq. ft. work and warehouse facility in the very center of Sebewaing. Right on Main Street is a former home furnishings building which was recently deeded as a gift to Orphan Grain Train Michigan.
The gift of this building has been like manna from heaven. It is a beautiful facility which is both accessible to the community and serviceable for the purposes of Orphan Grain Train. The gift was from Sally Comer whose family had previously operated a long-standing family business from that location.
Pastor David Reed, who recently retired after 45 years of active parish ministry, has become the Michigan Branch Manager. He is currently in the process of assembling a leadership team and identifying individuals who are willing to serve as communication liaisons into each of the regional congregations.
Pastor Reed has previously served as Secretary of the Michigan District and is well-postured to share the beautiful story of Orphan Grain Train. Gratitude must also be extended to Pastor Ralph Schmidt who has promoted development of OGT for many years and worked toward a day when the OGT movement would come to Michigan.
A generous inaugural gift from Immanuel Lutheran Church of Frankentrost was received June 17, 2018 following their Divine Services, and another exceptionally generous private gift has secured a solid financial foundation for this new branch.
Recently, a resolution in support of Orphan Grain Train Michigan was adopted unanimously by each of the six circuit pastoral conferences most closely neighboring Sebewaing, and news of this first Michigan branch will be shared presently with all the delegates in attendance at the Michigan District Convention.
Naturally, it will take some time to assemble all the elements to begin projects by the branch. But the speed at which a facility and inaugural funding has been received is breathtaking.
It needed to be the Lord’s timing, but surely that time has come. Orphan Grain Train has come to Michigan, and we are overjoyed at being the first formal presence in the state of Michigan.
Linda Abraham, one of the new branch officers who will serve as the Branch Secretary, eagerly stated, “I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in the exciting beginning of a new branch of Orphan Grain Train in this area.”
In the near future we hope to send part of the leadership team to Norfolk for orientation. Steps are already under way to prepare the OGTM Center for occupancy. The word about this venture is circulating, and we appeal for the prayers of all. We thank God for granting this new OGT effort in Michigan and implore Jesus’s continuing provision as we seek to serve others in His Name.