MOST Ministries Celebrates 25 Years of Ministry3 min read

Until the Nets Are Full

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18 ESV).

It has been 25 years since Gayle and Don Sommerfeld (St Luke, Ann Arbor) and 12 others set out for Haiti to assist in rebuilding a church in Cite Soliel. What happened during this trip changed Gayle and Don’s lives forever. They saw the plight of the Haitian people and the impact their short visit had on individual lives. Gayle and Don felt called to organize additional short-term mission trips to enable lay people to take an active role in the mission field assisting national pastors and missionaries. Within three years, they had taken nine teams to Haiti!

25 Years of Impact

Over the next 25 years, MOST Ministries (Mission Opportunities Short Term) has been blessed to grow—recruiting volunteer team members from churches near and far, expanding trips to new countries, creating new ministries to help with physical needs, and always with the emphasis of sharing the Gospel message of Jesus. What started in the Sommerfeld’s home, as they began collecting used eyeglasses, expanded to an office situated in different locations, including Concordia University Ann Arbor, Mich. campus and, in 2012, to the purchase of a building in Ann Arbor.

A MOST team member helps fit eyeglasses

MOST Ministries now has a staff of eight and a volunteer base of over 100 who assist staff with the eyeglass ministry, mailings, and other ministry support. MOST has served in 47 countries, sent out 377 mission teams and almost 5,000 team members to help with eyeglass clinics, provide clean water sources through sustainable water filters, offer health and hygiene education, medical and dental services, and much more. These mission teams have impacted over 170,000 lives! Hand-in-hand with meeting the physical needs of the poor in third world countries is sharing the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. The heart of MOST’s mission is always “Impacting the World for Jesus Christ!”

[Tweet “MOST Ministries has sent 377 teams & 5k members to 47 countries & impacted 170k lives!”]

2014 Special Celebrations

Several special events and activities have taken and will take place in 2014 to acknowledge and thank the thousands of people who have supported MOST Ministries as Senders and Goers over the past 25 years. The commitment of donors, volunteers, and mission teams—past and present—brings the mission of MOST to life: “Impacting the World for Jesus Christ through Short Term Missions by Empowering the Found in Reaching the Lost.”

A special celebration, followed by a dessert reception, was held April 12 at St. Luke, Ann Arbor. Attended by team members, financial donors, and volunteers, the afternoon was a great success as stories were shared by Gayle Sommerfeld, Rev. Ryan Peterson, Campus Pastor at Concordia University Ann Arbor, and Carly Hatcher, Director of MOST.

[Tweet “Congratulations to MOST Ministries on 25 Years in Ministry!”]


Upcoming MOST Events

Two other special events are planned with Nury de Milian, a beloved team host in Guatemala and throughout Central America. Nury will be speaking at the school grounds of St. Lorenz, Frankenmuth at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 7,  and again at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Brighton on Tuesday, September 9 at 7:00PM. RSVPs are required for both events at or 734.994.7909 X14.

Experience MOST

To learn more about MOST Ministries and short-term missions, hour-long Mission Impact Tours are offered at the MOST office at 655 Phoenix Drive in Ann Arbor. Come and learn how sustainable water filters and eyeglass clinics change so many lives, and discover the many ways you can help – whether in the mission field, at your home or church, or at the MOST office. Please call 734.994.7909 for more information or to schedule a tour.

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About the Author

Sue Waters is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing fund development activities of MOST Ministries. She also leads annual fund campaigns, grants and planned giving programs, and works with Staff, Board of Director members, and volunteers to carry out Public Relations and Marketing initiatives.

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Max - March 23, 2021

I’ve never heard of this worthwhile organization and I have been an LCMS member for 69 years!