July 1, 2024

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).

Through the craftiness of some LFLers in the Dayton, Ohio, area, along with the Miami Valley Life Chapter, a project entitled LAMBs (Lutherans Assembling Mercy Blankets) was created in 2018. More than 200 handmade baby blankets have been distributed since then. The Miami Valley Life Chapter is seeking volunteers to share their gift of sewing by helping to make blankets. There are many requests, and they want to honor them all. If you are interested in serving in this way, please contact Kim Merritt at mrs.kimberlymerritt@gmail.com.

Although our world might tell us otherwise, children truly are a blessing. Therefore, Lutherans For Life celebrates children, especially those families with a lot of them! LAMBs celebrate families that are awaiting the birth of their fourth or more child by gifting them with a homemade blanket.

Do you know such a family in your congregation? Each blanket is made with love and shipped directly to the expectant mother anywhere within the continental United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico (to which a blanket was recently sent). Thank you for helping us care for your neighbor in this way!

To nominate someone, download and complete the PDF form . Simply send the completed form to Belén Fry of the Miami Valley Lutherans For Life Chapter. Her mailing address is on the form.

Michele Hartshorn was privileged to nominate Nick and Jessica Anderson as LAMBs recipients on March 5, 2024. “A sincere thank you to the LAMBs project for the opportunity to honor my friend, Jessica, and to celebrate the joy of God’s gift of a fifth child,” acknowledged Michele.

The handmade blanket arrived at the Anderson home in Apple Valley, Minnesota, on March 11, 2024. Jessica expressed her appreciation for the special package.

“The blanket is so soft and adorable, and I love the pink crocheted hat.”

The Andersons have been blessed with five healthy, adorable children: Soteria (8), Josiah (6), Ezekiel (3), Matthias (2), and Orelle (infant). Orelle was born on April 8, 2024, at 6:10 p.m. She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 20 inches in length.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14a).

The Anderson family attends the Lutheran Church of the Ascension (LCMS) in Burnsville, Minnesota, where Jessica’s dad, Pastor Joel Vano, has served as pastor for the past nine years. Pastor Joel and Judy Vano have been blessed during their 36 years of marriage. The family utilizes their gifts and talents to serve the Lord’s ministry. Nick leads the handbell choir and volunteers on the praise team as a drummer. Jessica serves as the church secretary and praise team leader, and she serves part-time as the event planner at Amnion Pregnancy Center in Burnsville, Minnesota.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Jessica and all her children have been baptized into Christ’s family at the Lutheran Church of the Ascension. The entire family was present when Orelle Gloria Anderson was baptized by Grandpa, Pastor Joel Vano, on Sunday, April 21. Orelle’s sponsors were Kirsten Meyer and Mitch Berndt. We were “praising God for all the love and support as Orelle was brought into God’s family in Baptism,” reflected Jessica.

This August, Nick and Jessica celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary, having met while attending Concordia University – St. Paul.

“The Lord has blessed our family. I only hope that Jessica and I can live our lives according to His will and be the Christ-like example that our kids look up to and try to grow up to be. Having a larger family, we find ourselves constantly praying. Our most common prayer is for strength and patience. Being a family of seven has many challenges, but we wouldn’t change it for anything,” rejoiced Nick Anderson.