Immanuel’s mission is to “Equip Saints to Make Disciples.” In this portion of our Messenger, we highlight two of our “saints,” Ronald and Betsy Schroeder, who are living out their Christian calling, successfully integrating their faith into their everyday lives.
Ron and Betsy have carved out a unique ministry for themselves: taking care of Immanuel’s grounds from April through October. The ministry began when Ron was on the Board of Church Properties in the early 1990s. The need for someone to mow Immanuel’s lawns became apparent, and he stepped up to volunteer his services.
Ron says the task employs his mechanical skills for God’s service, as he enjoys fixing the equipment as needed. Ron maintains Immanuel’s two tractors and attaches snow plows to each one at the end of the season so they’re ready for their next job: snow removal.
Currently, the ministry is a family affair: Ron and Betsy and their children, Jena and Mike, and Ron’s nephew Josh Schroeder and Josh’s fiancé Kristine, all gather weekly to mow the lawn. Sometimes they mow the lawn more often if there has been a lot of rain and the grass is growing faster. They use Immanuel’s two tractors, plus one of their own. Ron also uses a push mower and weed whacker.
Ron says for one person to mow the lawns, the job takes about six hours. A testament to the power of the saying, “Many hands make light work,” with the collaboration of the Schroeder family, the task is cut to two hours.
In addition to serving as a caretaker of Immanuel’s lawns, Betsy is a longtime participant in the Prayer Chain. She says becoming involved in the Prayer Chain upon joining Immanuel was a natural transition because she was on the prayer chain at her previous church. She has now served as a Prayer Chain minister at Immanuel for more than 20 years. About two years ago, Bea Maassen retired from leadership, and Betsy became the ministry leader for the Prayer Chain.
The Immanuel Prayer Chain receives prayer requests two or three times a week. Betsy alerts the Prayer Chain ministers, who actually form two chains: a phone chain and an email chain. Both help spread the word of others’ needs so they can be lifted up in prayer in a timely fashion. The amount of time Prayer Chain ministers devote to praying for these needs is a personal commitment they make to the Lord.
Betsy says the Prayer Chain doesn’t always learn the outcome for the situations they’re praying about, but when they find out that a prayer has been answered, she says it’s important to offer praise to God in prayer.
“It’s a privilege to pray for other people and it’s very comforting that we have the Lord to go to for help,” Betsy says. “Seeing prayers answered has strengthened my faith.”
Praying regularly with others is something Betsy became comfortable doing back in the early 1980s, when she and her mother prayed together every day over the phone. She says she especially values that time they had together with God, now that her mom has passed away.
Betsy says serving on the Prayer Chain keeps her in God’s Word. She has several books, many from Bea Maassen, that highlight key Scripture verses that bring comfort for different needs.
Some of her favorites:
- The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book by David Wilkerson
- Daily in Your Presence by Rebecca Barlow Jordan
- God’s Promises: The Spirit of America compiled by Dr. A.L. Gill
Betsy likes to select a verse and pray it. One she often comes back to is Psalm 121: 1-2, “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Ron and Betsy attend the 9:30 Sunday morning service regularly to stay strong in their faith. They also each have favorite hymns that strike a chord in them. Ron’s is “Amazing Grace,” while Betsy cherishes “How Great Thou Art.”
For more information about Immanuel’s Prayer Chain or the caretaking of Immanuel’s grounds, please contact Ron and Betsy Schroeder. To place a prayer request, fill out a prayer card in the pew rack and deposit it in the offering plate, call the Church Office, or contact Betsy directly.