Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Grace Place Wellness Retreat for Christian Friends of New Americans

Forty new Americans from all four corners of the earth were gifted by a one day retreat from Grace Place Wellness, underwritten by the Office of National Mission.  This program was offered through Christian Friends of New Americans, a ministry which welcomes, settles, and sustains new people from around the world who are making their new home in St. Louis. The Grace Place Wellness team, consisting of Dr. John Eckrich, Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman, and Eustolio Gomez, took the new Americans through whole health skills and strategies based on Biblical principles, as well as providing breakfast refreshments.  Some of the programming was offered with the use of translators especially for the Nepalese community being established in St. Louis. Rev. Dr. Zimmerman, Program Director at Grace Place Wellness, shared with the group ideas for daily devotions and Bible study, telling them his own experiences, particularly for both couples and personal daily walks in the Word with Jesus. John D. Eckrich, M.D., Grace Place Wellness Founder, described for them a “wellness backpack” for whole health along your daily pilgrim journey, including the central importance of the Word in prayer life, nutrition and exercise regimens using foods available in the US, and the key presence of family in ministry life for accountability and sustainability of healthy behavior.  Further, Dr. Eckrich looked at sleep and rest, fiscal generosity even with small amounts of income, and the nature of doing ministry as a team with all the various talents and gifts God gives His people. Eustolio Gomez, Director of Financial Education for Concordia Plan Services, share both the theological and practical sides of stewardship of financial blessings.  He led them through concepts of budgeting, and couple’s income, new to many. All of these topics were enthusiastically received with requests for follow up education and hopes for another Grace Place Wellness opportunity for these wonderful new American Christians, eager to hear God’s hold Word.