Hearts of Henan: Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church planning third trip to China

Pictured above are red knited hearts that the Missionary group from Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church will be taking with them on their trip to China. Pastor Jason Cooper noted that “knots” are a big thing in China, symbalizing friendship. The Eagle Grove kids will be giving these hearts out to the Chinese children during their trip. The heart were knitted by women of the Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church. Photo provided

More than a century ago, a Goldfield man by the name of Daniel Nelson set out to follow God’s calling. In 1884, he founded the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Eagle Grove. A few years later, when he decided to become a missionary (with no financial support from the church he established) Nelson left his wife and four children on the farm in Goldfield to receive training. When he was finished, he decided to sell everything in order to answer God’s call. In October of 1890, with the $500 from the sale of all their family’s belongings in his pocket, Nelson loaded up his six month pregnant wife and their four children to make their way to China so he could become a missionary. The journey wasn’t easy, but his courage set an example that would be followed by parishioners of the Eagle Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church more than once.

Pastor Jason Cooper, the current-day preacher at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Eagle Grove, was the one who originally discovered the connection Nelson had between Eagle Grove and China. In 2015, Cooper decided it was time to follow in Nelson’s footsteps and pursue his own mission trip to China. Several other community members also decided to join him on the trip.

In 2017, he returned with another group, but this time he brought along his wife, Amy, and eldest son, Jensen.

“Jensen, as a youth, was totally impressed with everything,” Cooper recalled. When they returned from the trip, Jensen told all of his friends about his experiences and lessons learned and encouraged them to one day do the same thing if the opportunity ever arose.

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