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Emma Murray, Published July 03 2011

Cormorant Lutheran Church holds 17th annual rummage sale, auction

LAKE PARK, Minn. – The Cormorant Lutheran Church near here began a rummage sale and auction 17 years ago to help pay for new facilities.

Today, what started out as a self-inspired fundraiser has been transformed into a way to generate dollars for the church, the surrounding area and global causes.

This year’s Cormorant Lutheran Church Auction and Rummage Sale is Thursday through Saturday, with an auction on Saturday.

“When we first did the auction, it was to pay for our facility, our new church,” said Delaine Struble, head of the rummage sale. “That was how it started, and we’ve had such a good response that it keeps growing, and now we have these other projects.”

One of the projects is the church’s work in Shell, Ecuador, at Casa de Fe. Global mission member Rae Holte and her husband, Jeff, recently spent 10 days serving at a home for abandoned children in Casa de Fe.

“Any child born in the jungle that is not perfect in health, mentally or physically, the parents are expected to kill them,” she said. “A lot of children are found abandoned in the streets, at bus stops, and sometimes the parent or family member will bring them to Casa de Fe. The home’s mission is to take care of and love these children as long as it takes.”

The Holtes spent their 10 days laying a foundation for a school building, helping to translate Christian children’s books and putting together textbooks.

“We had the opportunity to meet and hold (the children), and they’re just precious human beings,” Rae Holte said. “It was just an honor to be able to help.”

After the couple’s positive experience at Casa de Fe, the two plan to make the same trip next February on one of the church’s global missions, funded by proceeds raised by the rummage and auction event.

As the auction and rummage sale continues to expand, not only does the church’s amount of outreach grow, but the event’s reputation in the region also grows as well, said the Rev. Gary Van Hunnik.

“We have a strong tradition of doing this, and it’s quite well-known in the immediate area and extends out quite some distance,” he said. “When I visit Fargo and people ask me where I’m from, I say I’m a pastor at the Cormorant Lutheran Church, and many, many times they say, ‘Oh, that’s the church with the auction.’ ”

If you go

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emma Murray at (701) 241-5480