Mosaic Centennial Book.pdf


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The Beginning
Arriving by train in Axtell, Neb., to become pastor of Bethphage
Church, the Rev. K.G. William Dahl looked upon a field north of
town and said, “There is where we will build our mission.” For some
time, the dream to build a home for people unwelcome elsewhere
had been growing in his heart. He had seen how people with
disabilities, people with epilepsy, the poor and others were treated
in the county farms and other institutions and he wanted to offer
something better. He knew this would be the place.
Founded on Feb. 19, 1913, the home he established
was called Bethphage Mission. There, people were
treated as guests, rather than inmates. They were
respected, not resented. They found welcome, not
hostility. People who were unwelcome elsewhere
flourished and created a community of Christian
charity where everyone helped each other, staff and residents alike.

A Similar Foundation
About 12 years later in the small Nebraska community of Sterling, a
group of like-minded people, led by the Revs. Julius Moehl, August
Hoeger, and William Fruehling, and laymen John Aden and William
Ehmen, had a similar vision. Together, they created a place named
Martin Luther Home with the specific goal to offer education for
people with disabilities. So welcome was this new ministry that the
first students arrived within a few days of announcing it – even before
the school was ready for them. Pastor Moehl’s wife Martha cared for
the new arrivals in the family home alongside her own three small
children until the former Luther Academy school building was
ready for its new life as a home for children with disabilities.

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