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Michael - Executive Director and Shirley - Board Members, have been married over 49 years and have raised four children. All their kids are married and active in Christian ministry. Altogether they have ten grandchildren. They are current members of West Lansing Church of Christ.
For fifteen years Michael was a senior pastor in various churches. Currently Michael and Shirley reside in Lansing, Michigan where, for almost 14 years, Michael taught writing courses at Lansing Community College. He has published over one hundred magazine and news, articles and has published 12 books. He founded Shepherd's Purse in May of 2003.
From Left-to-Right (back): John Anderson, Shirley Wetzel, Michael Wetzel, Alice Schueler, Laurie Smith. Front row Left-to-Right: Janice Anderson, Jane Gordon, Carol Carlson.
Our Partners Overseas
Our partners are organizations and staff that we work with in country. Over time we have built relationship with them via e-mail, phone and personal visits. Partners are centers that are actually working with the kids in their areas.
We have worked with:
- Children's hospitals were babies have been abandoned by mothers who cannot support them
- Drop in centers where street kids could get daily food, showers, and attention
- Temporary shelters where kids would be screened for a period and then transferred home or to an orphanage
- Orphanages that receive little help from the government and exhibit poor living conditions
- Orphan graduate houses or transition homes where they find jobs, roomates, and permanent housing
- Foster families where multiple kids live with house parents
We are currently working with:
- Several orphanages
- We have purchased an orphan graduate house called, "David's House".
- We have built an orphanage in India and support it full time.
- Drop in centers
Note: Our partners are independant/non-denominationally based ministries. We did not start these ministries, nor do we control them. We simply support them in any way we can.
- Love's Bridge - Perm, Russia (Several drop in centers for street kids)
- Dr. Haaz Foundation - Kherson, Ukraine (Drop in center for street kids, children's hospital help, 2 foster families)
- Galina & Natasha - Kherson, Ukraine (Drop in center for street kids, children's hospital help, temporary shelter)
- The Ark - Kiev, Ukraine (5 acres, 8 buildings for 25 kids rescued from the streets. Dorms, cafeteria, school, etc.)
- Father's Heart - Zhytomyr, Ukraine (A pastor and team of volunteers who worked with 5 orphanages and a rescue center for kids)
- The Way Home - Odessa, Ukraine (Street patrols to get kids food, clothes, etc. And a center for 25 kids rescued from streets)
- Port Au Prince - Haiti (Poor orphanage with 200 kids)
- Michael Brewer - Port Au Prince, Haiti (Rescued 50 boys, living in tarp structures)
- St. Petersburg, Russia - 3 homes for orphan graduates
- One Hope - St. Petersburg, Russia (Center for street kids)
- Krivoy Rog, Ukraine - Team to visit several orphages
- Pat & Len Joy - Kiev, Ukraine (Small foster home for some orphans)
- Kramatorsk, Ukraine - Week of camp for a small church that works with at risk kids
- Agape Ministries - Ukraine area (Staff work with 39 orphanages and they run 10 orphan graduate house - we just purchased one)
- Our "David's House" is in Cherkassy, Ukraine
- Doug Stoddard - Kiev, Ukraine area (They work with an orphanage and a couple of orphan graduate houses)
- Isaiah Ministry - Michael Folsum (Working with kids in poor area by the dump in Managua, Nicaragua)
- Joshua Nag - Working with orphans from the streets in Nabarangpur, Orissia region, India)
Various churches and many individuals support Shepherd's Purse on a monthly basis. Many others donate with one time gifts for specilal needs and projects. We are indebted to these people.
We have a team of people dedicated to praying for the special needs of the kids and the ministry. Weekly updates are emailed.
Since we began in 2003 we have sent nearly 20 teams to work with: remodeling, Bible camps, Christmas programs, relief projects, and much more.
At the heart of its mission, Shepherd's Purse is a ministry of passion and compassion, and it is an important ministry dedicated to reaching out to the
lost and forgotten ones in Ukraine, Russia and any other parts of the world that the Lord directs. We have known Michael Wetzel and his wife, Shirley,
for over 10 years and we have seen their hearts desire to make a difference in the lives of others. We support what is occurring through Shepherd's
Purse and we look forward to what the Lord will do in the future through this work.
Jerry and Denise Basel - Pastors and Counselors The Father's Heart Ministry
In my humble opinion, the work of Shepherd's Purse is not just an act of love on the part of Mr. & Mrs. Wetzel and their team. It is an absolute
necessity for the saving of lives and souls in the Ukraine and other parts of the world. Yes, there are other needs around this old world, but if we all do a little, a lot can be accomplished. That is why I have supported this work in the
past and continue to do so as God provides.
Bill Cook, evangelist - B.A. Management from Spring Arbor College.
Thank you very much for you dedicated service to our congregation here in Monroe, Michigan. I am thankful that we made our very valuable connection, with you providing inspirational and valuable sermons during the last couple years. Thank you also for the short term mission opportunities. As you develop your relationships with the Kherson ministries I am sure that the street kids will greatly benefit. I enjoyed the provisions, gifts and clothing collections. I am very glad that our Savonen family could accompany you on the 2005 Christmas trip to see how the supplies were used and distributed. God is surely blessing this ministry outreach.
Further Blessings, David W Nelson - Elder, Monroe Christian Church - Engineer -- DaimlerChrysler
I have known Michael and Shirley for over 20 years, including several years during which Michael was our pastor. I have always found them to be as
dedicated to serving the Lord and seeking His face as anyone I've met.
Robert L. McMasters, Ph.D., P.E. - Department of Mechanical Engineering, Office 139 Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va. 24450
Many more references upon request.
Michael and Shirley are members of the West Lansing Church of Christ in Lansing, Michigan.