News & Events at Concordia

Orphan Grain Train founder shares insight at Concordia

Friday, Mar. 4, 2016
Rev. Ray Wilke will share observations regarding the Orphan Grain Train during a special presentation at Concordia on March 22, 2016.
Rev. Ray Wilke will share observations regarding the Orphan Grain Train during a special presentation at Concordia on March 22, 2016.

Rev. Ray Wilke will speak about the Orphan Grain Train during an hour-long session at Concordia University, Nebraska on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Thom Leadership Education Center. The presentation is called “Some Observations on Biblical and Eastern European History as Noted Amidst Orphan Grain Train History and Present Day Work.” The event is free and open to the public.

Wilke is a 1970 graduate of the Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. After serving seven years in the Philippines as a missionary alongside his family, he moved to Norfolk and became pastor at Grace Lutheran Church and senior pastor in 1987. The congregation’s mission statement includes strong emphasis on youth and teaching as well as strong support for world missions.

While in Russia and Latvia for several weeks with his wife, Lois, Wilke developed the idea of providing the Gospel and human care to people in that devastated part of the world. That idea became what is known now as the Orphan Grain Train, of which Wilke is now president. The Orphan Grain Train provides Gospel teaching materials, medical supplies, food and other human care materials to more than 26 foreign locations around the world. It also serves domestic disaster needs as they arise.

 Wilke’s wife, Lois, went to be with the Lord in February 2015. They have three grown children and nine grandchildren. Their children Tori and Ray II both live with their families near Norfolk, Nebraska, and Kamryn lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The presentation is part of the Looking Beyond Speaker Series, which is made possible through an ongoing gift from Martin and Regina Maehr. The series was created to present diverse speakers and ideas to Concordia students and the Seward community.