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MOST Ministries
Doing the Most for MOST 
By Marty Moro (MOST Ministries Executive Director)

Sandy Hardies, retiring board member of MOST Ministries, reminisced, “When I was a little kid I wanted to go where the missionaries were.” Little did she know her spirit of volunteerism would eventually lead her to serve on 46 MOST Ministries mission teams, 42 of them as the team leader.

After growing up in Denver, Sandy left for Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska where she studied education and graduated with a teaching degree. She accepted a call to Evergreen Lutheran School in Detroit where she served for 3 years. She taught for a year and a half at St. Thomas Lutheran School in East Detroit when she left the classroom so she and her husband, Ren, could start a family.

Sandy became involved with the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML), where she started to hear about MOST Ministries and where that urge to take part in the mission field was rekindled. In 2002, Sandy joined her first MOST mission team, a women’s ministry team to India led by MOST’s founder Gayle Sommerfeld. Two years later Sandy was on her 4th MOST mission team, but this time as the team leader – a position she would hold over her next 41 mission teams.

MOST mission team leaders are a valuable part of the ministry. This job is demanding and carries a great deal of responsibility. After, leading 42 teams, Sandy decided it was time to retire from the team leader role, but to continue serving as a team member. It is her goal to serve on 50 MOST mission teams. Her team number 47 is scheduled for April of 2024 – an eyeglass team to Zacapa, Guatemala.

Sandy has led MOST teams to 22 countries on 5 continents. These teams shared the Gospel in word and deed through projects requested by the missionary hosts: eyeglass clinics, medical clinics, water purification projects, construction projects, ESL instruction, and men’s/women’s/children’s ministry projects. Sandy led them all!

Sandy offered many reflections on her time as a MOST team member and team leader:

  • “God has blessed me graciously.”
  • “It’s benefited me even more than the people    we served.”
  • “I’ve been involved with many organizations, but this has been the highlight.”
  • “I’ve worked with wonderful teams and wonderful people.”
  • “It was an opportunity to meet so many neat   people.”
  • “I made so many friends…all over the country…all over the world.”
  • “It’s one of the best jobs I ever had.”
  • “It’s the best thing I ever did."

Sandy credits her husband, Ren, for being so supportive of her work in the mission field – taking care of the home front while she was away, and joining her on some mission trips even though international travel wasn’t his thing.

Sandy and Ren also partner with MOST by regularly volunteering at the Mission Center and with their financial support. When asked why they do so much for MOST, Sandy answered, “Because I believe in what we do.”

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