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Disaster Response
Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) Volunteers, Kare-9 and K-9 Handlers Receive Specialized Training to Help Children Heal After a Disaster Print E-mail

Texas Volunteers, parents, and caregivers are looking for ways to help children heal and find hope and peace to go on in life after a summer and fall of one disaster after another. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tragic car accidents, suicides, deaths due to sudden illnesses, floods, earthquakes and the recent shootings this past week on our college campuses have all had a major impact on the lives of many in this nation and throughout the world over the past year.

On Saturday, October 10th, 19 participants from 12 different churches in the Northern Illinois District and South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod gathered together at the Lutheran Church Charities Training center in Northbrook to receive specialized training to help our children heal after a disaster. Dr. Lauren Wellen (Professor and Program Leader for the Department of Literacy and Early Childhood at Concordia University, Chicago) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) Kathy Terzinski helped the participants recognize how a child deals with disaster according to their age. They then gave tools that can be used to help children learn to cope and begin the healing process and to know when it is important to refer the child for more professional help which they are not equipped to provide.

The participants came from the following churches of the Northern Illinois District: Faith Lake Forest, St. John Wheaton, St. Matthew Hawthorn Woods, Immanuel East Dundee, Immanuel, Lindenwood; Edison Park Lutheran Church; St. Peter Schaumburg; Cross Yorkville; Immanuel, Freeport and Trinity Lisle. From the South Wisconsin District there was a volunteer from Trinity Lutheran Church in Friestadt, WI.

For more information about LERT trainings and how to get involved, call Dianna Bonfield at 866-455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 12:45
LCC President Tim Hetzner and LCC Staff Members Attend Synodical Disaster Response Conference Print E-mail
Synodical Disaster Responds This past week, LCC Disaster Response staff members Deaconess Intern Marissa Arndt, Deaconess Dianna Bonfield, Joel Moritz, Assistant to the LCC President, and Rev. Roger Pollock attended the 4-day Synodical Disaster Response Conference held at the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. On Friday, the team was joined by LCC President Tim Hetzner who came in as a presenter to talk about the work of the Comfort Dogs and Kare-9 Dogs in the midst of disasters. Comfort Dogs Jessy (St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Concordia, Missouri), Esther Comfort Dog-in-Training, Tabby (St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Des Peres, Missouri) and their handlers joined Comfort Dog Noah (Timothy Lutheran Church - St. Louis, Missouri), and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Martin to meet and greet conference participants, seminary students, their families, and school staff.

Synodical Disaster Responds Networking with about 100 other participants who came for all the other districts across the United States was one of the many highlights of the conference. Other highlights included hearing updates on the recovery status of disasters from previous years in Pilger, NB; Washington, IL; Delmont, SD; Colorado Flooding; wild fires over the western parts of the United States; hurricanes on the gulf and eastern coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest; and school shootings. The conference also allowed participants the opportunity to share and discover additional resources that will be helpful to the volunteers and teams back in the districts.

To gift to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 14:25
LCC Staff and K-9 Comfort Dogs Travel to Concordia Seminary for the 2015 LCMS National Disaster Response Conference Print E-mail
”Concordia" LCC staff members and K-9 Comfort Dog Martin traveled to Concordia Seminary, St Louis for the 2015 LCMS National Disaster Response Conference. The conference serves as an opportunity to share the experiences and lessons learned throughout the past year's disasters. Pastors and others from across the nation are presenting insights and knowledge of what they lived through while caring for the community. LCC is thankful and proud to be a part of sharing how all can improve the mission of giving the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Christ in times of disaster.

To gift to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 13:43
LCC Disaster Response Team on Watch of Southeastern District Flooding Following Hurricane Joaquin Print E-mail
”Hurricane Though the region was spared from the strength of Hurricane Joaquin, the result was four days of steady rain. This accumulation of over 18 in. of rainfall has caused unprecedented flooding, especially in the Columbia, South Carolina region. LCC President Tim Hetzner has been in constant contact with LCMS Disaster Response as well as a number of key leaders in the affected areas. If or when requests for assistance come, LCC will send out notifications and important information for possible deployment. We ask that all NID LERT members and teams pray for the people of the east coast while working through the LERT steps of preparation for deployment. We thank all for their patience and prayers during this time of disaster.

To gift to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by local and national disasters CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 15:20
LCC Welcomes 28 Newly Certified LERT Volunteers Print E-mail
LERT Training Saturday September 26th, LCC welcomed 28 newly certified Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) volunteers. Our new volunteers come from 8 different congregations of the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Sixteen of the volunteers will be forming the new LERT team at Immanuel Des Plaines, IL. The remainder of the participants will be joining existing teams from St. John, Wheaton, Edison Park Lutheran Church, Chicago; Holy Cross, Cary; Palatine LERT; Good Shepherd, Naperville, Arlington Heights’ LERT Team; and historic First Immanuel, Chicago.

We thank all the volunteers who gave up 4 hours of their time on Saturday morning to go through the LERT training so they may be better prepared to show the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus Christ to people who are suffering and in need. A special thank you to Sue Lewis and the members of Immanuel, Des Plaines who hosted the training and provided everyone with a very healthy breakfast.

For more information about LERT trainings and how to get involved, call Dianna Bonfield at 866-455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 13:20
LCC Welcomes 34 Newly Certified LERT Volunteers Print E-mail
Dekalb This past Saturday September 19th, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Frankfort IL hosted a LERT Basic Training. 34 new volunteers received their LERT Certification and have been prepared to respond to disasters in Illinois and across the nation if needed. The participants came from the following seven churches in the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod: Good Shepherd, Frankfort, IL; Good Shepherd, Elgin, IL; Immanuel, Mokena, IL; Augustana Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL; St Peter, Schaumburg, IL; and St Paul, Chicago Heights, IL.

To donate to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by local and national disasters CLICK HERE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:37
LERT Advanced Training Held at Helmar Lutheran Church in Newark, IL Print E-mail
Chainsaw Training Class LCC staff member Ed Boerman held a LERT Advanced Training – Chainsaw session at Helmar Lutheran Church located in Newark, Illinois on Saturday, September 19th. We are thankful for the attendance as well as the opportunity to educate while helping Helmar Lutheran remove some trees.

If you are interested in learning more or updating your LERT Member status, please CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:41
California Valley Fire – Your Help Still Needed! Print E-mail
The California Valley Fire raged on Saturday, September 12 in Lake County California destroying the town of Middletown and others. It forced the evacuation of over 23,000 individuals. Almost 1,000 homes have been lost and 77,000 acres of land burned.

”NapaOn Sunday September 13, Comfort Dog Aaron and the team from St. John Lutheran in Napa California began serving the evacuees at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds in Napa, California. St. John is still serving the community of Napa from the earthquake just one year ago.

Within 48 hours of seeing the magnitude of people displaced, St. John extended an invitation for more Comfort Dogs to assist the mission.

Napa Fires By midweek, Aaron Comfort Dog, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Luther, Ruthie, Hannah, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog-in-Training Jacob were giving comfort and prayer to the hundreds that camped in the 90-degree heat of the California sun.

One observer noted:

As I stood watching those being touched by your angels a little girl was walking by with two other children. All three children were very young, yet their expressions gave clear evidence they carried the weight of the world on their little shoulders.

I was blessed to see a total transformation with the little girl. As soon as she saw your angels her entire face lit up like the sun. What a precious gift of love you are giving to those who are so desperately in need.

RanchThere is no other being this side of heaven that can provide a perfect love like our four legged angels. Michelle

As the week progressed the team also had a moment to share God’s love and comfort with first responders at the CAL FIRE Command Center who have been working tirelessly since July fighting major fires. They have been seeing little of their families and with little or no time off. At one end of the command center, fire calls were being taken for the deployment of equipment and 10,000 firefighters. On the other end, over 2,000 calls a day were being taken from residents. On Saturday September 12, the calls were harrowing as the pleas for help to find a route out of the valley were coming in by the minute.

”Napa Firefighter Whitney described her visit with Luther:

My sweet moment with Luther this morning! He was such a blessing at the perfect time! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. The CAL FIRE LNU Emergency command center thanks you as well
”NapaOn Sunday after early worship at St. John, the team was invited to visit the “R” Ranch near Lake Berryessa California. 150 people have been staying there with their children, horses, and other livestock since the evacuation. Terri, one of the owners of the ranch, had helped coordinate the intake of humans and animals and, along with countless volunteers, provided a safe and comfortable place for everyone. The adults and children all enjoyed their time with the dogs.

”NapaThe story does not end here as the team from St. John and LCC plan for continuing ministry to those effected. Please continue to lift them up in your prayers.

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry never charges those we serve but relies on donations to cover expenses.

Help support the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund DONATE HERE

To donate to assist those affected by the fires in California, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 20:30
Tornado Causes Damage in Frankfort, IL Print E-mail
LERT volunteer Powerful storms swept through the area last night with torrential rain and a tornado touching down in Frankfort, IL. LCC staff member Joel Moritz is en route for an assessment of the area as well as a LERT training that was scheduled to take place this morning at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Frankfort.

Once the damage assessment and training is complete, this newly trained team will be prepared to deploy and put their training to use in their community this afternoon. Please keep all those affected in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to donate to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by this storm
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2015 07:20
Jesus’s Love Flows Through YOU and LCC After 10 Years of Hurricane Katrina Recovery Print E-mail
  Psalm 57:1
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
   for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
   until the disaster has passed.
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 served as the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The massive superstorm was one of the most destructive in U.S. history and left over 1,200 people dead. LCC and other faith-based organizations were some of the first organizations allowed in. After the hurricane hit land, LCC initially organized a group of 30 volunteers with medical backgrounds, police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other emergency personnel to help in the recovery process. DisasterOverall, well over 120 teams, 1,500 volunteers, and countless hours through LCC have been devoted to the recovery process in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. LCC has, and continues, to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people; all of which would not have been possible if it weren’t for the incredible volunteers who have given so freely of their time and energy. Even though there is work that still needs to be done, a lot of progress has been made. LCC would like that thank all of the volunteers who worked hard to spread the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who were affected by the disastrous hurricane.

Please consider donating to the LCC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by local and national disasters, to donate CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 September 2015 14:06
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