LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Help Students, Faculty, Staff and Community Begin Their Recovery
On Monday morning, January 29, LCC received a call from the Marshall County High School after the shooting last week. Within 4 hours, 12 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and 19 handlers were on their way to support the survivors of this tragic event. For most of the day Tuesday, the school of about 1,200 students were let out in shifts from class to greet the Comfort Dogs. Some students, traumatized by the event, were accompanied by counselors and the presence of the LCC K-9 Ministry teams was part of these students’ first steps of coping with what happened. Among the students was one girl who was wounded in the shooting, while many simply expressed their emotions of shock, grief, and disbelief. There were a lot of tears shed in these hours, but much hope and comfort given through presence and prayer.
Here are some of the comments we have already received since arriving in Benton:
“Thank you so much for allowing us to have comfort dogs. They are very comforting and make it a lot easier to be in the school. Petting the dogs makes me feel safe being in the school."
“Thank you so much for coming. It has already helped a lot of us there so much. People are laughing and smiling all around the school. They are all talking about the dogs being there.”
“My son attends Marshall County High School. This has been such a blessing. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for truly providing comfort to these kids. Absolutely amazing!”
Please continue to pray for the LCC K-9 Ministry teams in Benton and particularly for this community as they begin to put the pieces back together. Teams are planning visits to where the town has set up counselors to help families, as well as visits to the areas around the school who received students as they were fleeing the scene.
If you are moved to do so, please support us to help with travel expenses so that we can continue to bring the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to this hurting community.
Your Donations Continue to Make A Difference
On January 19, Lutheran Church Charities received the following letter from Rev. Robert Selle, CEO, Amigos Center, thanking LCC for making a difference in the lives of the Amigos Center clients:
Dear Friend in Christ,
I want to thank you, the staff and volunteers of Lutheran Church Charities for making a profound difference in the lives of the families of Southwest Florida. Hurricane Irma changed the lives of thousands of people in Southwest Florida, some for the worse, some for the better, but all for the glory of God.
LCC has been with us since the immediate aftermath of the hurricane and has walked along with us as we minister to the most vulnerable among us, all to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I first met Deaconess Kathy O’Day and other volunteers of LCC just days after the hurricane. We were still trying to assess the impact of the hurricane on our community, our staff and our own families. I had never heard of LCC before that but now give thanks to God for your labor of love.
For three months now LCC has worked with Amigos Center staff to identify, assess needs, provide logistics and humanitarian support to more than 92 families. The support provided by LCC has helped open doors for us to a grateful community.
Thank you Tim for the assistance that LCC gave to me, our staff, our church families and our community. All has been to the glory of God.
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Robert V. Selle, CEO
13 Amigos Center Families Still Need Beds and Appliances
There are thirteen families still waiting to receive beds with one family needing appliances as well. All of these are families waiting for repairs or rebuilding of their homes. They are extremely thankful that LCC and its donors are willing to help them after their repairs or rebuilding is done.
Please prayerfully consider donating to help complete the Amigos Center family needs!
On Friday, January 26, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ezra greeted visitors during an Open House Event at the new satellite office of the Toledo / Lucas County Victim Witness Assistance Program. This event was held for the Latino community to meet lawyers, prosecutors, and victim advocates who specialize in their cases and to learn about the services they provide.
Prayerfully consider supporting this wonderful ministry as this team continues to make a difference in the lives of so many who feel hopeless or are in distress.
God continues to open doors for the LCC K-9 Ministry and because of those opportunities He has provided, more people have been recruited to spread the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. This past weekend, twelve LCC K-9 Ministry affiliates from around the country came together at LCC in Northbrook, Illinois to have new people trained as Comfort Dog handlers:
Christ Our Savior – Loudon, Tennessee
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jewel
Christ the King – Memphis, Tennessee
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Job
Christ the Shepherd – Alpharetta, Georgia
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Luke
Concordia University Wisconsin – Mequon, Wisconsin
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Zoey
Lutheran High School Association – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Dora
Our Redeemer – Wichita Falls, Texas
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Elijah
Our Savior – Louisville, Kentucky
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mercy
Our Savior – Milford, Illinois
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mahlah
Redeemer – Fort Collins, Colorado
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Cubby
St. John – Napa, California
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Aaron
St. Michael’s – Bloomington, Minnesota
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Gideon
St. Peter – Arlington Heights, Illinois
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Susie
LCC had twenty-one Comfort Dogs at the training to work with the new handlers. The handlers also learned the importance of grooming, massage, play, and health maintenance of the dog. Most importantly, they learned that this is a ministry. As handlers and ministry partners, we are to see people as Jesus sees them, and to love and care for others as Jesus loves and cares for us.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40
LCC was honored to train and certify 3 new veteran handlers to represent the LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry:
Duane Misener, US Army Veteran, 1960-1964 (Christ Our Savior – Loudon, Tennessee)
David Nelson, US Air Force Veteran, 1982-2012 (Our Redeemer – Wichita Falls, Texas)
Brandon Legan, Army National Guard Veteran, 2001-2007 (Our Savior – Milford, Illinois)
Brandon Legan is also a law enforcement handler for the new LCC K-9 Police Ministry. He is an Iroquois County Sheriff Deputy and also works part-time as a police officer in the Milford, Illinois community.
" ... to comfort all who mourn," Isaiah 61:2
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147
Those deploying are:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ruthie - Rich Martin (Staff)
LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Flex - Fred Vanstrom (Squad)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah - Barb Granado (Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mercy (Our Savior - Louisville, Kentucky)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Job (Christ the King - Memphis, Tennessee)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Noah (Timothy - St. Louis, Missouri)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tabby (St. Paul - De Peres, Missouri)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Anna (Trinity - Toledo, Ohio)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Rosie (Atonement - Columbus, Ohio)
LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Bethany (Trinity - Danville, Illinois)
LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Dinah (Trinity - Auburn, Illinois)
Joshua Gale - LCC Executive Director
Last Tuesday, January 23, a student entered the high school's common area and began randomly shooting, leaving two dead, almost 20 wounded, and everyone involved shocked at yet another horrific event.
Please help LCC as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help students, faculty and staff who will need a lot of support as they return to the school where it happened.
Please support us by prayer and if you are moved, to help with travel expenses.
Thank you for being a part of the Mercy and Compassion Ministry of Lutheran Church Charities.
Lutheran Church Charities
The LCC K-9 Police Ministry welcomes Brandon Legan as law enforcement handler for LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Mahlah (Our Savior – Milford, Illinois). Brandon is an Iroquois County Sheriff Deputy and also works part-time as a police officer in the Milford, Illinois community. Brandon completed his handler training at LCC on January 28 and will begin serving the law enforcement community and their family members.
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Reuben (First Lutheran – Yuba City, California) stopped by to visit his friends at the Sacramento California Dispatch Center. Lots of love, comfort, and appreciation was shared.
The students gained understanding of the difference between a service dog, comfort dog and a pet which was a good lesson for the students. The speakers were comfortable and relaxed with the kids as if they were teachers themselves! They allowed for questions with means a lot to the students. We look forward to having the Comfort Dog Ministry coming back to Immanuel again and we are also looking ways we can help support your mission. You will be hearing from us again soon! Thank you so very much and God bless your ministry!
First/Second Grade Teacher