In the aftermath of December 30, 2021, Marshall Fire that destroyed over 1,000 homes in Louisville and Superior, Colorado, people came together for the Boulder Valley Build Expo held at Ascent Church in Louisville, Colorado.
This Expo provided an opportunity for those who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire on December 30 to hear and meet with local builders and city officials and attend presentations that would assist them in making decisions on the rebuilding process of their homes and neighborhoods. There were also 35 other businesses present for people to meet with any questions or concerns they had. Four hundred eight-five households were invited to this Expo.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Cubby and Devorah (Redeemer - Fort Collins, Colorado) were invited to attend the Boulder Valley Build Expo event to be there with the participants. Cubby and Devorah Comfort Dogs greeted people on Friday and Saturday as they entered the church to attend the Expo. After two months after these horrific fires, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry handlers and ministry partners could see the distraught, lost looks on people’s faces who are still trying to navigate the fact that the fire consumed all they owned and how to begin the rebuilding process.
People shared with Cubby's and Devorah's team the stories of their pets lost in the fire or due to illness as they petted and sought the comfort and warmth of the Comfort Dogs.
The fires that happened in December also separated families from their beloved pets. Several of the pet owners shared how they could not take their pets with them when they found temporary housing and had to arrange to have their four-legged family members to be fostered for them temporarily. Many of these families were going to visit their pets after the Expo.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog team with Cubby and Devorah also met city officials who were present to show their support and many volunteers who continue to show their love and concern and help out where needed.
The handlers and ministry partners had the opportunity to pray with a woman who praised God for being with her through this tragedy. She shared that without her faith, she was not sure how she would have been able to live day by day through this crisis.
One of the attendees said the Expo was overwhelming but helpful for her. She said it made such a difference to see and pet the dogs. “They help me to just breathe.”
A man who came with his daughter said, “Thank you for bringing these wonderful dogs- they are good for the soul!”
The LCC K-9 Ministry team from Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, Colorado, is building a strong relationship with the Louisville and Superior communities and Ascent since the fires that happened in December and will continue to support the victims as they continue to heal and rebuild.
God is in control and working as the communities of Louisville, and Superior move forward after the fires.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15
On Friday, February 25, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield Lutheran - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Hagar (Faith - Appleton, Wisconsin), Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin), Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), Sage and Zoey (Concordia University Wisconsin - Mequon, Wisconsin), made a special visit to Molson Coors Beverage Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as their staff remembers and honors those they lost two years ago. February 26th marks the second anniversary of the shooting at Molson Coors that took the lives of five of their co-workers: Dale Hudson, Gennady Levshetz, Jesus Valle Jr., Trevor Wetselaar, and Dana Walk.
Charity and Zoey Comfort Dogs arrived early on Friday to bring comfort and love to the third and first shift at Molson Coors. Later in the afternoon, Charity and Zoey were joined by Hagar, Mary, Rhoda, and Sage Comfort Dogs and their handlers to be with the second shift staff on this day of remembrance.
We pray for Jesus’ healing arms to strengthen and comfort the Molson Coors Beverage Company staff and the victims’ families as they remember this day and the loss they are still feeling.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry was blessed to have seven affiliates represented at the Replacement Handler Training on February 26-27. LCC is happy to welcome these wonderful individuals who have been called to go out and serve in their home communities to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those in need.
The handlers spent a lot of time learning new handling skills and building their knowledge about the ministry.
LCC welcomes the following new handlers to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry:
Gina Galligar, Zion - Marengo, Illinois
Eric Warmbold, Zion - Marengo, Illinois
Luther Schmidt, St Paul’s - Concordia, Missouri
Michael Pottschmidt, St Paul’s - Concordia, Missouri
Vera Velho-Harter, St Luke’s - Oviedo, Florida
Betsy Register, St Luke’s - Oviedo, Florida
Nancy Pruim, St Luke’s - Oviedo, Florida
Tina Krueger, Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin
Elizabeth Jentz, Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Eileen Neff, Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Jennifer Haig, Immanuel - Belvidere, Illinois
Candi Tostenrud, Christ the King - Lake Ozark, Missouri
Bobbi Lenninger, Christ the King - Lake Ozark, Missouri
Immediate Funds Needed to Help a Grieving Family Cover Funeral Expenses after Sudden Death of Wife and Mother
$5,000 Needed to Proceed with Funeral Services
LCC received an urgent request from Pastor Duane Fluechtling from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Thornton, Illinois, for funeral expense assistance for a very active member who lost his wife suddenly and unexpectedly this week. She went to the emergency room with health concerns, had emergency surgery, and died several hours later of sepsis and organ failure.
This has been a shock and difficult loss to her husband, children, grandchildren, and congregation. The family does not have the means to pay for funeral expenses on their own. The church has helped with some of the cost, but the funeral home is postponing any services until they are paid $5,000, which will cover the balance owed.
If you are so moved, please donate generously to help LCC and St. Paul Lutheran Church assist this grieving family cover funeral expenses. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
We can take wood and make a heart and a fish. But until we put a Bible Verse on it (with a Cricut Maker® or hand calligraphy), it is only wood. The Bible Verse makes the “Wood Come Alive” – because of Jesus.
If you know or want to learn how to “Make wood come alive” with a Bible Verse – PLEASE contact us – so that we can continue to impact hundreds of lives with the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ!
If you want to join us, call LCC and speak to John or Dianna at 866-455-6466. You can also reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Donations Help Single Aunt Raise Four Siblings
LCC Thanks WINGS Program for Making a Difference in the Lives of Damari’s Four Siblings
Thank you for your donations received so far to help Delonya. If you feel so moved, please prayerfully consider donating to continue to support Damari's aunt as she raises his four siblings.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Amos (Our Savior's Way - Ashburn, Virginia), and his team decided to celebrate Kindness Week by delivering flowers with notes to let others know they matter, are loved, and are special. Team members wrote out the notes as they thought about the recipient and the message they would receive. The handlers and ministry partners prayed for each person as they tied the cards to the flowers. The team then took turns going out into the community to distribute them over a four-day "blitz."
They made a stop at Amos' veterinarian, an assisted nursing facility and elementary school they regularly visit with Amos, the local mall, and their church. Amos' handlers and ministry partners handed the flowers to those they regularly visit and those around them, the staff, other educators, business owners, and other new friends. Their mission was simple: Connect with people and let them know they are loved.
Each team reported back separately, and all were amazed and smiling at the overwhelming success that such a simple, heartfelt gesture provided. Each team heard one phrase in common: "I needed this today."
Here are some of the other reactions the team heard:
"This makes me happy!"
"I AM special!" while reading their note.
"I can't remember the last time I received a flower, thank you."
"And a HUGE thank you from ALL of us for the love, kindness, and flowers last week. It was such a special treat, and I know so many staff felt a little extra TLC. We hope you know how VERY much we TREASURE our relationship with all of you and our time with Amos."
God was indeed with them, guiding them and sharing God's love through them to those who were in need.
On Monday, February 14, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Cubby and Devorah (Redeemer - Fort Collins, Colorado) were invited by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent Jason Keller to attend a mock mass casualty shooting event at the Bank One Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Special Agent Keller first heard about the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry from the Boulder King Soopers shooting last March when the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers were invited to visit the Crime Scene Investigators that processed the tragic scene. NCIS Special Agent Keller wanted Cubby and Devorah Comfort Dogs to be there after a mock active shooter demonstration to show how they work at bringing comfort and calm in the aftermath of these tragedies.
It was an honor for these two teams to attend the NCIS Crime Scene Reconstruction Conference and meet crime scene investigators and law enforcement from around the U.S.. One of the photos was taken with the EMS students (many still in high school) who attended the active shooter demonstration. This can be a very emotional training, but these brave students remained focused and courageous throughout the long day.
Cubby and Devorah and their handlers were honored to have an opportunity to demonstrate the comforting power that an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog can bring to a stressful situation and support the law enforcement and crime scene investigators who must rush in after these horrific events.
Last week, LCC Disaster Response deployment host church through Pastor David Appold from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Paducah, Kentucky, delivered funds from generous Lutheran Church Charities donors to the pastor of Kentucky Lake Mission Church in Gilbertsville to help him and a congregation members family that were greatly affected by the devastating EF-4 Kentucky tornadoes that hit that area on December 10-11, 2021.
Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, and Jamie Miller, LCC staff, had met with each of these families that received several days of chainsaw assistance from LCC L.E.R.T. teams that had deployed this past December and January.
Pastor owns a 55-acre ranch property that had the homes of his daughter and son, as well as his own on it. His daughter’s home was severely damaged, and his son’s was totally destroyed. Pastor and his son also lost about 50 head of cattle, barns, miles of pasture fencing, chicken and turkey coups, and hundreds of trees.
Pastor’s son is a young man with a family who was in the process of building a home on his parent’s ranch property. He is an excellent woodworker and has his own mill. The tornado destroyed his partially built home, barns, tools, large workshop, and vehicles. He had told us he was still regaining his strength after a long hospitalization and rehab from COVID. His wife broke her ankle while trying to salvage items after the tornado.
He was overwhelmed and sometimes emotional about the many losses he, his family, and friends have experienced, but he has a strong faith that God is with him. He was very appreciative of the time we spent there to have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ come to help him with recovery efforts.
Pastor Appold states that the son has continued to work with various volunteer groups that have been assisting their family, which is currently replacing the damaged roof on his sister’s home. He has just purchased new tools to replace the ones that had been blown away by the tornado and is still committed to his plan of using trees from the property to rebuild his home on his parent’s property.
Immediately following the tornado, and sustaining extensive damage to his own property, this pastor housed an elderly disabled couple from his congregation. The tornado totally destroyed their home and barns, causing them to lose all their belongings, vehicles, farm equipment, and animals.
The pastor stated that Mr. & Mrs. R. had recently been able to move into a rental home. Unfortunately, Mr. R. fell and broke his hip last week, which required extensive surgical repair, and will need rehab assistance for some time.
When receiving the donations, he could not believe that we would return with financial assistance for his family and that of his congregation members. He is very appreciative and sends his heartfelt thanks, prayers, and blessings for our generosity and continued willingness to bring the mercy and compassion of Christ to his community beginning their long recovery process.