LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. Volunteers Serve with Compassion During Physical Property Recovery for Homeowners Affected by Tornadoes in Tennessee
Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Disaster Response L.E.R.T. (Lutheran Early Response Team) chainsaw teams were invited by Rev. Ross Johnson, Director of LCMS Disaster Response and Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, LCMS Mid-South District President to assist Pastor Keith Enko at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Hermitage, Tennessee with tornado recovery in their community. On March 3, Nashville and surrounding towns experienced seven tornadoes in the early morning hours. Two of the reported tornadoes were rated an EF-4 storm by the National Weather Service. The tornadoes were on and off the ground for 150 miles, leaving a trail of destruction and sadly taking the lives of 24 people and injuring countless others.
Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, LCC Staff and fifty L.E.R.T. chainsaw certified team members are deployed this week, serving those affected by the tornadoes and will be returning Saturday, March 14.
LCC thanks our L.E.R.T. volunteers for their hearts to serve:
Good Shepherd, Elgin – David Vollrath
Good Shepherd, Frankfort – Joel Powless
Heartland, Normal – Tony Buchberger
Immanuel, Belvidere – Tony Newton
Immanuel, DeKalb – Pete Springmire
Immanuel, Dundee – Matt Flynn, Lark Sanders
Immanuel, Palatine – Steve MacKay
Lord of Life, LaFox – Matt Byars, Ken Johnston, Ken Kivaranta, Kevin Krage, Terry and Mary Kramer, Jeff Straughn, Larry Zagorski
Messiah, Sterling – Jacob Beets
Prince of Peace, Palatine – Jim Beckley, Danny and Bobbie Swyndroski
Redeemer, Peoria – Ken and Rhonda Kruse, Rebecca Lindholm
Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry – Alan Holm
St. John, Wheaton – Jim Braun, Steve Chester, Jan Gerveske, Marty Johnson, Dave Mummah, Anna Piro, Tom Prickette, Rich Wren
Trinity, Bloomington – Keith Marshall
Trinity, Lisle – Mike Kostecki, Richard Schaefer
Trinity, Roselle – Kristin Bilar
Zion, Mascoutah – Jesse Baxter, Josh Peterson
Good Shepherd, Ft. Myers, Florida – Manfred Cholodewitsch
Life Fellowship, Lewisburg, Tennessee – John Martin
Messiah, Hayes, Kansas – Bob Warfel
St. John, Lincolnville, Kansas – Ira Walker
St. John’s, Dillsboro, Indiana – Steve Black, Ruth Weisbod
St. John’s, Portage, Wisconsin – John Matheny
Dr. Rev. Roger Paavola, LCMS Mid-South District President toured the areas of Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Donelson and Lebanon with Pastor Enko and Kathy O’Day. They also met with homeowners and LCC L.E.R.T. team members on site to offer prayers and to personally thank them for their willingness to serve those in need. It was very special that he took the time to come and express his support to the congregation and team.
Repeatedly we heard stories of survival that occurred as families heard the warnings to take shelter in the middle of the night. We have seen homes, schools and businesses destroyed, belongings lost, lives disrupted – but have also listened to thanks and praise to God for being with them in the midst of the storm and surrounding them with His protection.
“It’s an incredible mission and ministry that they have. LCC has changed so many lives. They made an impact on us as a congregation, an impact on me as a pastor, and an impact on this community as well – one that won’t be forgotten!” – Pastor Keith Enko, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Hermitage, Tennessee
Urgent Donations Needed to Help Emmanuel Early Childhood Center Preschool Families
Pastor Enko informed us that two families who send their preschool children to Emmanuel’s Early Childhood Center have lost everything due to the tornado. A single family home and an apartment building have been completely destroyed. Please donate to the LCC Disaster Response Fund so that we can help Emmanuel support these two families with the overwhelming task of starting over.
Giving Hope and Safety to a Recent Widow
Suzanne, a recent widow, told us how all her doors were blown in and bent and, therefore, she had to jump out of a broken window to exit her house. She, then, saw her neighborhood badly damaged and the trees her husband had planted uprooted and destroyed. She said she felt like those trees, now feeling uprooted from the safety of her home and what she holds dear damaged and destroyed. She appreciated that the LCC L.E.R.T. team listened to her story and cleaned up her property, but more importantly offered her hope that, through Christ, all will be made safe again.
Helping Neighbors with Extensive Tree Damage
An elderly gentleman and his two neighbors lost about 60 trees on top of the hill behind their homes. When we offered assistance to clear the trees and brought heavy equipment that could tackle the hill, they were overwhelmed with gratitude, as they did not know how they could have ever done all this work or been able to afford someone to do it.
Providing Compassion and Property Assistance to Elderly Couple
The LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. volunteers will continue to serve those in need by showing the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ.
LCC never goes where we are not invited. We NEVER charge those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, lodging, and meal costs. We put boots on the ground within 24 hours (often fewer) from the time we get the invite.
Please keep residents in impacted Tennessee communities in your prayers, including all the LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. volunteers and staff during our deployment.
Please prayerfully consider a donation to the LCC Disaster Response General Fund or LCC Disaster Response Equipment Maintenance & Fuel Expense Fund so that we may continue to show the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Continue to Serve the Community Following Molson Coors Shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
LCC K-9 Ministry teams continued to serve the community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin following a workplace shooting at Molson Coors campus that occurred on Thursday, February 27, claiming the lives of six people, including the gunman.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited by Pastor Rob Mrosko of Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin to bring comfort to the workers, families, and friends of the Molson Coors employees and the surrounding communities.
On Tuesday, March 3, teams were invited to spend time with workers who were in lockdown at Harley Davidson. Rich Martin, Director of K-9 Deployments with other LCC K-9 Ministry teams met with over 100 employees whose offices were directly across the street from Molson Coors where the shooting took place. It was a time to relax and refresh as employees sat with the K-9s and shared stories with the handlers.
The LCC K-9 Ministry teams also visited the Medical Examiner’s office. The employees were grateful for our presence and the comfort we provided. In a profession that serves 24/7, it was a much needed rest!
We received a heartfelt thank you note from the coroner's wife:
Thanks for the love, joy, and laughs that you brought to the Medical Examiner's office! We loved meeting the dogs and it was super exciting meeting your handlers!
May God continue to bless you in this marvelous ministry — there’s nothing like a cold nose and a warm heart. You have a tough, yet rewarding job, so I will keep you in my prayers.
The following LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers were present at various times during this deployment:
Kare 9 Asher (Faith Lutheran – Lake Forest, Illinois)
Barnabas & Isaiah (Trinity – Hobart, Indiana)
Kare 9 Blitz (LCC Squad)
Kare 9 Brandy (LCC Squad)
Charity (Brookfield Lutheran – Brookfield, Wisconsin)
Dora (LHSA of Greater Milwaukee)
Police Ministry Dog Eve (St. John’s – Lombard, Illinois)
Kare 9 Flex (LCC Squad)
JoJo (Living Christ – Arlington Heights, Illinois)
Julia (King of Glory – Elgin, Illinois)
Lila (Beautiful Savior – Mequon, Wisconsin)
Malachi (St. Matthew – Hawthorne Woods, Illinois)
Mary (St. Paul’s – Janesville, Wisconsin)
Myra (St. Andrews – Park Ridge, Illinois)
Rhoda (Prince of Peace – Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
Sage & Zoey (Concordia University Wisconsin – Mequon, Wisconsin)
Susie (St. Peter – Arlington Heights, Illinois)
Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois)
Emma (LCC Staff)
Ruthie (LCC Staff)
Comfort Dog-in-Training Rahab
Faith Lutheran – Appleton, Wisconsin (in process)
Please continue to keep the people of Milwaukee and the families of Molson Coors in your prayers as they continue to heal.
Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses provides a physical and spiritual symbol through the giving of hearts and crosses to families and friends who have suffered loss or serious illness of a loved one. A caring Christian provides these symbols in order to share the hope of Jesus Christ in their time of need in Presence and Prayer. The Hearts allow people to write a message or signature on them to show their love and support for those grieving or suffering.
Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses responded to the deaths of the six workers from Molson Coors through Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Church members volunteered to paint the hearts, sign them (after Sunday services) and begin delivering them to the families of the deceased.
On Sunday evening, March 1, the Hearts of Mercy & Compassion and Crosses were brought to the vigil at Milwaukee City Hall where hundreds came to pray, sign hearts and be comforted.
During our visit with Molson Coors employees on Wednesday, March 4 and on Thursday, March 5, we put out the hearts for people to sign, so that the HR department would deliver them to the families of the deceased.
Painting of hearts and fish continue at Brookfield Lutheran Church – Brookfield, Wisconsin, St. Matthew – Barrington, Illinois, Immanuel Lutheran – Belvidere, Illinois, and St. Paul – Skokie, Illinois.
Is your church interested in becoming a Mission Partner? Click here for more information and to sign up.
LCC never goes where we are not invited and NEVER charges those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, hotel, and meal costs. We always put boots and paws on the ground within 24 hours (often fewer) from the time we get the invite.
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 this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
Please support us by prayer and if you are so moved, help us with travel expenses.
On Saturday, March 7, Rich Martin, Director, Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses and Tim Laabs, Coordinator, Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses enjoyed overseeing the first painting and assembly of hearts and crosses by volunteers at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. St. Matthew is one of several and growing amount of churches who have committed to prepare wooden hearts with fish overlay and crosses to be delivered by caring Christians with presence and prayer to those hurting or suffering a loss. Other participating churches, to name a few, are St. Paul Lutheran in Skokie and Immanuel Lutheran in Belvidere, both in Illinois, however, our participant churches are spreading nationwide.
These fine-crafted and beautiful remembrances have already had positive impacts on many recipients. St. Matthew point man, Dan Fuhs, arranged to have over 30 church member volunteers ranging from youth to retirees to prepare and assemble 50 hearts of two sizes and to paint 24 crosses in their gymnasium. Specific steps included sanding, priming, painting and gluing. Pastor Mike Brown of St. Matthew’s opened the session with prayer and in keeping with a fine Lutheran tradition, plenty of breakfast treats and drinks were enjoyed by all. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Emma and Ruthie (LCC Staff) were also present to thank the volunteers.
Is your church interested in becoming a Mission Partner to help build this wonderful new ministry that positively effects so many lives?
Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) was blessed to have 13 affiliates from nine different states represented during the additional handler training March 7-8. LCC is happy to welcome these wonderful individuals, who have been called to go out and serve their communities carrying out LCC's mission to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
During the training, the handlers spent a lot of time learning new handling skills and building their knowledge about the LCC Ministry. God is with each of these handlers as they go out with their churches’ LCC K-9 Comfort Dog to share the compassion, joy, and presence of Jesus within their communities.
"Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:6-8
LCC welcomes the following new handlers to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry: