SPECIAL APPEAL: LCC K-9 Ministry Teams and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Ministry Deploy in less than 24 hours to Comfort Community Following Shooting in San Jose, California
9 People Killed, Many Injured
232nd Mass Shooting Reported This Year
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1
"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13
At 6:45 am on Wednesday, May 26, shooting began at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail yard in San Jose, California, during the morning shift change. At least eight of the nine people reported killed were employees, and many other employees were injured. The shooter, who was also an employee, took his own life as first responders arrived. Victim age ranges are from 29 to 63 years old.
In less than 24 hours, Tim Hetzner, LCC President/CEO, and LCC Director of K-9 Ministries, Anastasia, received an invite for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs from Pastor Andy Koschmann from Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Los Gatos, California, and Rev. Michael Lange, LCMS District President for California, Nevada, and Hawaii District.
Bonnie Fear, LCC K-9 Crisis Response Coordinator with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Aaron (St. John's – Napa Valley, California), Micah (Light of the Valley – Elk Grove, California), and Reuben (First Lutheran – Yuba City, California), along with their ministry teams, are deploying and will arrive this afternoon to be present with employees, throughout the community, and first responders who are trying to cope with another mass shooting tragedy. They will attend the public vigil at the San Jose City Hall plaza this evening. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Rahab (St. Andrews – Stockton, California) and her handlers will join the K-9 Ministry teams on Saturday.
Lutheran Church Charities will also place nine hearts on crosses or markers through our Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Ministry at a memorial site for people to leave condolence messages, pray, and pay their respects for the lives lost.
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
Your Donations Needed to Help Sustain Immanuel-Hillside’s Put Your Hands Together Food Ministry this Summer
Last week marked the first anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hillside, Illinois, inauguration of the Put Your Hands Together (PYHT) Food Ministry started in response to help families get through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many families are still in need. There are many LCMS churches and ministries that rely heavily on food donations to sustain their programming and begin new ones now that the pandemic is coming to a close.
Immanuel, Hillside seeks your financial support and prayers to help sustain their PYHT outreach in the summer months to come as their program funding for the year has ended. They wish to continue to supply much-needed food to church ministries and other food relief organizations. Funding is required to cover the transportation costs that are increasing rapidly due to gasoline and pallet shortages. Truck rentals are required for pickup, delivery, and staging of large food donations at the cost of $1,050 per month, enabling them to serve over a dozen ministries per week.
LCC appreciates your generous donations to help support this partner ministry. By putting our hands and feet together in the love of Jesus Christ, we can bring love to others in need.
Your Donations Delivered to St. Mark’s, Illinois, for Mother of Three in Desperate Need of Financial Assistance
LCC Delivers Your Donations to Christ the King, Chicago, Illinois
Last week, LCC delivered your donations for the roof repair and school tuition assistance to Christ the King, Chicago, Illinois. We received this note from Geri Brazeal, Principal, Christ the King Lutheran School:
The Lord is always on time, and the generosity of the many people who support Lutheran Church Charities and the work they do is amazing. We bring our students in live by pods. Morgan and Amiyah made a thank you card for LCC. They came into violin practice and told Ms. Tay that she could not take the picture until they stood in the front.
Bless all of you who help us make a better way for these kids who struggle with many obstacles.
God Bless you all,
Please consider a gift to support the ongoing ministry of Christ the King as they continue to serve and reach out to their community.
Your Donations Delivered to Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries for the Development and Support of the New Maternity Home in the LCMS Northern Illinois District
Last week, LCC President/CEO Tim Hetzner and LCC staff member Dianna Bonfield presented Sheryl DeWitt, Executive Director of Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries, with donations for the development and support of the new maternity home in the LCMS Northern Illinois District.
Sheryl DeWitt, Executive Director of Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries, spent the week in the LCMS Northern Illinois District meeting with individual pastors, congregations, and donors across the district. In between those visits, Sheryl met with the recently appointed project manager, Jaclyn Deutsch of Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, and the project team members: Linda Arnold of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle, and LCC’s Director of Volunteers, Dianna Bonfield. Key to the progress of the development were her meetings with Dale Hertel of Zion Lutheran Church, Marengo, a retired general contractor who is volunteering his time drawing up the renovation plans for the maternity home.
Thank you to Pastor Mark Frusti from Faith Lutheran Church in Carpentersville, Illinois, who graciously arranged for a meet and greet breakfast for supporters of the maternity home and the first project team meeting.
LCC Connects Immanuel Lutheran, Palatine with Ministries and Civic Programs to Help Deliver Food to People in Need
Lutheran Church Charities is blessed to welcome two new golden retriever puppies to be trained as future LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. The puppies are named Huldah and Jordan.
Huldah and Jordan have already started to bond with their new volunteer apprentice trainers. Please follow them on Facebook as they begin their journey to become LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs.
Lutheran Church Charities is always recruiting new volunteers to help train these amazing animals. If you are interested in joining us on this mission, please email k9trainers@LutheranChurchCharities.org, call 866-455-6466 ext. 118, or visit our website www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/traink9s.html.
During the months leading up to July 2014, LCC President and CEO Tim Hetzner realized that the LCC K-9 Ministry was seeing more and more veterans as they served God’s people. At the 2014 LCC National K-9 Ministry Conference, the LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry was launched with golden retriever puppies and veteran handlers recruited by Tim Hetzner. The purpose of the Kare 9 Military Ministry is to serve active military, veterans, and their families.
The first LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dogs were all named after a military dog who had lost its life in service to our country. The Kare 9 Dogs and their veteran handlers are:
Blitz with Bob Royce (U.S. Army, 1968-1970, Specialist 4th Class)
Brandy with Marvin Hanks (U.S. Navy, 1954-1974, Petty Officer 2nd Class)
Britta with Dale Sasse (U.S. Army, 1970-1972, Specialist 5th Class)
Butch with Keith Stanton (U.S. Air Force, 1965-1969, Staff Sergeant)
Brutus with Gene Weisbecker (U.S. Navy, 1956-1958, Seaman)
Flex with Fred Vanstrom (U.S. Army, 1970-1972, Specialist 4th Class)
Spike with Raleigh Showens (U.S. Army, 1966-1968, Specialist 5th Class)
From these first Kare 9 Dogs, the LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry has grown to approximately seventy Kare 9s and their veteran handlers by 2021. All work through the LCC K-9 Ministries in churches to serve in communities around the nation.
Probably the most memorable event many of the Kare 9s have served is Camp Hometown Heroes. This summer camp is established to serve the children and siblings of men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation. Dave Enters from Concordia University Wisconsin was instrumental in connecting us with Camp Hometown Heroes. Since our first visit in July 2015, 165 LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry veteran handlers and 128 Kare 9s have offered mercy, compassion, and the presence of Jesus Christ to those children who have suffered such a great loss. Our veteran handlers look forward to this special visit each year.
Other events such as Yellow Ribbon events, Military Stand Downs, National Guard and Reserve Family Days, VA Hospital visits, and many others have created countless special memories for those who served.
The LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry thanks all of our active and veteran handlers for their dedication and compassionate ministry to those who have given so much, and for their service to our great nation!
Last week LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs in training Asa, Beloved, Claudia, Genesis, Hagar, Jemimah, Moriah, Salome, Solomon, and Thomas and their apprentice trainers were happy to visit staff Amita Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois, in celebration of National EMS Week. It was a joy visiting with the frontline healthcare workers who serve our community every day.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs in training loved spending time with these dedicated workers and presented a Heart of Mercy & Compassion to them. It was a great visit and a wonderful training opportunity for these young dogs.