On Wednesday, May 19, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra (St. Andrews - Park Ridge, Illinois) and her handlers visited Grace English Lutheran School in Chicago, Illinois.
Grace English Lutheran School had collected offerings all school year for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, and the students were excited to present what they had received. LCC K-9 Ministry is very blessed by their very generous donation.
The children spent time with Myra and learned more about the important job of being an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog.
"The children of Grace thoroughly enjoyed their visit! They listened intently while Pastor Doering presented the ministry of the LCC and the Comfort Dogs. Then, they asked a few questions after being able to pet Myra. Of course, our most enthusiastic students were our youngest. When asked, they gave me a list of feelings. They told me they were excited, felt joy, were 'joyful' Myra was calming and relaxing. They felt happy and loved. They are looking forward to the visit again next year."
Vicki J Helmling
LCC Arranges for a Young Mother with Special Needs Children in Mesa, Arizona, to Receive a Car from a Generous Texas Donor
Lutheran Church Charities works through congregations nationwide to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus to those who are suffering and in need. Recently, LCC has been working with Pastor Paul Frank of Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mesa, Arizona, to assist a young mother in need of a vehicle. LCC staff, Deaconess Dianna Bonfield, received the request and reached out to Pastor Frank to assist this mother in need.
Sarah is a young mom who is also battling thyroid cancer. She has four children, two of whom have disabilities and are in need of regular therapy visits. Sarah’s car is beyond repair. A very generous donor in Texas read of this need in the LCC Making A Difference newsletter and offered to purchase a car for Sarah.
Pastor Frank shared: “That’s inspirational ministry … how a Mesa, Arizona, mom in need reached out to LCC in Illinois, who connected the mom in need to a church in Arizona and found a generous donor in Texas to help make this happen back in Arizona. Our new connection to Sarah has also given us an opportunity to talk a lot about Christ and about Sarah’s connection to Him and to His church. The illness and the difficult times she has experienced turned out to be the very things God has been using to draw her back into a relationship with Him. Hallelujah!”
With the help of this donor, a gently used car was found at Car Connections – a 2014 Ford Focus, one owner, no accidents, a little under 35,000 miles on it, and in beautiful condition. The dealership was so moved by this story that they agreed to hold the car for Sarah while the purchase and transfer transactions were being made. Sarah is just so humbled and amazed at receiving this kind of help and shares her deep appreciation to everyone who made this happen.
“From Arizona to Illinois to Texas and back to Arizona again. God is good all the time,” shared Pastor Frank. “What an inspiration to see God’s people moved to action in love for a sister in need.”
LCC thanks this donor for their generosity and partnership to help this family.
There was a recent outbreak of scabies in the mountain area in Haiti. Most of the families have 5 to 11 children, and they were in desperate need of medicine. Because of your generous donations, they were able to run a two-day clinic and serve more than 400 people.
Annual L.E.R.T. Chainsaw Training and Workday at Walcamp
Lutheran Church Charities held the annual L.E.R.T. chainsaw training and service event workday at Walcamp in Kingston, Illinois, on May 14-15. On Friday evening, the Basic LCMS Chainsaw class was co-led by LCC/LCMS Chainsaw Certified Instructors Ed Boerman (ISA Certified Arborist), Marty Johnson, and Pete Springmire.
On Saturday, thirty-six basic and advanced chainsaw-certified LCC staff and L.E.R.T. team members worked as chainsaw and heavy equipment operators and draggers to clear Walcamp grounds of downed or damaged trees, limbs, and brush.
The ten first-time chainsaw operators received individual instruction and guidance from advanced team leaders as they began to practice felling and cutting trees and limbs.
The following L.E.R.T. team volunteers participated in the annual L.E.R.T. Chainsaw Training and Workday at Walcamp:
Cross, Yorkville – Scott McGregor
Good Shepherd, Elgin – David Vollrath
Good Shepherd, Frankfort – Joel and Lori Powless
Immanuel, Belvidere – Carl Jurgens
Immanuel, DeKalb – Pete and Christel Springmire
Immanuel, Dundee – Doug and Kelley Hoyt
Immanuel, Palatine – Tim Laabs
Immanuel, Shobonier – Fran Collins
Lord of Life, Elburn – Matt Luhman, Zachary Luhman, Jeff Straughn, Larry Zagorski
Mt. Olive, Rockford – Tom Newton
Prince of Peace, Palatine – Jim Beckley
Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry – Alan Holm
St. John, Sycamore – Steve Brown
St. John, Wheaton – Steve Chester, Palmer Goodwin, Byron Heidorn, Marty Johnson, Dave Mummah, Anna Piro
St. John, Wilmette – Tom Morrison
St. Paul, Matteson – Dennis Pieper
St. Peter, Arlington Heights – Ed Damman
St. Peter, Schaumburg – Ken and Vicki Kiviranta
Trinity, Lisle – Ed Boerman, Mike Kostecki, Dick Sonntag
Trinity, Villa Park – Jim Long
Trinity, Davenport – Ken Stotmeister
It was a good day to enjoy being outside in God’s creation with much work being accomplished, chainsaw lessons practiced, and teamwork enjoyed with brothers and sisters in Christ. Walcamp Operations Director Bill Indelli expressed his thanks to all present for their willingness to serve to prepare the campgrounds for the ministry they do.
In March, the Trinity Lutheran Church, Hobart, Indiana LCC K-9 Ministry team attended handler training and met their LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jael. Since then, the team has actively trained with the K-9 Comfort Dog to build on their handling skills. LCC is pleased to announce that the Trinity Lutheran team has completed the placement process.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jael joins LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Barnabas and Isaiah to serve as the church’s bridge to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. Jael Comfort Dog’s Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 3:5-6: “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.”
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry is one of presence. When the Lord calls, we must go and serve Him. Isaiah 6:8 tells us, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” And who will go for us?” Trinity's team has heard the call and has said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Trinity's handlers and caregivers for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jael include:
Dan Fulkerson (Top Dog), Sherri Berquist, Karen Fulkerson, Marcella Kunstek, Tim Kunstek, Tess Schnabel, and Mary Wells
LCC is honored to include the following veteran handler to the LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry:
Robert Berquist (U.S. Army, 1981-1989)
God is with them as they continue serving their surrounding community as part of the LCC K-9 Ministry. Please keep the Trinity Lutheran Church LCC K-9 Comfort Dog team in your prayers for God’s guidance as they go out to share, with so many who are hurting and alone, the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ.
LCC President / CEO Tim Hetzner Receives Christus Primus Award from Concordia University Ann Arbor, Michigan
At weekend worship services on May 15 – 16, Lutheran Church Charities was the Featured Mission Partner at Prince of Peace in Palatine, Illinois. LCC Staff members Deb Baran and Kathy O’Day, and Jim Beckley, Co-Lead of the Palatine Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T), were present to share information about how LCC Ministries, which include K-9 Ministries, Human Care, Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses, Disaster Response & Palatine L.E.R.T. serve local and out of state communities in times of crisis and disaster.
The following LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, handlers, and apprentice trainers were also present to bring love, friendship, and comfort to members before and after each worship service:
Comfort Dogs in training Beloved, Dove and Genesis
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Benjamin (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra (St. Andrews – Park Ridge, Illinois)
May is Military Appreciation Month, a perfect time to highlight the Kare 9 Military Ministry through the experiences of the veteran handlers or veteran ministry partners. The LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry will be sharing how the Kare 9 dogs are a bridge for their veteran handlers to share compassionate ministry through the bond of duty, service, and memories with active military and veterans they meet.
LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Mercy and her veteran handler, Dave Walls, are from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Dave is a United States Army veteran, having served from 1974 to 1994, attaining the rank of Major. He is also a graduate of the United States Military Academy (USMA) West Point in New York. He served at the U.S. Army Fort Benning Military Base in Georgia, two tours in Germany, U.S. Army Base Fort Dix in New Jersey, and the U.S. Army National Training Center/Fort Irwin in California. A true gentleman and humble servant, Dave joined Mercy’s ministry team at Our Savior in January 2017.
Dave recalls many special moments while serving with Kare 9 Mercy. They met a World War II glider pilot at a nursing home and visited often. Dave was invited to celebrate his 100th birthday and then attended his burial at Arlington National Cemetery. They also served at many Honor Flights, attending Camp Hometown Heroes, and visited soldiers at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Dave and Kare 9 Mercy also developed a wonderful friendship with a Major General (RET) and fellow graduate of the USMA at West Point who was also a member of Our Savior. Unfortunately, the General passed this last February.
During the challenging times of COVID-19, Dave developed a schedule and routinely called those he regularly visited with Kare 9 Mercy to keep in touch, let veterans know they are missed, and hope to see them soon. When possible, Dave and Kare 9 Mercy also did window visits to a nursing home and the Veteran Affairs (VA) facilities.
The LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry thanks Dave for his dedication and compassionate ministry to those who have given so much, and for his service to our great nation – Hooah!