LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Finish Second Week in El Paso, Texas to bring Comfort and Love to Individuals After Mass Shootings
Following invites to respond to a mass shooting that took place on August 3 in El Paso, Texas, Lutheran Church Charities deployed teams from August 5 through August 16. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams continued to bring comfort last week to devastated individuals, families, and the first responders who serve their community.
On Saturday, August 3, a large crowd of back-to-school shoppers at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, were suddenly running for their lives when a young male began shooting throughout the store. The number who have died as a result of the shooting has increased to 22 individuals. Over 26 wounded, with victims ranging from 4 months to 82 years old.
Lutheran Church Charities worked in El Paso through Rev. Roger Schlechte, Rocky Mountain District President, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), Rev. Dr. Karl Heimer, Pastor & CEO of Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care and Pastor Stephen Heimer from Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church both in the heart of El Paso, Texas. Rev. Martin Danner from Bethany Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas, continued his support of our teams. K-9 Ministry teams were on the ground throughout the community serving with the love of Christ.
Janice Marut, Regional Director for the LCC K-9 Ministry Southwest Region led the second deployment efforts. Before the end of the first week, it became apparent that the work of the comfort dogs was not done. Requests for visits from individuals as well as facilities were coming in and a second team was deployed. Six LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and sixteen LCC K-9 Ministry Team Members, that included Pastor Stephen Heimer of Zion Lutheran in El Paso were present.
Arriving on Sunday, August 11 for the second week of deployment, the teams started with their first visit, a vigil on Sunday night. The teams immediately experienced the warmth and appreciation of the El Paso people as over and over again, they received thanks and hugs for coming to help.
Throughout the week, visiting with first responders in the court houses, coroner's office and police departments, we listened to their stories and had the opportunities to thank them for their selfless work and commitment to the citizens throughout the communities.
We were able to provide the K-9s for visits with Walmart store employees as well as nearby stores which were on lock down due to the incident. We spent time with people who were at the Walmart that day and because of the swift actions of others, were spared. We visited schools where there had been loss of life. Counselors, teachers, and students visibly relaxed when they spent time with the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers.
During our second week, the following LCC K-9 Ministry teams served in El Paso, Texas: Cubby (Redeemer – Fort Collins, Colorado), Eddie (Peace Lutheran – Grand Island, Nebraska), Elijah (Our Redeemer – Wichita Falls, Texas), Joanna (Christ Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska), Nicodemus (The Rock – Seward, Nebraska), Rosie (Atonement – Columbus, Ohio) and Triton (Messiah – Plano, Texas).
LCC never goes where we are not invited and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs NEVER charge those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, hotel, and meals 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. Together, we can be the Hands, Feet and Presence of Jesus Christ to frightened communities.
Please support us by prayer and if you are so moved, help us with travel expenses.
Matthew Warrick Approaching the End of His Hike on Pacific Crest Trail to Raise Funds for the LCC K-9 Ministry
Miles Hiked: 2,222.4 of 2,650
Matthew Warrick's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail approaches 2,230 miles after 88 days of hiking from the borders of Southern California/Mexico to Canada. He will be finishing his hike this week and is looking forward to sharing a recap of his adventures!
During his hike, Matthew is raising awareness and funds for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. Matthew is a member of Bethany – Austin, Texas, home of LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, Abner and Martha.
Matthew hopes to raise $10,000 for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs but needs your help! Please prayerfully consider donating to help Matthew reach his fundraising goal.
Please join the entire LCC staff and LCC K-9 Ministry affiliate teams as we support Matthew in this effort and pray for his safety this summer. We thank Matthew for his generosity in support of LCC mission to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Marie at Redeemer Lutheran - Spokane Valley, Washington
On Sunday, August 18, Redeemer Lutheran - Spokane Valley, Washington was presented LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Marie's vest by Tim Kramer, Top Dog for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Aaron (St. John's Lutheran - Napa Valley, California) representing LCC.
Doug Weinrich, Minister of Servant Leader Development gave the message. He reflected on how important it is for us to follow the “With Me” command from our loving God just as the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs follow that command from their handlers. Pastor David Noll installed the new ministry team serving with Micah Comfort Dog and congregational leaders, blessing them as well as all of the K-9 Ministry teams attending with prayer.
The Redeemer Lutheran ministry team is excited to share compassionate ministry throughout their community.
Marie's Bible verse is Revelation 21:4, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death ’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
The following LCC K-9s and their handlers joined the celebration:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Aaron (St. John Lutheran - Napa Valley, California), Cubby (Redeemer - Fort Collins, Colorado), Micah (Light of the Valley - Elk Grove, California), and Reuben (First Lutheran - Yuba City, California)
Regional Coordinators, Tim and Christy Kramer, presented Marie’s K-9 vest to Top Dog, Julie Blyckert and Marie’s Kare-9 Military Ministry vest to Babette Hess, Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.
There were also visitors from the future Team Pilgrim Lutheran - Bellevue, Washington, Rev. Ron Norris, North West District Disaster Response Coordinator and LCC Chaplain for Disaster and Crisis Response, and Dust Kunkel, North West District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) office.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra at St. Andrews - Park Ridge, Illinois
On Sunday, July 28, St. Andrews - Park Ridge, Illinois was presented LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra's vest by Jenni Hoffmeyer, Top Dog for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois) representing LCC.
Myra will be serving the community triple-vested in the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, Kare-9 Military Ministry, and K-9 Police Ministry.
Myra's Bible verse is 1 Peter 5:2, "Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God."
The following LCC K-9s and their handlers joined the celebration:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Barnabas (Trinity - Hobart, Indiana), Eve (St. John's - Lombard, Illinois), JoJo (Living Christ - Arlington Heights, Illinois), Nigel (LCC Staff), Susie (St. Peter - Arlington Heights, Illinois), Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois), and LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Flex (LCC Squad).
The LCC K-9 Ministry welcomes Marie Comfort Dog and Myra Comfort Dog and their teams as they carry out LCC’s mission to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
LCC President / CEO Tim Hetzner Shares the LCC Ministry with Community Purse McHenry County Chapter Members
On Wednesday, August 14, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois) joined LCC President / CEO Tim Hetzner and Director of K-9 Ministries Rich Martin at the quarterly meeting of the Community Purse / McHenry County Chapter.
Tim spoke about the Mission and Ministry of LCC, and gave the members the opportunity to meet a Comfort Dog and hear firsthand about the recent deployments to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ following the tragic shootings in both El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. It was a wonderful evening, hosted by a very enthusiastic and caring group!
The Community Purse Chapters are a “network of women who want to be invested in empowering nonprofits and improving our communities”. Please learn more about this inspired organization at their website http://www.communitypurse.org/chapters/mchenry-county-chapter/.