LCC Responds to Communities Devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma during Long Road to Recovery
LCC hosts daily LERT phone calls with LCMS District Disaster Response Coordinators (DDRC) in Texas and Florida and NID LERT members to coordinate volunteer and work site assignments for groups and individuals wishing to provide relief efforts to those with the greatest recovery needs.
LCC is working closely with Rev. Steven Misch, Texas District Disaster Response Director (DDRD), Julie Tucker, Volunteer Relief Coordinator, and Dr. Lou Jander, retired Texas District DDRC from CrownPoint Ministries and Lutheran RV’ers, to direct volunteer efforts. Corpus Christi and Rockport areas need mostly chainsaw work. Other areas need muck and gut assistance.
You MUST complete the TEXAS DISTRICT REGISTRATION form for each volunteer. This will immediately follow once you submit the LCC registration form. You will be contacted directly from the Texas District with confirmation and location of an assigned site. Do not leave for Texas until you receive confirmation from the Texas District.
Rev. Steven Misch asks for patience from out-of-state volunteers, as they are trying to process volunteer applications coming from the LCMS, multiple districts, other individuals and churches. They are managing about 125 local and 160 out-of-state volunteers on a daily basis, matching to available sites to work on. This recovery will be LONG-TERM and they will be in need for volunteers for a LONG time.
LCC is working closely with the following LCMS churches
to provide assistance to people within their communities:
Memorial Lutheran – Katy, Texas
Pilgrim Lutheran – Houston, Texas
Trinity Klein Lutheran – Spring, Texas
Salem Lutheran – Tomball, Texas
Peace Lutheran – Rockport, Texas
St. John Lutheran – Beaumont, Texas
Memorial Lutheran – Katy, Texas
Rev. John Davis, Senior Pastor
Because of your support, LCC Disaster Response was able to help the Katy community that has been devastated with flooding due to Hurricane Harvey with $20,000 plus to help families to get back into their homes. Thank you for being Jesus to those who are in need. Memorial is committed to continue to serve their community as long as there is a need. This is the church where the Pastor and Director of Education (DCE) lost their homes as well as other staff.
In Florida, LCC is working closely with John Elliot, the FL/GA DDRC, and Kathy and Joel Matthews, Florida DDRC’s, as they begin their recovery assistance anticipated to take several months. They report that over 1 million people still do not have power in their homes, with needs greater throughout Florida than those who can respond. They are working through Zion Lutheran – Ft. Meyers, Florida and Faith Lutheran – Naples, Florida. The majority of needs are chainsaw and debris removal. Some communities need muck and gut assistance. Jacksonville has major flooding as rivers are still rising.
Ed and Jan Boerman, LERT team leaders (Trinity - Lisle, Illinois), are now working with Kathy and Joel Matthews to reach out to hard hit areas in Ft. Meyers, Naples, Labelle and Immokalee. They are working through their church, Hope Lutheran - Bonita Springs, to provide assistance within the surrounding communities. NID LERT teams and individuals are needed to assist with massive tree removal as a result of the hurricane. NID LERT teams have already been deployed and began arriving on September 18th and are currently scheduled through October 21st but the need is great. LCC will be coordinating volunteers who are wishing to help with relief efforts in Florida for as long as needed.
Haiti Relief Help
Haiti for the most part avoided the brunt of Hurricane Irma. Laurent Lophane, our partner on the ground, reported however that people lost their crops which could not withstand the winds. Assistance has been requested to buy seeds for struggling farmers and families to replant crops that were lost due to the storm. For some, farms where completely destroyed, leaving farmers with no source of income to feed or take care of their family.
Financial Assistance Update
LCC continues to put financial assistance in the hands of people directly impacted by the hurricanes. Dollar In – Dollar Out, 100% of your donations go to the individuals affected to help them with immediate needs.
The following thank you was received from Dr. William Hinz, Director of School Ministry for the Texas District of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod:
Our Lutheran schools want to thank you and your generous donors again for the love and care and financial support you have given to us.
Dr. Bill Hinz
A wonderful celebration of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry occurred at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Wichita Falls, Texas this past weekend! On Sunday, September 17, the placement of LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Elijah makes six LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs in the Southwest region and all of them were in attendance: Rufus Comfort Dog (St. Mark – Edmund, Oklahoma), Abner Comfort Dog (Bethany – Austin, Texas), Damaris Comfort Dog (Memorial – Katy, Texas), and Phoebe and Pax Comfort Dogs (St. Paul – Ft. Worth and The Summit – Aledo, Texas). After hearing a great sermon on Old Testament Elijah and how God used him to do miraculous things, triple-vested Elijah Comfort Dog officially joined the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog family. Elijah Comfort Dog will also serve others as Kare 9 Elijah serving veterans and LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Elijah serving law enforcement officers. Already having deployed to south Texas following Hurricane Harvey, Elijah Comfort Dog’s team looks forward to working with him in their local community as well.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Elijah’s Bible verse
“Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God, And he will go on before the Lord,
in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient
to the wisdom of the righteousness – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:16-17
There are still a few spots left for the first Lutheran RV’ers – CarePartners in Disasters equipping event on October 3-5, 2017 at Heit’s Point Lutheran Camp in Lincoln, Missouri.
It would have been great to have had a group of RV’ers responding to the two recent hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. We spent a number of days in Corpus Christi, Texas; Rockport, Texas; Aransas Pass, Texas; Houston, Texas; and the Beaumont/Port Arthur area of Texas serving as CarePartners. With others working with us, we could have touched many more people with the Word, prayer, words of encouragement, and resources.
Immanuel Lutheran Church brings LERT training to Stateline area
(September 14, 2017 – WTVO 17 ABC/Elliot Wilson)
There are many volunteers and organizations that have gone down to Texas and Florida to bring relief for hurricane victims, but none of these organizations are anything like the church group that's involved in our area.
The Lutheran Early Response Team, otherwise known as LERT, is an organization which consists of skilled workers trained in disaster relief. Robert Schwarzkopf, Assistant Team Leader of LERT at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere said, "It was set up to be the hands and feet and mouth and ears of Jesus."
Correction to Story - NOTE NEW LOCATION
The September 23rd Basic LERT Training location has changed as follows:
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Vida y Fe (Good Shepherd Hispanic Ministry location)
1111 Van St.
Elgin, IL 60123
Lutheran Church Charities and affiliate teams from the LCC K-9 Ministry attended the wake and funeral this week of another member of the LCC K-9 Ministry family. After a long battle with cancer, Rick Duerr was welcomed to his Heavenly home on Saturday, September 9. Prior to his illness, Rick and his family were caregivers to LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jackson (Immanuel Lutheran – Joplin, Missouri). Through our sadness, we are comforted by the promises of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Please join us in praying for his family, the Immanuel – Joplin K-9 Ministry team, and all those who have been touched by Rick’s presence.
“The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered
a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10