On Saturday, April 7, LCC held a Basic LCMS LERT training at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Palatine, led by Kathy O’Day, Director of Disaster Response. There were a total of 31 in attendance from the following churches and LERT teams:
The disaster response ministry is continuing to grow with volunteers willing to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Last week, LCC Disaster Response staff, Kathy O'Day and Jamie Miller, went to Watseka, Illinois, and met with Rev. Don Love from Calvary Lutheran Church regarding his congregation members and the town’s flood recovery. He reported that 110 homes have been declared substantially damaged and will need to be raised to FEMA flood plain standards or will be condemned. Many homeowners are struggling to now figure out what they will do next or where they will go. Another 250 homes are now beginning the process of flood repairs after having been mucked and gutted. The residents of this community are devastated and feeling hopeless.
LCC staff, along with Denney Smith (Calvary Lutheran LERT Team Leader and Congregation President) completed mold remediation of crawl spaces of several homes with new foggers recently purchased. The homeowners expressed appreciation for continued assistance as they move forward in their recovery.
Please continue to keep the residents of Watseka in your prayers as they are facing a long flood recovery process. LCC will continue to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
Rev. Don Love of Calvary Lutheran Church in Watseka and the Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency has asked for more LERT volunteer assistance to help congregation members and residents of Watseka, Illinois, still trying to clean up from the February flooding. Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, LCC DR staff, and LERT team members will be partnering with the Central Illinois District of the LCMS for another muck-out workday on Thursday, April 5.
We will be doing muck outs, power washing of basements, removing carpet, drywall insulation and debris removal from homes damaged by the historic flooding in February. We will also be able to provide mold remediation with the foggers and disinfectant recently purchased.
This community has been hard hit and homeowners are struggling to recover. LCC LERT volunteers will continue to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ with those who are suffering and in need who are feeling exhausted and discouraged.
Pastor Ed Brashier is leading LERT chainsaw volunteers from Lutheran Church Charities, North Carolina and Kansas to assist hard hit areas of Jacksonville. They are staying at, worshipping, and working out of Trinity Lutheran Church in Gadsden, Alabama, which is 30 miles from Jacksonville. Please join LCC in keeping these dedicated volunteers in your prayers as they help communities severely impacted by the tornado.
Most of the families we helped each week came to the Calvary Lutheran Church at lunch with the volunteers working on their home. They were welcomed and served a meal, and received counsel and prayer from Rev. Don Love, Rev. Karl Gibbs (Our Savior – Milford, Illinois) or Rev. Jim Wright, LCMS Disaster Response Chaplain.
This week, we worked with the Stanis family. They lost a different home and belongings in the 2008 flood and now have lost everything again. They do not know what they are going to do or where they will go now.
The LCMS provided tools and financial support for the recovery process. Calvary Lutheran Church and Walmart donated food for breakfast, lunch and snacks for all of the volunteers and affected families on both workdays.
Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, received a call from a homeowner who LCC staff pumped water from her basement and received help with other needs from Calvary Lutheran. She expressed her "appreciation for all we have done to not only help her, but listen to her, truly care about her, and restore her hope." She wanted to "convey her thanks and blessings to all involved in helping in her time of despair and need."
Thank You to LERT Volunteers
From Calvary Lutheran Church and the City of Watseka, Illinois
On February 22, 2018, our town of Watseka, Illinois, and surrounding area was hit by the worst of five devastating floods in the last ten years. In our community of just over 5,000 residents, over 200 homes were affected. Many homes will never again be a home - damaged beyond repair or beyond the homeowner's financial ability to repair. One family has suffered through three floods in three different homes with most of their belongings destroyed in each flood.
Lutheran Church Charities and the Central Illinois District's LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) called upon you to volunteer on March 3 and March 10, 2018.
And you came. You, along with volunteers from various Walmart’s, and our own volunteers from Calvary Lutheran Church, totaled 173 over two Saturdays. You completed work at 29 sites. You came with the love of our Lord in your hearts, and with your feet and hands, were willing to share His blessings with those in distress. In their despair you gave many people hope beyond words and tears.
Our thank you from Calvary Lutheran Church and the city of Watseka.
President, Calvary Lutheran Church and Preschool
Please prayerfully consider donating so that together, we can make a difference in the lives of families and individuals impacted.
Want to learn more about how you can make a difference to those in need? Register Now for LERT Basic Training. Next class is Saturday, March 17th. Click the button below to see the LERT Training Dates & Locations section for the details and how to register.
LCC Partners with Central Illinois District To Help Families Recover After Floods in Watseka and Milford, Illinois
Disaster Response Teams Tackle Watseka
(Monday, March 5, 2018 – WAND 17 NBC)
CLICK HERE to watch broadcast
Families Are Devastated and Feeling Hopeless
LCC and LERT volunteers also listened to many stories of loss and were able to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ with those whom they were serving. One of these stories was from the Marrs family whose loss was devastating. They have 6 children ranging from 2 to 13 and eventually had to be evacuated by boat from their home as they could no longer hold back the water. It completely filled their basement and about 8” into the entire first floor. They stayed in the Red Cross shelter until it closed and have now found a temporary rental. LCC LERT volunteers helped this family remove wet items, flooring, and walls. LCC also provided financial assistance to help them pay for their temporary housing and care for their children. This family has lost almost everything. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Mahlah (Our Savior – Milford, Illinois) and Bethany (Trinity – Danville, Illinois) and their handlers visited them and others in the Red Cross shelter to bring comfort during this unsettling time. Please join LCC in being the Hands and Feet of Jesus and consider donating generously to help them get back on their feet.
Please prayerfully consider donating so that together, we can make a difference in the lives of families and individuals impacted.
On Tuesday, February 27, Rev. Michael Meyer, LCMS Disaster Response Manager, presented Rev. Don Love with gift cards as well as purchasing needed equipment, tools, flood buckets, and other items needed for flood clean-up. There are many houses that need help with pump outs due to flooded basements, water in main living areas, and carpet removal. LCC will be sending in volunteers to support the clean-up efforts on Saturday.
Lutheran Church Charities has previously assisted Watseka and its surrounding communities in 2008 from a record-breaking "100 year flood" and in 2015 with three floods in fewer than 6 months. This current flood has already surpassed the 2008 flood, setting a new historic flood record. LCC Disaster Response teams will once again bring physical and financial assistance, and the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to this suffering community.
This community has a long recovery to face and will need our financial and physical assistance for some time. Please prayerfully consider donating to help this community in crisis.
LCC Responds to Floods in Watseka & Milford, IL & K-9 Comfort Dogs Help High School Students Return in Parkland, FL
Tim Hetzner, LCC President / CEO, Rev. Don Love and Rev. Karl Gibbs Go Through Flood Waters to Do Well-Being Checks on Residents Still in Their Homes
“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.” – Psalm 29:10
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Stay in Parkland, Florida to Help Students Returning to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
"God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" - Hebrews 13:5
LCC Disaster Response in Watseka & Milford, Illinois Floods
On Saturday, February 24, 2018, Tim Hetzner, LCC President / CEO, Kathy O'Day, LCC Disaster Response Director, and LCC Disaster Response staff arrived in Watseka, Illinois to assess historic flood damage caused by heavy rains in areas hit the hardest. Rev. Don Love from Calvary Lutheran Church in Watseka and Rev. Karl Gibbs from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Milford contacted Lutheran Church Charities to assist residents affected by the floods with muck-out relief operations, financial assistance and gift cards.
Lutheran Church Charities is working in partnership with the CID (Central IL District of the LCMS) and Stephen Born their Disaster Response Coordinator. We are also working with Pastor Jordan Cooper at Faith Lutheran in Watseka, Illinois and we had assessed their church which was flooded as well as their parsonage.
On Monday, February 26, Kathy O’Day will return to Watseka to spend a week supporting the pastors of the three churches in this community: Rev. Don Love from Calvary Lutheran - Watseka, Rev. Karl Gibbs from Our Savior - Milford and Rev. Jordan Cooper from Faith Lutheran - Watseka. Working from Calvary Lutheran in Watseka, Kathy will also support the LCMS Central Illinois District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC), Stephen Born, in assessing residents with the greatest need and scheduling work orders. LCC Disaster Response brought the pump-out trailer and taught local volunteer teams how to use the pumps to assist their neighbors whose homes are flooded. LCC also provided an all-terrain vehicle to get into flooded areas to check on families and elderly stuck in their homes. Financial assistance has already been given to the pastors to help their members affected by the flood.
Lutheran Church Charities has previously assisted Watseka and its surrounding communities in 2008 from a record-breaking "100 year flood" and in 2015 with three floods in fewer than 6 months. This current flood has already surpassed the 2008 flood, setting a new historic flood record. LCC Disaster Response teams will once again bring physical and financial assistance, and the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to this suffering community. This is what we do and what we are going to continue to do.
Many people in the Watseka community that needed to evacuate their homes are still in a Red Cross shelter. The water has crested and is very slowly starting to go down. Residents still cannot access their homes but hope that roads will be passable by Monday. Below are just a few stories from Calvary Lutheran Church members:
Please prayerfully consider donating to help this community in crisis. You, together with the LCC staff and volunteers, are the hands and feet of Jesus as we touch lives with His mercy and compassion!
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Help Students & Staff Return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
For a second week, several new teams are being deployed to Florida; 11 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and 22 handlers will be present to help students overcome their fears and sadness as well as share the love and comfort that comes through Jesus Christ.
If you are so moved, please help the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry with travel expenses so that we can continue to bring the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to this devastated community.
Please continue to pray for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams, the many individuals who have been impacted and all first responders who continue to serve and protect the Parkland, Florida community.
Thank you for being a part of the Mercy and Compassion Ministry of Lutheran Church Charities.
Lutheran Church Charities
LCC Responds to Families Who Lost Everything from Hurricane Irma Join LCC as a Friend in Christ "Adopt an Amigos Center Family"
Join LCC as a Friend in Christ "Adopt an Amigos Center Family"
Your donations are already making a difference in the lives of the Amigos Center families!
Pastor Glander and Pastor Selle send heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all of the support Lutheran Church Charities and its donors has sent their way. It is making a difference in the lives of many people. Church and Bible study attendance have increased as they can see people being the hands and feet of Jesus caring for their needs.
Rosa expressed, "Mucho gracias! My kids really needed the beds and I needed the stove and refrigerator. I could have never imagined there would be such wonderful caring people to want to help us!"
Dear Lutheran Church Charities,
Thank you so much for the pillows, sheets, and blanket for our daughter's room! We finally have a general contractor coming next week to finish drywall, painting, and flooring. The new items will then be put to good use. God Bless!
LCC Director of Disaster Response, Deaconess Kathy O'Day, received a call from Sharlene, Mattress Firm Commercial Sales Coordinator, who calls each family to schedule delivery of ordered beds. She stated, "Every person I speak with expresses thanks and gratitude for calling and bringing beds. Even with a bit of a language barrier, I get what they are saying and I don't usually hear this and it has been such a pleasure this holiday season. I hope you are hearing this about what your organization is doing, because we think this has been great to be a part of!"
This is just one example of how Lutheran Church Charities uses your special gifts to help others during their times of greatest need - always in the name of Jesus Christ!