On Sunday, September 5, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jemimah (St. Paul - Boca Raton, Florida) was commissioned at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Boca Raton, Florida. The K-9 Ministry team was happy to celebrate Jemimah's commissioning with their congregation and are looking forward to sharing Jemimah Comfort Dog in their community.
The handlers and ministry partners enjoyed getting to talk with members before and after worship. It was amazing to see how a gentle interaction with Jemimah could lift so many people's moods.
St Paul's congregation has been waiting for this moment to happen, and it was such a joy to celebrate God's timing in bringing together this team and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jemimah to do His work.
Lutheran Church Charities welcomes the following Top Dog and handlers from St. Paul Lutheran Church to the K-9 Ministry family:
Nikki Kubowicz (Top Dog), Tonya Haberlein, Linda Helm, Abbey Houren, Wayne Lindeman, Sue Merritt, Matthew Wargo, Benjamin Willocks, Sara Willocks
On Wednesday, September 1, LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dogs Micah (Light of the Valley - Elk Grove, California), Rahab (St. Andrews - Stockton, California), and Reuben (First Lutheran - Yuba City, California) and their veteran handlers Susan Mason, Michael Rehbein, and James Casner, attended the vigil held by the community of Roseville, California, for one of their own. USMC Sgt Nicole Gee was one of the brave service members tragically killed last weekend in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The city of Roseville, Combat Veterans Association, American Legion, VFW, and many people from surrounding communities joined together at this public vigil to honor USMC Sgt Nicole Gee.
Over a thousand people, many of them veterans, joined together to share their pain, anger, and tears. Many of those who attended were marines and combat veterans who felt drawn to be there to honor one of their own.
The Kare 9s were present to bring comfort to those who were hurting this terrible loss. James Casner shared how he saw the change as some of the people petted the Comfort Dogs. Their bodies would become more relaxed as they slumped over to take comfort from petting Micah, Rahab, and Reuben. The sadness and anger etched in their faces softened just by the nearness and touch of the dogs. The handlers listened to them share their pain, anger, and confusion with warm smiles and listening hearts.
Marilyn Hunter shared that a woman's face was weighed down with grief and tears when they first saw her, but after being surrounded by Comfort Dogs Micah, Rahab, and Reuben, her face was dramatically different. A smile of joy softened her face as she was surrounded by love and comfort.
"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.” Revelations 21:4
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Bethany (Trinity - Danville, Illinois) and Mahlah (Our Savior - Milford, Illinois), and their handlers attended the Prayer Vigil for Julie Davis at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Illinois. Julie was a mission team leader at Trinity, and was killed on Monday. She was a member of Trinity’s outreach team and served in many ways in the community and overseas glasses clinics.
It was a blessing and privilege for the K-9s and their handlers to be able to serve Julie's church family at Trinity Wednesday night, to hear her testimony through the people who spoke about her life, and come alongside them in their grief. One man said on the way into the vigil, "Dogs make everything better" and several people nodded in agreement.
Another moment was very special. There was a young man there. At the end of service, his family brought him to see Bethany and Mahlah. He wasn't able to move his arms and had his head down most of the time. The handler asked Mahlah to "rise" on his lap. He lifted his head and looked her right in the eyes. He was not able to pet her, but they shared solid eye contact. It was a very precious and tender moment. God gave us these special Comfort Dogs as gifts to help us in so many ways.
We hold Julie Davis’ family and friends in our thoughts and prayers as they suffer her loss.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams were invited by Cal Fire to visit with the courageous fire fighters at their base camp in Placerville, California. The Caldor Fire is threatening South Lake Tahoe.
Several days last week, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Aaron and Gomer (St. John’s – Napa, California), Micah (Light of the Valley – Elk Grove, California), and Rahab (St. Andrews – Stockton, California), with their handlers, each spent time with these brave men and women. So many were happy to see the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams. A number of them remembered the Comfort Dogs from the Dixie Fire, as well as other fires from last year.
The Cal Fire base camp personnel was reduced on Friday but the Comfort Dog teams still met people from Alabama, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah. Some have been gone for over two months, most are gone 2-6 weeks. Several Cal Fire managers went out of their way to come and thank the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams for being there.
Please join us in praying for God’s continued safety and protection for all these brave men and women as they continue to battle these aggressive fires.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Bring Love to the Kirkpatrick Foundation Animal Conference Attendees and the Community in Oklahoma City
On Friday, August 27th, and Saturday, August 28th, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to participate in the Kirkpatrick Foundation Animal Conference in Oklahoma City.
Being a national ministry, we were able to provide five LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their ministry teams from three states at the conference:
Then onto the Harding Fine Arts Academy visiting with high school students who thought this was one of the best days ever!
The last stop of the day was visiting with staff at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. The staff is feeling the pressure of long hours and little break from the many children hospitalized.
On Saturday, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their ministry teams visited with children and adults at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were well received by all at our visits, and we thank the Kirkpatrick Foundation for the opportunity to serve out in the community.
The Saturday event with the Comfort Dogs was amazing! About 25 kids attended the event and they had a fabulous time. The kids made sure to meet each dog and loved getting the individual trading cards.
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry never goes where we are not invited. We NEVER charge those we serve.
On Saturday, August 21, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin), and Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin) were present at Bo's Heavenly Clubhouse Children’s Memorial Walk in Maryville, Wisconsin. The Comfort Dogs brought comfort to families suffering from the death of their children.
"We spoke with many families who had lost a child - the afternoon was filled with emotional moments and parents who wanted to share their feelings and stories. Several families expressed appreciation for the "comfort" of the dogs and their presence. A person always thinks of the parents, but there were many siblings who also suffered a loss. We witnessed a lot of courage, faith in God, and strength in these families. It was moving to see the "extra" love parents had for their remaining children after losing one."
Bo's Heavenly Clubhouse: A Child Loss Safe Haven is a nonprofit charity organization located in the heart of Dodge County, Wisconsin. Their mission is to be a child loss safe haven to all parents suffering with the heartache of experiencing the loss of their child by providing positive grieving tools for families that need extra tools in their grief toolbox.
The congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobart, Indiana, officially welcomed their newest LCC K-9 Comfort Dog, Jael. Jael joins Trinity’s LCC K-9 Ministry team with Comfort Dogs Barnabas and Isaiah. The team of handlers was commissioned by Pastor Nathan Kramer. We were blessed to have LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Caleb (Immanuel - Valparaiso, Indiana), Naomi (Holy Cross - Indianapolis, Indiana), and Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois), along with members from their teams, attend church with us to welcome Jael into the ministry.
There were no words to express the sadness and grief experienced by those who attended the visitation for 20-year-old Cameron Bawolek of South Elgin, Illinois, this past week. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Bekah (Immanuel - Belvidere, Illinois), Eunice (LCC Staff), Hannah (LCC Staff), Jacob (LCC Staff), Julia (King of Glory - Elgin, Illinois), and Samson (Zion - Marengo, Illinois) and their handlers were blessed to attend and bring comfort to Cameron’s family and friends.
Cameron was funny, loving, determined, and knew how to make people smile. He was looking forward to returning to the University of Nebraska this year. He had a huge and caring heart and loved spending time with his family and friends. He will be greatly missed by many, especially his church family at King of Glory Lutheran Church, Elgin, Illinois. Pastor Doug Swanson of King of Kings Lutheran Church, Mason, Ohio, who helped guide Cameron through his faith journey at King of Glory, returned to assist with the funeral.