aThis team completed drywall and mudding of 3 homes during their one week stay. They worked at a home of an 83 year old women who had just purchased her ranch home 5 months prior to the hurricane. She lost all her furniture, appliances, and many possessions. In 2 ½ days, the team completed hanging and mudding drywall in her entire home. She told the team, “Great job guys and gals!”
Beaumont had 1,000 homes that were under water for a few weeks. This area will need help recovering for a couple years. There is still a lot of help needed for the long term recovery efforts in these communities. LCC is truly blessed by the Trinity – Peoria, Illinois LERT team of talented members and thanks them for dedicating their time to serve communities still devastated by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Nine LERT team members were certified on Saturday, December 16, in American Heart Association First Aid and CPR/AED in a class taught by certified instructor Dale Penn of Cross/Helmar – Yorkville, Illinois. These certifications and skills are good to have in responding to disasters and LCC is glad to see this advanced training completed. Members from the following LERT teams participated:
Cross/Helmar – Yorkville, Illinois
Lord of Life – LaFox, Illinois
Immanuel – Belvidere, Illinois
St. Luke – Montgomery, Illinois
Good Shepherd – Elgin, Illinois
With mixed emotions, Jan Boerman, Trinity – Lisle, Illinois team leader recently reflected on time spent in Florida as LERT teams continue to assist devastated areas in the recovery from Hurricane Irma. Through this experience, Jan realized there are many opportunities to receive God’s blessings in serving others in need or to give a blessing to those who may not know the love of Jesus.
During recent LERT deployments to Florida, Jan went with Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, to meet Pastor Glander, Director of the Amigos Center in Immokalee. Kathy and Jan became aware of a community of migrant workers who support the agriculture industry in Florida. Pre-existing horrible living conditions and added storm damage caused some of the most deplorable living conditions that Jan had ever seen. Her heart was and is saddened as there isn’t anywhere else for these people to go. They will continue to live in their condemned homes until help arrives.
Under the coordination of Lutheran Church Charities, Jan asked the Trinity - Lisle LERT team and church to support the Amigos Center families with donations to purchase needed beds, bedding and appliances. And they responded very generously! Don and Barb Iehl recently joined Ed and Jan as they went back to Florida. While there, they helped to purchase, sort, and distribute all of these items to the families the church had adopted, as well as many others Kathy O'Day, who was also there, was purchasing for.
Everyone worked together all week to assist as many families as possible, and it was heartwarming to know we made a difference and were able to touch many lives with the love of Christ.
Day 1 Report (11/4): We have a crew of 8 heading to Corpus Christi, Texas for disaster relief. An early morning start yesterday from Chicago and ended the night in Arkansas. We're scheduled to reach our destination around 7pm tonight. Continued prayers for safe travels.
Day 2 Report (11/5): We made it!!!! Arrived safely at our destination at Trinity Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. There are so many destroyed areas that have not made the news and have not been helped. We are anxious to begin our volunteer ministry tomorrow. Please continue to pray for us and follow our mission of serving Christ.
Work Day 1 (11/6): We tackled a lot today and have a lot of work ahead of us.
Work Day 2 (11/7): We were blessed to help Sandy all day on her 10 acre ranch. Picture this: all the trees on her property once stood straight, her horse was found alive on someone else's property, and she came home to her neighbor’s dead cows and horses on her property which were soon burned. We found quite a few bones, the head of a deer moose, and miscellaneous home items while digging through the debris. A full day of work and there is still a lot to be done. We were so happy to help Sandy today in her long road to recovery.
Work Day 3 (11/8): We took a ferry this morning to Port Aransas. Our team split into 2 groups and tackled a lot of tasks. Our first home we found a couple who lost the top two stories of their home. We removed household debris, materials, and salvaged a few precious memories. Across the street was a lady who lost several trees and had one leaning against the roof. She couldn't fix her damaged roof until the tree was gone. She was ecstatic to have our help today. Another block down the road we cut down 7 tall palm tree stumps. The homeowner shared pictures of her return home after the hurricane. The driveway was unrecognizable! Her garage was filled with 4 feet of water and 2 feet of seagrass from the bay. We ended our rainy work day with another ride on the ferry.
Work Day 4 (11/9): We had another productive day on Port Aransas. This area was hit by category 4 Hurricane Harvey at winds around 130 mph. Hotels, vacation homes, and restaurants were shredded, which devastated an economy almost fully reliant on tourism.
Work Day 5 (11/10): We were back in Rockport today clearing more trees. Spent half the day at a rental home clearing branches and cutting trees in the backyard. No rain and perfect temps made for the perfect workday.
LCC LERT volunteers, Mike and Vicky Buhl (Immanuel – Belvidere, Illinois), recently returned from helping others in Texas who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. They served with a group led by Pastor David Jung from Crown of Life in Colleyville, Texas. Their task was to install wall board in a trailer in Nederland, Texas damaged by a fire and then water damage from Hurricane Harvey. The group extends a heartfelt thank you to St. John Lutheran Church in Beaumont, Texas for providing them with accommodations during their stay.