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.
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.
LCC LERT Volunteers are the Hands and Feet of Jesus While Helping Residents in Jacksonville, Alabama
She snatched up the baby and took cover in the bathroom just as a large evergreen fell through the roof directly over the bed she had been in with her baby. Each time she told the story all could see the hand of God protecting her. In her words, “No one was hurt! Praise God!” Her husband also worked with this team for two days removing the tree from their roof and clearing other trees from their property. They were very grateful for the help they received from the LERT teams.
At another home, a widow and her daughter had several large trees come down around their home and yard. They also had a 30’ tree that was dangling near their home and electrical wires. They were able to tie ropes to pull and insure the tree fell where it was safe while removing it with chainsaws. As the tree fell and hit the ground both women began to cry. Steve Chester went and talked with them immediately and they said, “I have not cried since my husband/dad died 18 months ago. This is beautiful what you guys are doing for us.” This team worked at their home for four days removing trees, branches and the stumps. She told all who came by her home that “She had nine angels working in her front yard.”
These are just a few examples of how LCC LERT volunteers serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to individuals recovering from a disaster. LCC thanks all of our LERT volunteers for their continued dedication and compassion. Please continue to keep all those impacted by the Jacksonville, Alabama tornado in your prayers.
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.
Deaconesses from the area joined Deaconess O'Day for her installation and the pinning ceremony:
Deac. Kristin Wassalik – Director of Deaconess Program, Concordia University
Deac. Lisa Molotla – Immanuel, Des Plaines
Deac. Rogene Lis – Trinity, Roselle
Deac. Dianna Bonfield – LCC Volunteer Coordinator