LCC LERT Volunteers Help Residents in Watseka, Illinois, Recover from Tornadoes, Storms, and High Winds
LCC LERT Teams Respond to 90 mph Straight Line Wind Storm in Watseka, Illinois
Within 24 hours, Lutheran Church Charities had boots on the ground early Friday, May 24, with staff and volunteers to begin damage assessments to provide chainsaw and heavy equipment assistance over Memorial Day weekend.
On Saturday, May 25, 40 Northern Illinois District (NID) and 8 Central Illinois District (CID) LERT team members worked together to clear trees and debris from 19 homes. On Sunday, May 26, 11 NID LERT team members, along with Denney Smith from Calvary, completed boom lift and chainsaw work that was begun on Saturday.
Helping a Widow with Extensive Damage to Large Farm
As she watched the teams work on her property, she was so happy and in awe of everything that was done in two days with LERT volunteers. All received hugs and many thanks for helping restore her home, giving her hope as she continues to wait for insurance for other work to be done.
Cleanup After Devastating Storm
Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response
(Saturday, May 25, 2019 – WCIA / Miranda Meister)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mahlah’s Groomer Happy to Receive Help
LCC never charges those we serve and will never profit from our service as Christians. We have established a fund to help offset equipment and operating expenses for our volunteers and purchase equipment as needed.
Please consider a donation to the Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response Equipment Maintenance & Fuel Expense Fund so that our LERT disaster response teams may continue to show the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”
“The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalms 46:11
Jefferson City is now being assessed due to the extensive damage there.
We are deploying out starting tomorrow – Friday, May 24 – with the initial crews and a work day on Saturday and beyond for however long needed. LCC Disaster Response will be working through Calvary Lutheran Church in Watseka.
As we know more in Jefferson City (and other areas) we will deploy and provide financial assistance there.
We have been in frequent communication with Rev. Ross Johnson and Rev. Michael Meyer with Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Disaster Response to coordinate efforts in Missouri, and Stephen Born, Central Illinois District (CID) Disaster Response Coordinator.
LCC continues to provide support in Nebraska with the flooding there.
Please keep all in your prayers and prayerfully consider financial support to help us serve those who are affected by the storms. Together, we can Make A Difference!
Thank you for being a part of the Mercy and Compassion Ministry of Lutheran Church Charities.
Peace in Jesus Christ that passes all human understanding,
Lutheran Church Charities
Tom shared that they will be able to use the funds to continue to keep the trailers stocked with needed supplies that they send to churches in affected communities, utilizing volunteers to aid in resident’s recovery. These “stocked warehouses on wheels” are invaluable to all they serve.
Remkea Ockander, Director of Family Ministry with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, upon hearing of another donation from LCC donors to their church to assist community in long-term recovery efforts, “Again, thank you for your generosity! We are so very appreciative for LCC and all you do!”
Remkea sent the following information about how Good Shepherd has begun a new area-wide initiative called Project Restore. “Over the next year, we will embark on an effort to connect volunteers from around the country with local residents and towns that need assistance with mold remediation (demolition, sanitizing, cleaning) as well as construction (electrical, plumbing, drywall, mudding etc.). These services are a labor of love and do not require payment or stipulations. We only want to do our part to restore and bring healing to our community. Through Project Restore, Good Shepherd will offer housing, meals, showers, supplies, and plenty of work.” If you know any LERT teams, youth groups, or individuals who would like to serve, CLICK HERE to get started.
The generosity of donors has been much appreciated by each of these churches as they reach out to assist their respective community members.
Pastor Ryan Ankersen has committed Good Shepherd to be the long-term recovery center to house, feed and send volunteers to serve in the flood affected communities for the next year as residents begin the rebuilding process. Good Shepherd is now open to individuals and groups who are willing to volunteer. Please go to www.gslcfremont.org and select the Project Restore link if interested in serving here.
Tom Grunow, Director of Financial Generosity and Disaster Response Coordinator at Christ Lincoln, states that needs and collections of supplies have greatly diminished but they continue to inventory what they do have. This weekend they were able to finally get all of the trucks emptied of donated goods and organized into their church, which is still serving as the community warehouse. Many of the items will be used for ongoing recovery efforts. Some items will be given to local agencies who serve needy families, many who have been affected by the flooding in some way, and saw their own donations diminish due to people concentrating on disaster relief the last 6 weeks! They are very glad to be able to serve the community in this way.
Please prayerfully consider donating to help LCC continue supporting the individuals and families affected through our churches during their long recovery.
Nebraska Churches Continue to Serve Families During Flood Recovery
Urgent Financial Assistance Needed to Help Elderly Couple and Others Who Lost Everything During Nebraska Floods
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
Even though they have minimal insurance, savings or family, they have relied on God, their church (Good Shepherd – Fremont), Pastor Ryan Ankersen, and concerned neighbors and friends to help them through this difficult time. They have been moving between friends and living in their car. As property managers, they are required to reside on the park grounds.
Tom Grunow has been working with this couple who just received a donated new trailer. They still need furnishings, other living necessities and tools that they use to care for the park property. The estimated costs to help this couple is $6,000.
The couple said that Easter service this year was really different, in a special way. They're thankful they have each other, they're thankful for others in their congregation and community reaching out to help, they're thankful to the Christ Lincoln LERT team who is assisting them, and they're thankful to have a new future together in the name of Christ as their Lord and protector.
If you are so moved, please donate generously to help the wife during her recovery, re-establish their residence, and be able to resume their duties as the park property managers.
With support from the neighboring Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations of Redeemer, Messiah, and Hope Community, Christ Lincoln organized sessions in packing over 600 Christian Flood / Hygiene Buckets and over 2,000 school supply packets for distribution. They encourage each church member to take a few and hand them out as they bring the love of Christ to hurting neighbors. The 3rd grade class of Christ Schools completed over 100 buckets in record time of 19 minutes!
Trinity – Fremont, Nebraska with Pastor Anthony Gerber has members mucking and gutting homes, and providing basic needs and rental assistance to families they served while in the shelter at their church.
Good Shepherd – Fremont, Nebraska with Pastor Ryan Ankersen is preparing for their church to become a long term housing facility for displaced families who are unable to live in their damaged homes or whose homes have been completely destroyed by the floods.
Families in Pacific Junction, Iowa (West) were able to return to their homes on Monday after Easter for the first time in four weeks, as the water has just receded. These families are just beginning their long recovery journey. Trinity – Glenwood, Iowa, has been feeding 120-150 people three meals a day since the flooding began and plans to continue as needed.
Please continue to pray for the affected Nebraska communities and the churches who serve them faithfully. Donate generously to help LCC continue supporting the individuals and families through our churches during their long recovery.
Working Together, Serving Christ, so we can serve others IN HIS NAME!
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Lutheran Church Charities
Communities all over Nebraska are really praying they do not flood again as this latest snow bomb cyclone has hit the Midwest. Fremont had mostly rain but northern Nebraska and the Dakotas had one to two feet of snow which will soon melt and come their way. Everyone is very nervous and weary.
Trinity is welcoming new families to worship with them during Holy Week to celebrate the message of hope the resurrected Christ freely gives to all who believe. Please continue to pray for the affected Nebraska communities and donate generously to support the individuals and families during their long recovery.
The church served as a shelter for four days and housed nearly 130 people at one time. The Red Cross sponsored the shelter, helping fund meals and supplies, but the volunteers were members of the church and the community. They kept track of what spots were available in the shelter, but Gerber says a lot of their time was spent on something else.
“Really our big volunteer hours were just spent with the evacuees. We had ... lots of different people who came in and just said, ‘Hey, let’s do a puzzle. Let’s play cards.’ Cause we had a lot of kids who were staying here with their families, and the community absolutely came together to do everything they could to help," Gerber said.
Trinity Lutheran has also been taking and distributing donations for flood victims, including from around the country.
“We have Katie the Comfort Dog here at Trinity. She has been to multiple disasters throughout the U.S. so because of that, there have been donations that have come to us from people saying, ‘Hey we want to help Katie and her church,'” Gerber said.
All of the volunteers working through Trinity Lutheran is a great example of how we are all called to be the church and serve those in need. Please continue to generously support the families in Fremont, Nebraska, during their long recovery.
Pastor Anthony Gerber from Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, continues to see the generosity and feel the prayerful support of his congregation and community as they respond to those affected by the flood. Being an LCC K-9 Ministry affiliate congregation has greatly helped them provide for needs of their hurting community. He stated, “May God bless you as you continue to help us help those in need through the donations that LCC continues to receive.” Amy Glause, Financial Administrator at Trinity, also expressed her sincere thanks for continued support and blessings from generous LCC donors.
Pastor also shared that immediate needs are being met and now families are in the waiting stage of recovery to see what insurance and FEMA will be doing to help. He anticipates that in the next 3-4 months long term needs will be very evident and they will continue to need funds to help families.
PBS News Hour interviewed Governor Pete Ricketts about the damage the flood waters have done to the state of Nebraska. The following statistics are staggering, and this is only for one state that has experienced flooding! He states there has been 2,000 homes and 340 businesses destroyed with more affected totaling an estimated $85 million in damage; $400 million in livestock loss; $440 million in crop loss; and $439 million in infrastructure damage, which includes 200 miles of roads and 16 bridges that have been washed away.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, sends heartfelt thanks to Lutheran Church Charities and its generous donors for their continued financial support in response to massive flooding.
Your donations are still needed to help serve all those severely impacted by the floods in Fremont, Nebraska. If you are so moved, please donate, and please keep Trinity and their surrounding communities in your prayers during their long recovery.
LCC Affiliate Congregation, Trinity – Fremont, Nebraska, Helps Members and Community Affected by Floods
Your Donations Still Needed for Flood Recovery in Nebraska
As the water has receded, they are seeing more families who have lost homes and belongings, ranchers who have lost livestock, and those who can no longer work because the roads and infrastructure have been so badly damaged that they cannot travel as needed to work. Pastor stated that the only road from Fremont to Omaha where many are employed is now buckled and has bridges washed away. There will be lasting effects that will be far-reaching from this flood for most of their community and surrounding areas.
The Colfax County Emergency Management Agency invited LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Katie (Trinity – Fremont, Nebraska), Eddie (Peace Lutheran – Grand Island, Nebraska), Joanna (Christ Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska) , Moses (Christ Lutheran – Cairo, Nebraska), Nicodemus (The Rock – Seward, Nebraska), and Priscilla (Trinity – Lincoln, Nebraska), and their handlers, to the County Volunteer Recognition Dinner for First Responders last week held in Schuyler, Nebraska. They extended their thanks to the K-9 teams for helping the community and first responders with the healing process. All were honored to be there to provide care to those helping the community during the flooding.