LCC K-9 COMFORT DOGS RESPOND AND DEPLOY TO SHOOTINGS IN EL PASO, TEXAS
On Tuesday, May 7, another horrific mass shooting occurred in the afternoon at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, which has over 1,800 students from kindergarten through high school. One student was killed, heroically saving many of his classmate’s lives. Eight other students were injured with some critical and many students, faculty and staff are emotionally devastated.
In less than 24 hours, on the morning of Wednesday, May 8, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited by Executive Pastor, Nathan Peregoy, from Our Father Lutheran Church in Centennial, Colorado, and will be working with Micah Steiner, Director of Christian Education, and their youth group which meets tonight. They currently have three students that attend STEM school.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Cubby (Redeemer – Fort Collins, Colorado) and Bonnie Fear, Top Dog, is also attending a vigil for victims of the STEM School at Mission Hills Church Middle School in Littleton this afternoon. Other teams deploying to serve are LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Katie (Trinity – Fremont, Nebraska), Joanna (Christ Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska), and Moses (Christ Lutheran – Cairo, Nebraska) will be arriving later today.
Please help LCC as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
Please support us by prayer and if you are moved, to help with travel expenses.
Peace in Jesus Christ that passes all human understanding,
Lutheran Church Charities
Imagine having your city surrounded by water where no one can get in or leave, loss of electricity, cell service hit and miss, homes flooded, and people with nowhere to go or ability get out. That is what LCC K-9 Comfort Dog congregation Trinity Lutheran faced – and is still facing. LCC has been in repeated contact with them to help and to spread the word to others to help!
Please Help with Your Donations!
Dollar per Dollar (as always with LCC) your gift will go to what you gave it for!!
Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, has been and will continue to be a beacon of hope to their community that has been inundated with flood waters. The church opened their doors to be a shelter for four days to people who had to evacuate their homes. It is also the home of LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Katie.
Trinity Lutheran Church and School’s theme verse for this academic year is from 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Do everything in love.”
Lutheran Church Charities has already sent $1,000 to Pastor Anthony Gerber at Trinity Lutheran Church to use for immediate needs. Please help Lutheran Church Charities continue to serve Trinity Lutheran in their desperate need as they serve their congregation and community.
Through showing love as the body of Christ, Trinity continues to care for a hurting community. In four days, they built relationships with evacuees, volunteers, community leaders, and each other as they served, shared stories, laughed, cried, prayed and worshiped together. Many members who volunteered stated, “Instead of sitting in Bible studies talking about how to be the church in our community, we now are being the church.” They learned that Christ’s love and care shown to others transcends barriers that might normally be in the way, and that they really can love their neighbor who speaks a different language and of another nationality.
Pastor Gerber and Dawn Gilfry state they are currently assessing how many church and school families are affected. They know 1 staff member, 1 congregation member, and 5 school families have lost their homes completely. They anticipate many more families with losses will be identified in the coming days as the water begins to recede both within their congregation and in their community. They will be helping people with basic needs and housing expenses.
Your donations are greatly needed to help LCC and Trinity Lutheran Church serve their members and their community. If you are so moved, please donate now, and please keep Trinity and their surrounding communities in your prayers during their long recovery.
Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response has been in contact with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) churches in Rockford and Freeport to offer assistance with pumping water from homes and mucking as the water recedes.
Currently the Rock River through Rockford, Machesney Park, Latham and Byron, and the Pecatonica River through Freeport are at major flood stage and continuing to rise. Over 200 homes and businesses have been evacuated and are filling with water. The Winnebago County Sheriff reports the river is not expected to crest until the end of the week or later, which means more properties may be affected. Currently the dam/locks are wide open to help the rivers continue their outflow. They anticipate homeowners will be out of their homes for many weeks and flooding will be slow to recede with more snow melt coming down river from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Please keep all those affected by flooding in the Northern Illinois District and surrounding states in your prayers as they face many losses and a long recovery.
Your financial assistance is needed to get a trailer to haul our 4 wheeler to flooded areas to bring in pumps to help people pump out their homes. The trailer we had to haul the 4 wheeler is now being used to haul the Disaster Response Boom Lift for our chainsaw teams. Most recently it was used by LCC LERT teams to transport the Boom Lift to Panama City, Florida.
Due to the current flooding situation, we are in urgent need of this trailer to haul our 4 wheeler. Cost of the trailer is $3,000. If you are moved to help us, please click the button below. THANK YOU!!!
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Lutheran Church Charities
I wanted to give you an update on our multiple Disaster and Crisis Response deployments going on right now in California and in Florida. It seems like it is one thing after the other. The California deployment for the shootings is now also serving all the families displaced from their homes because of the fires happening right now – and we are in the middle of it.
We do a ministry of PRESENCE being there – knowing that Jesus loves them and is there with them, showing compassion, giving a human hug, and PRESENCE is essential. People need to know they are not alone, others care, and are there to help! IT’S WHAT JESUS DID – IT IS WHAT WE DO!
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, handlers, and helpers are on the ground and working to bring the Mercy and Compassion of Jesus to those suffering in Thousand Oaks and surrounding communities in California and also in Panama City, Florida.
In Panama City, Florida, our Disaster Response LERT volunteers are hitting the ground to do a week of chainsaw work, tarping roofs, and anything that needs to be done to help those who are still not in their homes from Hurricane Michael. We continue to work through Trinity Lutheran Church in Panama City and Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, is on the ground with thirty of our Disaster Response LERT team members from Illinois. There is still a lot of destruction throughout the community.
Team members from Lord of Life - LaFox, Illinois, arrived with a trailer and truck of needed supplies for Trinity. Terry and Mary Kramer from Lord of Life also cooked and served hot meals to 90 people at the distribution center on Saturday. In addition, the semi-truck is arriving on Wednesday with food and other critical items donated to help the 6,000 individuals each week that Trinity is serving.
Click here to watch a video on LCC K-9 Ministry teams comforting in California
God had our morning planned before we started. Our devotions did not start on time - no, they did not start at all. From the moment teams gathered in the breakfast areas they came. One by one, family by family. The worried, the tired, and the weary. Sad and teary eyed, their faces brightened as they saw them: LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Emma, Cubby, Jacob, Hannah, Lois, and Aaron.
It was just what the doctor ordered. A spiritual triage from the wounds of life and recent day's events. Evacuees, Red Cross workers, families from near and far. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were there to listen to their harrowing stories and pray with each one. Sometimes once, sometimes twice, and often as a group with everyone.
With 10's of thousands of people still under evacuation orders, the teams also continue to make daily visits to the evacuation centers around Thousand Oaks, California, again bringing comfort and hope to those we meet.
The fires have put a pause on a time that would have been spent in different circumstances - on the grieving of those lost at the Borderline shooting. We continue to offer our assistance to those affected and to our first responders.
We continue to pray for hope, healing, and restoration of lives.
Working Together, Serving Christ, so we can serve others IN HIS NAME!
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Lutheran Church Charities
We responded to the mass shooting and God had more plans for us!
What had started as a deployment to comfort those impacted by the tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks, California has slightly changed into comforting those affected by the shootings and those impacted by the growing wildfires in California. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have served at one of the shelters that was last used a few days ago as the reunification center for families of the fallen at the Borderline shooting, as well as at California Lutheran University and in the community. Please keep everyone in these communities in your prayers, as well as those impacted by the shootings, and the first responders who have been working tirelessly this past week.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are safe from the fires. If you are so moved, please give to our travel expense fund.
Safety and Hope come from being in the arms of our God!
Just before Midnight on Wednesday, November 7, a mass shooting occurred at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Thousand Oaks is considered "one of the safest cities in the country and consistently ranked one of the highest with respect to the lowest crime rate per capita, we're proud of that," according to the mayor Andy Fox. "The reality is that these types of incidents can happen really at any place, at any time, even in communities that are considered extremely safe," he added.
Within hours of the shooting, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited in by Pastor Tim Barkett of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newbury Park, California to bring comfort to a shocked and devastated community. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Emma, Jacob, and Hannah (LCC Staff), Aaron (St. John's - Napa, California), Lois (First Good Shepherd - Las Vegas, Nevada), and Cubby (Redeemer - Fort Collins, Colorado) and their handlers will be on the ground today to bring comfort and compassion to students, first responders, and the community. Additional comfort dogs will respond in the next few days.
LCC never goes where we are not invited and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry NEVER charges those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, hotel, and meal costs. We also put Boots and Paws on the ground within 24 hours (often less) from the time we get the invite.
Please help LCC as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them. Please support us with prayer and if you are moved, to help with travel expenses.
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Lutheran Church Charities
Add to all the disasters LCC is responding to - at the same time we are responding to all the Crisis Response requests - and another suicide yesterday of a teen!
With AND through YOU, and because of YOU, we bring hope into situations where people are suffering and have lost hope:
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response is working with the LCMS Southern District to respond with disaster relief assistance as soon as it is safe to do so. Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, and our LERT chainsaw teams have been assisting families impacted from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina this week with chainsaws, boom lift, and other heavy equipment. Several LERT teams have remained there in anticipation of further destruction from Hurricane Michael.
Your donations are needed so that LCC can continue to provide disaster relief as long as needed.
You can help Make A Difference by:
- Preparing completed flood buckets and sending to one of the LCC locations
- Making a donation to purchase supplies for scrub buckets
- Volunteering to help assemble scrub buckets
- Having your church be a site for drop off and assembly of scrub buckets
Before beginning a Scrub Bucket Initiative, please contact LCC by email at DRAdmin@lutheranchurchcharities.org or call 866-455-6466 to get specific direction on what is needed and the drop off location.
Assembling Scrub Buckets is a great way for individuals, youth groups, outreach ministry teams, schools, or other groups to show others in need the love of Jesus Christ. We are your hands and feet in bringing the hope that only comes through Jesus during times of hopelessness.
Thank you for sharing the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Serving together, Serving Jesus, so we can serve others IN HIS NAME!
Tim Hetzner and the entire LCC Staff
LCC Disaster Response Help Needed – Hurricane Florence (NC and VA), Continued Recovery in Wisconsin Flooding, and Tornadoes
The effects of Hurricane Florence are devastating and it’s not over. The destruction Hurricane Florence is leaving in its path through North and South Carolina and Virginia caused tens of thousands of families to evacuate their homes, massive power outages continue to increase, and families are left overwhelmed on how they will recover. This hurricane is moving very slowly, dropping recording-breaking rainfall, causing high storm surges, and uprooting massive trees. It has resulted in major flooding affecting thousands of homes, businesses, and also loss of life. In addition to all of this are recent tornadoes in Virginia as well.
Tim Hetzner, President / CEO, Lutheran Church Charities has been in contact with Rev. Ross Johnson and Rev. Michael Meyer, Directors of LCMS Disaster Response, who are working with the LCMS Southeastern District’s (SED) Disaster Response Coordinator, Deaconess Sally Hiller, and reaching out to all pastors in the affected areas. Several LCMS churches report that they have sustained considerable damage as well as entire neighborhoods and towns within the communities they serve. Because this storm is moving slowly, most people are still under evacuation orders and have not yet been able to assess their homes for damage. Understanding the full impact of this disaster cannot begin until the storm ends
Over a two-week period beginning in late August, a sizeable region in West Central Wisconsin received a substantial amount of rain causing flooding in six counties. LCC Disaster Response is supporting Pastor Jonah Burakowski, Executive Assistant to the President for Missions and Human Care, South Wisconsin District – LCMS in this recovery effort.
The Office of Mission and Human Care is coordinating with St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, to establish a volunteer relief center to work there and in surrounding communities. Work will include mucking (cleaning) out houses, moving furniture and appliances, removing carpet and other flooring, hanging dry wall, taping, mudding, and assisting community members with other tasks. Many families have substantial damage or lost everything.
Because LCC will be spread out throughout the country right now, your prayers and assistance are needed to help us serve those affected in various areas and states.
Thank you for all of your support in being Jesus to those suffering.
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Lutheran Church Charities
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs in Northern California to Bring Comfort and Hope through Jesus Christ
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43:1-2
LCC has been invited in (we only go where we are invited and never charge those we serve) to deploy and serve the victims from the fires and the first responders as well.
God will carry you through the Fire!
We just finished our 2018 LCC National K-9 Conference Friday night. During the conference we were communicating several times a day with our connections in California about the fires. Each day we were getting word on how rapidly the fires were spreading, and how many people had been evacuated and were in shelters. Many of the people in the shelters have lost their homes and most of their possessions.
With the generosity of our donors, Lutheran Church Charities will work closely with our churches, Trinity Lutheran, Redding and First Lutheran, Yuba City, to help relocate the victims, especially displaced elderly, who have been directly affected by the fires.
Here are the facts:
- We have been invited by Disaster Response Coordinator Pastor Phil Zabel, Pastor Brian Cummins of Trinity Lutheran Church, Redding, and CAL Fire.
- Over 110,000 acres burned, 1,400+ structures destroyed, 27% contained
- Over 40,000 people have been evacuated with more expected.
- First Lutheran in Yuba City is standing by to be our support congregation. This is the home of LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Reuben, led by Top Dog James Casner.
- Local convalescent homes in Yuba City are taking in evacuees and have requested K-9 Ministry teams.
This year's conference theme was "With Me on the Road" - going where Jesus leads. So we are preparing to go on the road.
Our Mission is to Share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need, so we are deploying in shifts to serve those suffering from the devastating effects of this fire.
On Sunday, July 29, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Reuben (First Lutheran – Yuba City, California) began visiting first responders to thank them for their dedication and tireless service, including the Cal Fire Command Center and the National Guard soldiers. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Aaron (St. John’s – Napa, California), Eddie (Peace Lutheran – Grand Island, Nebraska), Moses (Christ Lutheran – Cairo, Nebraska), and Priscilla (Trinity Lutheran – Lincoln, Nebraska) are on their way to join Reuben Comfort Dog’s team. Plans are to continue to visit first responders and affected families who have been relocated to shelters.
Please keep everyone who has been affected by the fires in your prayers as well as all the first responders who put their own lives in jeopardy to serve their communities. Please also pray for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams as they begin deploying. We have some Comfort Dogs already on the ground serving as I write this. God ALWAYS provides, caring for His people in the midst of tragedy - and He will this time as well.
Thank you for all of your support in touching lives with the Presence of Jesus Christ - our only hope!
Lutheran Church Charities
Lutheran Church Charities is partnering with the City of Prospect Heights (Illinois) case management team as they identify needs of those affected by the Prospects Heights fire. They have expressed their appreciation for caring about and assisting their residents – our neighbors. The greatest need is to assist families in securing new housing. Those affected by the fire had been staying in hotels which were funded by the Red Cross or local churches for a designated period of time, but now many do not have the funds to stay longer and have become homeless.
The Prospect Heights case managers called Lutheran Church Charities this week to assist with move in fees and rent for a family that left the hotel and for two nights had slept in their car. Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, met with the family and this need was met. After receiving financial assistance, the mother expressed many thanks and said,
LCC also assisted a family, with 5 year and 3 month old children, to help them secure housing so they can move in to a new apartment tomorrow. They were very surprised and happy that we were able to offer them rental assistance. Tim Hetzner and Kathy O'Day met and prayed with the family. The father told us, “You have no idea what a blessing this is and you are to my family. We cannot thank you enough!”
LCC will continue to respond to requests for assistance by the City of Prospect Heights. Local LCMS churches and their members have also responded with many types of donations to assist these families. Mayor Nicholas Helmer of the City of Prospect Heights continues to express his appreciation to LCC and its donors for all of the assistance that has been and will be provided to these families to aid in their recovery process.
Please continue to pray for everyone impacted by this tragic fire. LCC will continue to provide Disaster and Crisis Response to our neighbors, bringing the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
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