Eighteen LCC Lutheran Early Response Team Volunteers Arrived in Venice, Florida, to Help Churches and Homeowners Clean Up Property Damage from Hurricane Ian
Working with LCMS Florida-Georgia District Disaster Response Coordinators to Help Impacted Churches, Individuals and Families in Hardest-Hit Areas with Recovery Efforts
Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the US mainland, battered southwest Florida with high winds, rain, and storm surges as it moved inland. The death toll reported is now more than 100 as search and rescue teams continue to go door to door throughout impacted communities.
As the storm swept ashore in southwest Florida, it raged across the state with catastrophic 150 mph winds and a deadly storm surge of up to 18 feet. Estimated to be about 140 miles wide, it was downgraded from a high category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm as it moved slowly northeast, causing vast destruction and major flooding.
Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response Director Kathy O'Day and Ed Boerman, Northern Illinois District Disaster Response Coordinators, are working with the LCMS Disaster Response and District Disaster Response Coordinator Jay Wendland from the Florida-Georgia District.
On Sunday, October 9, eighteen LCC Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T.) volunteers arrived in Florida with chainsaws, heavy equipment, and servant-hearts to begin the massive recovery effort in our designated communities of Venice, Port Charlotte, and Englewood until the end of October. Additional L.E.R.T. volunteers will arrive throughout the deployment.
As of Monday, five churches, four pastors, and thirty-one congregation members from five different churches need immediate property assistance. Assessments began upon arrival, and some of the homeowner damage is so bad that homes are uninhabitable. Additional assessments will continue throughout the three-week deployment.
Lakeside Lutheran Joyfully Serves Community through L.E.R.T.
On Monday, LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers completed all of the property clean-up at the host church, Lakeside Lutheran, in Venice, Florida. Pastor David Dahlke and congregation members are very welcoming and supportive of our team members. They are amazed at all of the work done to clean up their property so quickly. Lakeside’s mission is “to joyfully serve,” and they have been joyfully serving our L.E.R.T. volunteers so that we can represent them as we serve in their communities.
Restoring Hope at Redeemer Lutheran Church
LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers will provide chainsaw, heavy equipment, boom lift assistance, and some mucking and gutting of a flooded church sanctuary. Our teams will also provide spiritual and emotional care as many people took shelter in their homes and endured horrific conditions while the hurricane passed through their cities. Residents are overwhelmed with the devastation and need the reassurance and hope found in Jesus Christ.
LCC never goes where we are not invited.
We NEVER charge those we serve!
If you are so moved, please donate to the LCC Disaster Response Fund or LCC Equipment Maintenance & Fuel Expense Fund so that we may continue to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Please pray for the residents in the impacted communities and all of the LCC Disaster Response volunteers and staff during our deployment to the hardest-hit areas of Florida to help during the long recovery process.