LCC Disaster Response Completes Sixty-Two Work Sites While Serving Two Weeks in Selma, Alabama, to Help Families in Tornado Recovery Efforts
On Thursday, January 12, a strong storm system moved through four states with high winds, large hail, and a tornado outbreak, including thirty-eight powerful tornadoes, of which three were long-track EF-3 tornadoes with 110+ mph winds that caused major damage to homes, businesses, and schools.
Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, Jamie Miller, LCC DR Staff, and twenty-seven LCC Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T.) chainsaw volunteers have completed work at sixty-two sites after two weeks of serving in Selma, Alabama. They were able to provide debris removal and utilize chainsaws, lift, and bobcats to remove many downed and damaged trees from tornado-devastated properties.
Pastor Ed Brashier, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, will continue to operate a LCMS base camp for L.E.R.T. chainsaw volunteers through Pastor Steven Washington at Trinity Lutheran Church in Selma until at least February 20th as there are many more residents needing assistance.
Rev. Chris Singer, LCC President & CEO, Kathy O’Day, Pastor Steven Washington, and a homeowner share how LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers bring the Presence of Christ to a Community in Need.
Pastor Steve shares, “On behalf of our church, our congregation, we’re very excited to be given the opportunity to be partnering with the arm of Christ, the legs of Christ, the gifts and talents of Christ that have been embodied by the members of our disaster response teams. We are just excited here at our church to welcome, to embrace, and to be a part of what our church body is doing for our many, many people here in Selma.”
“It was our blessing that they came to offer their service. God manages to have angels all around us. I say that they are our guardian angels,” shares a homeowner. “Of all the groups here, I’m most proud and elated that we have a Lutheran Response Team and I’ve been singing it all over town. Just to know that we are in that mix of groups that volunteer and donate their time. It’s a blessing.”
“We Were Blessed by Angels”
Elderly Homeowner Trusts L.E.R.T. Volunteers to Clear Her Property
Miss Helen watched four of her neighbors on her block receive help from our L.E.R.T. volunteers before she finally asked for help herself. She explained to Kathy O’Day that she was 82 years old, a widow, and did not know whom to trust anymore for help.
She stated she asked her neighbors what they thought of the work done by the L.E.R.T. volunteers, and after hearing great reviews, she stated she was willing to trust us to help rid her front yard of very dangerous large hanging limbs.
She was well pleased with the men who used the lift to make her property safe again, shared the mercy and compassion of Christ, and presented her with a quilt from their congregation.
LCC L.E.R.T. and congregation volunteers also helped Forged by Fire, a LCMS Recognized Service Organization (RSO) that cooks and serves meals to those in need after a disaster. Over two days last week, Forged by Fire prepared and served approximately 1,200 hot meals from the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church to the community.
Lutheran Church Charities, the LCMS Southern District, and Trinity Lutheran Church of Selma sincerely thank the twenty-seven L.E.R.T. volunteers that came from the following churches to serve:
Heartland Normal – Tony Buchberger
Immanuel DeKalb – Pete and Christel Springmire
Immanuel Dundee – Matt Flynn
Immanuel Palatine – Jim Beckley
Lord of Life Elburn – Terry and Mary Kramer, Max Metz, Larry Zagorski
Shepherd of the Cross McHenry – Alan Holm
St. John East Moline – Ken and Janet Hill
St. John Wheaton – Marty Johnson, Dave Mummah, Dave Schlesselman, Rich Wren
St. John Wilmette – Tom Morrison
St. Paul Rockford – Dean and Carol Ulrich
Zion Ottawa – Dave and Cindy Reif
St. John Dillsboro – Steve Black, Ruth Weisbrod
Trinity Davenport – Ken Stotmeister
St. Paul Grafton – Mark and Beverly Breuggemann, Stu Natale
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 all of the communities affected by these devastating tornadoes in the hardest-hit area of Selma, Alabama, during the long recovery process.
LCC works in coordination with LCMS Disaster Response national and local districts of the LCMS.