LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. Volunteers Helped Homeowners with Property Cleanup in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Your Donations Needed: L.E.R.T. Volunteers Deploying from October 2 – 7 to Continue Helping Families with Recovery Efforts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The same derecho that barreled through northern Illinois on August 10 also struck Cedar Rapids and surrounding towns in Iowa first, with 100 mph winds causing major destruction to trees, homes, businesses, farms and crops. Even after all this time, the towns still look as though an inland hurricane went through.
Sharing God’s Presence In the Midst of Disaster
Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response L.E.R.T. teams have completed chainsaw work at 40 homeowner sites during the past two weeks, working out of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We are planning to return October 2 – 7 to continue to offer much needed chainsaw and boom lift assistance.
Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, responded with a team of 26 L.E.R.T. chainsaw and heavy equipment operators from Illinois and Jason Koepnick, King of Kings L.E.R.T. Team Leader for the Iowa East District and several of his L.E.R.T. volunteers.
Working Several Days to Help on Homeowner Farm
Many chainsaw volunteers and all of the LCC Disaster Response heavy equipment spent several days at a family’s several acre farm that was just devastated by the derecho. Mr. V. helped every day as well with his tractor and pulling on rigging. He was so happy to have the assistance because he could not clear the extensive damage done to his property on his own. Although his property looks very different now, it is safe for his children and animals to roam.
Helping Elderly Neighbors with Largest Tree Cut
Several chainsaw volunteers worked with two tractors, bobcat, and the boom lift at an elderly widow’s home and several of her elderly neighbors for two days to clear many trees from their large yards. One of the trees that was so badly damaged and had to be felled was 78” in diameter. This was the largest tree our team has ever cut!
The homeowner expressed her gratitude to the team for all their hard work and sent a thank you note:
“Thank you so much for all the work you did at my house after this terrible storm here in Cedar Rapids. The workers were so wonderful! I’ll never be able to repay them for all their hard work. THANK YOU! Love to you all as you serve in Jesus name.”
Removing Large Damaged Trees Safely from Front Yard
Another elderly woman had two large damaged trees in her front yard that needed to be removed with the boom lift piece by piece before the remaining trunk could get safely felled. She also sent a note of thanks:
“Please allow me to express my gratitude for the truly professional volunteers working for your organization. I am so impressed with LCC reaching out and doing God’s work over and over again across state lines.
Please know how very thankful I am to the crew for making it happen at my home. God’s blessings to all!”
A Carved Cross in Tree Trunk Shows God’s Love
Mr. B. was so happy with the cross the team left for him after finishing removing trees from his several acre property.
He was very grateful for the help and loved watching the team work throughout the day.
He even joined the team for dinner at the host church, King of Kings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Giving Help and Hope to Single Mother
A single mother who had experienced many recent life-changing events and storm damage to her home and property was feeling very overwhelmed. Besides cleaning up her property, the team spent time ministering to her. She stated that she felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders and she could really see the love of Christ offered to her. She even came to dinner a couple nights later at the church to again thank everyone for helping her, but also for really showing her that there is hope in Christ. Her daughter said it was the first time she had seen her mom really smile and laugh in a while.
She truly blessed all the volunteers present and served as a reminder that what we do really does make a difference as we bring the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
LCC thanks all of the L.E.R.T. volunteers for their professionalism, tireless efforts, and ministry over the past two weeks. Please join us in praying for their continued safety when they return to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and for the residents of that community who are still recovering from the devastation of the August derecho storm.
LCC never goes where we are not invited. We NEVER charge those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, lodging, and meal costs. We put boots on the ground within 24 hours (often fewer) from the time we get the invite.
Please consider a donation to the LCC Disaster Response General Fund or LCC Disaster Response 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.