LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. Volunteers Serve with Compassion During Physical Property Recovery for Homeowners Affected by Tornadoes in Tennessee
Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Disaster Response L.E.R.T. (Lutheran Early Response Team) chainsaw teams were invited by Rev. Ross Johnson, Director of LCMS Disaster Response and Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, LCMS Mid-South District President to assist Pastor Keith Enko at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Hermitage, Tennessee with tornado recovery in their community. On March 3, Nashville and surrounding towns experienced seven tornadoes in the early morning hours. Two of the reported tornadoes were rated an EF-4 storm by the National Weather Service. The tornadoes were on and off the ground for 150 miles, leaving a trail of destruction and sadly taking the lives of 24 people and injuring countless others.
Kathy O'Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, LCC Staff and fifty L.E.R.T. chainsaw certified team members are deployed this week, serving those affected by the tornadoes and will be returning Saturday, March 14.
LCC thanks our L.E.R.T. volunteers for their hearts to serve:
Good Shepherd, Elgin – David Vollrath
Good Shepherd, Frankfort – Joel Powless
Heartland, Normal – Tony Buchberger
Immanuel, Belvidere – Tony Newton
Immanuel, DeKalb – Pete Springmire
Immanuel, Dundee – Matt Flynn, Lark Sanders
Immanuel, Palatine – Steve MacKay
Lord of Life, LaFox – Matt Byars, Ken Johnston, Ken Kivaranta, Kevin Krage, Terry and Mary Kramer, Jeff Straughn, Larry Zagorski
Messiah, Sterling – Jacob Beets
Prince of Peace, Palatine – Jim Beckley, Danny and Bobbie Swyndroski
Redeemer, Peoria – Ken and Rhonda Kruse, Rebecca Lindholm
Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry – Alan Holm
St. John, Wheaton – Jim Braun, Steve Chester, Jan Gerveske, Marty Johnson, Dave Mummah, Anna Piro, Tom Prickette, Rich Wren
Trinity, Bloomington – Keith Marshall
Trinity, Lisle – Mike Kostecki, Richard Schaefer
Trinity, Roselle – Kristin Bilar
Zion, Mascoutah – Jesse Baxter, Josh Peterson
Good Shepherd, Ft. Myers, Florida – Manfred Cholodewitsch
Life Fellowship, Lewisburg, Tennessee – John Martin
Messiah, Hayes, Kansas – Bob Warfel
St. John, Lincolnville, Kansas – Ira Walker
St. John’s, Dillsboro, Indiana – Steve Black, Ruth Weisbod
St. John’s, Portage, Wisconsin – John Matheny
Dr. Rev. Roger Paavola, LCMS Mid-South District President toured the areas of Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Donelson and Lebanon with Pastor Enko and Kathy O’Day. They also met with homeowners and LCC L.E.R.T. team members on site to offer prayers and to personally thank them for their willingness to serve those in need. It was very special that he took the time to come and express his support to the congregation and team.
Repeatedly we heard stories of survival that occurred as families heard the warnings to take shelter in the middle of the night. We have seen homes, schools and businesses destroyed, belongings lost, lives disrupted – but have also listened to thanks and praise to God for being with them in the midst of the storm and surrounding them with His protection.
“It’s an incredible mission and ministry that they have. LCC has changed so many lives. They made an impact on us as a congregation, an impact on me as a pastor, and an impact on this community as well – one that won’t be forgotten!” – Pastor Keith Enko, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Hermitage, Tennessee
Urgent Donations Needed to Help Emmanuel Early Childhood Center Preschool Families
Pastor Enko informed us that two families who send their preschool children to Emmanuel’s Early Childhood Center have lost everything due to the tornado. A single family home and an apartment building have been completely destroyed. Please donate to the LCC Disaster Response Fund so that we can help Emmanuel support these two families with the overwhelming task of starting over.
Giving Hope and Safety to a Recent Widow
Suzanne, a recent widow, told us how all her doors were blown in and bent and, therefore, she had to jump out of a broken window to exit her house. She, then, saw her neighborhood badly damaged and the trees her husband had planted uprooted and destroyed. She said she felt like those trees, now feeling uprooted from the safety of her home and what she holds dear damaged and destroyed. She appreciated that the LCC L.E.R.T. team listened to her story and cleaned up her property, but more importantly offered her hope that, through Christ, all will be made safe again.
Helping Neighbors with Extensive Tree Damage
An elderly gentleman and his two neighbors lost about 60 trees on top of the hill behind their homes. When we offered assistance to clear the trees and brought heavy equipment that could tackle the hill, they were overwhelmed with gratitude, as they did not know how they could have ever done all this work or been able to afford someone to do it.
Providing Compassion and Property Assistance to Elderly Couple
The LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. volunteers will continue to serve those in need by showing the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ.
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 keep residents in impacted Tennessee communities in your prayers, including all the LCC Disaster Response L.E.R.T. volunteers and staff during our deployment.
Please prayerfully 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.