LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry Teams and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Deploy to Lewiston, Maine, to BE THERE for the Community
Thank you for your response to our special appeal on Saturday. Thanks to your support, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams immediately began their journey to BE THERE for the community in Lewiston, Maine; many traveling over 1,000 miles.
Getting Right to Work
The teams got right to work as soon as they arrived. On Sunday evening, they joined hundreds of people at the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul for the 'One Lewiston' community vigil. Faith leaders, city officials, first responders, and more paid tribute to the 18 victims who lost their lives and offered words of hope and healing to the grieving community.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers have been spending time with people throughout the community - schools, hospitals, businesses - wherever there is a need, providing a safe and comforting place for people to cry, talk, or just be silent. People were surprised by the feelings they experienced when they started petting the Comfort Dogs and talking with the handlers. In those moments, where only love, comfort, and compassion are shared, the fear they had been carrying began to release. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18.
Hearts of Mercy & Compassion in Memory of Eighteen Lives Lost
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry teams set up the crosses and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC) for each of the 18 people whose lives were taken too soon. Each cross, with a Heart of Mercy & Compassion, represents a precious soul who was loved and mattered.
For the Comfort Dog teams, it was a very personal and emotional experience to be part of the process of assembling and placing the crosses and reading the names of each person killed on that tragic day. We pray that the HMCs will create a place for individuals to gather, reflect, and share their pain as they reflect on each name and write messages on the hearts.
Remembering a Dear Friend
As the teams were putting up the crosses, a gentleman drove by, saw them, and pulled over. He walked up to the group and asked if the name of Peyton Brewer-Ross was written on one of the Hearts. Peyton was a good friend of his, and he wanted to say goodbye. When the gentleman saw Peyton’s name and cross, his grief was evident in his tears. The crosses and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion give people a place to grieve and write messages of love.
HMCs for First Responders
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams also delivered Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, signed with prayers and love, to the Lewiston Police Department, 911 Call Center, and Lewiston Fire Department.
These dedicated first responders are part of the Lewiston community who suffer from these losses, as it lays heavily on their hearts. For the Comfort Dog teams to BE THERE with them and to let them know they are not alone but seen, heard and loved is what God asks us to do.
Thank you for BEING THERE by working through Lutheran Church Charities
God’s love shared with others creates a ripple effect that keeps moving forward. Thank you for helping the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion BE THERE, sharing the love and hope of Jesus.
Because of your generous support, we are blessed to be able to provide comfort during this difficult time and offer hope and healing to those affected by the tragedy. We look forward to seeing where God leads us this week and thank you all for your continued support and prayers.