LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Bring Comfort to Those Affected by Fires in Northern California and to School Children Grieving the Loss of a Parent
Kincade Fire, Sonoma County, California
The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, which began October 23, has already consumed over 77,000 acres. The Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) K-9 Comfort Dogs responded to invitations by the Sonoma County dispatch in Santa Rosa, California and by the Peer Support Department from California Fire asking us to comfort the first responders risking their lives to serve and protect the many communities involved in yet another catastrophic disaster.
Just days after the fire began, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Reuben (First Lutheran – Yuba City, California) was already giving support to the Sonoma County Fire and Dispatch and with officials at the fire briefings in Santa Rosa. Shortly after, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Aaron (St. John’s – Napa, California) joined in support of the California Fire teams at base camps and with the California Conservation Corps.
Please join LCC in praying for the safety of all first responders and volunteers as they continue to respond to the current wildfires.
Christ Lutheran Church and School, La Mesa, California
From Wednesday, October 30 through Sunday, November 3, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Jessy (St. Paul’s – Concordia, Missouri) and Lois (First Good Shepherd – Las Vegas, Nevada) and their handlers deployed to California, responding to an invite by Rev. Travis Ferguson, Associate Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church and School, La Mesa, California to comfort families, students, and friends grieving the tragic loss of a parent of four children who attend their school. Many other students in the school have also suffered the loss of someone close to them making this a difficult time for everyone.
On Wednesday, October 30, the K-9s visited six classrooms, and after school they spent some time with the father, four children, and the parents of the woman who passed away.
On Thursday, October 31, the teams finished visiting the rest of the classrooms as well as preschool where the "little ones" had an opportunity to meet and pet the K-9s.
On Friday, November 1, the teams visited St. Paul's Lutheran School in San Diego, California. After everyone met the K-9s, the school had a "Jog-a-Thon" to raise funds for a project. During that time, the K-9s visited with many parents. After an afternoon off, the teams went to the first part of a "Junior High Lock-in" at Christ Lutheran.
On Saturday, November 2, the teams were present at the church for the memorial service where the K-9s had an opportunity to greet people for one hour before the service. Jessy Comfort Dog got to be part of the Children's Message entitled "Hugs and Hallelujahs." The presenter talked about feeling better when you pet a dog, and that the comfort dogs were present to "lift the spirit" of the people at the service.
LCC never goes where we are not invited and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry NEVER charges those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, hotel, and meals costs. We also always put boots and paws on the ground within 24 hours (often fewer) from the time we get the invite.
Please help LCC as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need. Together, we can be the Hands, Feet and Presence of Jesus Christ to La Mesa, Northern California, and surrounding communities impacted by both of these tragic events.
Please support us by prayer and if you are so moved, help us with travel expenses.