In the midst of senseless killings, anger, and hatred
LCC responds to bring Love – Compassion – Mercy and the Presence of Jesus
Tim Hetzner and teams from Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois departed on Friday to be there for the hurting communities. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Naomi (Holy Cross – Indianapolis) was joined by Nancy Borders (Trinity – Toledo, Ohio) and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Benjamin (LCC Staff), Emma (LCC Staff), Hannah (LCC Staff), Isaiah (Trinity – Hobart, Indiana), Jared (Holy Cross – Fort Wayne, Indiana), Mercy (Our Savior – Louisville, Kentucky), and Rosie (Atonement – Columbus, Ohio), along with their handlers, to spend time visiting with friends and family members as they process the shock and grief of their loss. The K-9 Comfort Dog teams also visited the overworked and dedicated employees at the Marion County Coroner’s Office who needed time to decompress and feel the comfort and appreciation of the K-9 handlers and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs.
Other visits the teams had were with the firefighters from Plainfield Fire Station 121 and Beech Grove Fire Station 57, and they will continue to visit the other fire stations throughout the week. The firefighters were all smiles at seeing K-9 Comfort Dogs Emma, Hannah, Isaiah, Mercy, and Naomi.
The K-9 Comfort Dog teams attended two vigils held by the community for the victims. On Friday night, the Comfort Dogs and their handlers were at Krannert Park, where community members gathered to support the families whose loved ones died during the shooting. It was at this vigil that the Hearts of Mercy and Compassion markers were first brought out for the community to sign, one marker for each of the eight victims. The teams were there with prayer, mercy, compassion and the presence of Jesus Christ for this hurting community.
Helping Individuals Cope with Uncertainty
The K-9 Comfort Dog teams met Lillian, who was recently hired by FedEx and was supposed to start work on April 15 but didn’t go into work that day. She shared her concern about all the evil in this world with the team member and found it hard to stay positive. The handlers prayed with her for God’s comfort and peace.
DJ was struggling with so much anger and hurt over the shooting. He attended both of the vigils and spent a lot of time with the K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers as they surrounded him in prayer.
The Sunday night vigil was hosted by the City of Beech Grove and the Mayor’s Faith-Based Roundtable. Mayor Dennis Buckley of Beech Grove knew one of the victims, 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell. The loss of Samaria was difficult on the Beech Grove community as they knew her and her family well. The vigil was attended by 150 or more people from all different backgrounds: Christians, non-Christians, Sikhs, and Mennonites gathered in unity.
Attendees lined up to sign each of the eight Hearts of Mercy and Compassion markers for the victims to express their grief and share their support. The K-9 Comfort Dogs were there to bring comfort and unconditional love, and the handlers listened and prayed with the community members. There were no walls of hatred but instead unity, healing, and love. People of all backgrounds listened to one another and shared their grief, and most importantly, they shared hope of what could be. Each person left the vigil that night with hope and the beginning process of healing.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams will continue to visit with the hospital staff, 911 dispatchers, and the community this week to bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
CLICK HERE to view how our two LCC Ministries work together to bring comfort and healing to the community during this difficult time.
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never go where we are not invited and never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
Please join LCC in keeping the families, first responders, and the community in your prayers as they move through these extremely trying times.
Tim Hetzner & LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Visit Students & Staff at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Early Sunday morning, April 18, three people were killed, and three were injured during a shooting at The Somers House in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the invitation of Rev. Kara Baylor of Carthage College, Tim Hetzner, LCC President/CEO, and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are present with students and staff on Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21, during finals week. Carthage College is located near The Somers House and frequented by students, some of whom were present during the shooting.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield Lutheran – Brookfield, Wisconsin), Malachi (St. Matthew – Hawthorn Woods, Illinois), Mary (St. Paul’s – Janesville, Wisconsin), Rhoda (Prince of Peace – Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois), and their ministry teams spent time comforting students and staff during this stressful week.