As of late Monday, the death toll from the Maui wildfires climbed to at least 99, with expectations that it will reach in the hundreds.
This is the deadliest United States wildfire in more than 100 years, as authorities work to identify the victims and sift through the burned communities of western Maui. 3,000+ homes, businesses, schools, government, and cultural centers are destroyed.
An estimated 12,000 people are displaced, with people sleeping in shelters, vehicles, stores, on the street, or with family and friends. With businesses destroyed, there is a massive loss of jobs.
BE THERE BY WORKING THROUGH
LUTHERAN CHURCH CHARITIES
Rev. Chris Singer, Lutheran Church Charities President/CEO, received an invite from Rev. Michael Lange of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod California Nevada Hawaii (CNH) District, CNH District Disaster Response Coordinator (DDRC) Phil Zabell, and Leif Sjostrand, Congregational President from Emmanuel Lutheran Church & School in Kahului, Maui. Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, is working with Russell Wilson and Diane Wilson, church secretary, to coordinate LCC’s presence in Maui.
“Our hearts break with Maui at the loss of life and the destruction brought on by this natural disaster. Yet our hearts are full with the hope of Jesus’ mercy and compassion,” shared Rev. Singer. “Together with your support, LCC will be there to provide the help, comfort, and encouragement needed right now.”
Rev. Singer, his wife Jeanette, and Kathy arrive in Maui to minister to this community suffering and in great need. Emmanuel Lutheran Church is currently without a pastor as they await for an answer to a call they have issued. Pastor Singer has been asked to preach at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Sunday, August 20. The school principal, head elder, and congregational president have all asked for leadership assistance from LCC in addition to the invite from the CNH District President and DDRC.
Kathy will conduct Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T.) training and advise the church leaders on how best to work with FEMA and national and community voluntary organizations active in disaster (VOAD) for long-term recovery. Rev. Singer and Jeanette, as a certified coach and ministry partner volunteer, will focus on care ministry in shelters, congregational preparedness training for disasters, and food ministry through the church alongside two other congregations. Follow-up trips are expected to provide on-going spiritual care, and all LCC Ministries are on standby and ready to serve as needed.
The devastation is catastrophic, and there is a tremendous need for spiritual, emotional, and trauma care for everyone impacted and the first responders who are heroically dealing with the remaining wildfires, conducting search and rescue operations, and recovering lives lost.
URGENT FINANCIAL DONATIONS ARE NEEDED TO HELP INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WHO ARE SUFFERING AND IN NEED
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
The greatest need is for financial donations to help the people of Maui. They do not have the ability to take in any more donations of items. If you are so moved by this disaster, please donate generously so that we can help survivors with this unfathomable loss.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for all of the communities affected by these wildfires as well as for the local first responders, LCC staff, and volunteers that help during the long recovery process. Be there with LCC to show them the love and presence of Jesus!
Lutheran Church Charities is ready to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need. We only go where we are invited and we never charge those we serve.
LCC works in coordination with LCMS Disaster Response national and local districts of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.