Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, and LCC Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T.) volunteers are deployed and serving in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Southern Illinois District to serve impacted homeowners from Thursday, July 6, through Saturday, July 15.
On Monday, July 10, Rev. Chris Singer, LCC President & CEO; Rev. Ross Johnson, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Director of Disaster Response; Pastor David Benning, Matt Bierman, and George Acosta, LCC Chief Operating Officer joined Kathy in Southern Illinois to visit affected homeowners and see the L.E.R.T. volunteers in action.
On June 29 and 30, a derecho (land hurricane) and straight-line winds moved through Southern Illinois. Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Disaster Response was invited by Matt Bierman and Bryce Cramer, Lutheran Church-Missouri (LCMS) Southern Illinois District Disaster Response Coordinators (DDRC), to deploy to Trinity Lutheran Church in Nashville, Illinois, to provide chainsaw assistance with heavy equipment and debris removal. We give thanks to Pastor David and Rachel Benning for their hospitality and the congregation members of Trinity Lutheran for hosting, feeding, and supporting us as we serve in their community.
They have assessed approximately 100 homeowner sites for damage and a possible response. They have completed work at 37 sites and have another 35 in the queue to complete.
Helping Farm Owner with Property Clean-Up
This congregation member told us he did not need help to clean up his farm property but reluctantly accepted it with some urging. After the work was done, he was happy with the result and how professional we were. He posted a sign on the main highway in and out of town thanking the L.E.R.T. volunteers for all to see this week. It was a surprise and brought smiles to all of us.
Assisting Elderly Homeowner with Damage and Repairs
Kathy O’Day went to Mrs. P.'s home to assess the damage. When she arrived, Mrs. P. answered the door and was in tears. Her insurance adjuster had just left and told her that since she had several tree limbs on her mobile home roof, he would just total the unit as he stated it wasn’t worth fixing, and she could move. She was so upset as she is elderly and has a very nice home.
Kathy called one of the LCC L.E.R.T. teams that were serving that day, and they came directly over to her home. They removed the tree limbs from her roof, patched a hole, reattached loose siding and a roof vent, and then tarped the roof to protect it from leaking into her home. Kathy even sent the pictures of the repairable hole and work done to protect the roof to the adjuster, who, after looking at them, called Mrs. P. and told her they would repair the roof.
Over the time we were there, she went from tears to smiles. She was so pleased and kept telling us we were her angels sent by God to take care of her.
Helping an Elderly Father and Son with Multiple Home Property Damage
The LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers served at two homes owned by a father and son. The father was 89 years old and thoroughly enjoyed sitting on his porch and watching all the work being completed to remove the many fallen and damaged trees and limbs from his roof, shed, and around both properties (lead photo).
He also enjoyed visiting with the team, especially during the lunch break. He was very pleased with the cross presented to him.
Serving a Family with Property Damage while Young Daughter Was in the Emergency Room
Last week Bryce Cramer and a few LCC and Southern Illinois District L.E.R.T. volunteers went to work at a home. The homeowner told them they could work, but he needed to leave immediately as his four-month-old granddaughter was being put into the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing. Before he left, the team prayed with him. On Monday night, the mother posted a thank you to the L.E.R.T. team on the Washington County Talk Facebook page that was forwarded to us.
To the wonderful group who cleared our trees: we can't thank you enough. Not only did you help us clear damage we couldn't, but you were there for us in other ways. Today was a scary day for our little family. You didn't know us yet when you heard our daughter was being sent to the ER, and you held a prayer for her with my father. That's small to some, but to this mom, it meant the world. Thank you for your kindness, we needed it on a week like this. I hope our community treats you well, and you know how much we appreciate you. I hope whoever you are, you see this.
This reminds us that we do make a difference in the lives we touch by providing the mercy, compassion. presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
LCC never goes where we are not invited.
We NEVER charge those we serve!
If you are so moved, please donate to the LCC Disaster Response Fund or LCC 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.
Please pray for all of the communities affected by these devastating storms, including the LCMS and LCC Disaster Response volunteers and staff that help during the recovery process.
LCC works in coordination with LCMS Disaster Response national and local districts of the LCMS.