LCC K-9 Ministry Teams and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Bring Comfort and a Healing Presence During Recovery Efforts For Collapse of Condominium Tower
After the horrific partial collapse of the 12-story wing of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited in by Rev. Dr. Gregory Walton, LCMS District President for the Florida-Georgia District, and Rev. Dennis Bartels, Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church & School in North Miami, who has served this community for 35 years.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their ministry teams arrived in Surfiside on Tuesday, July 6, to serve first responders and their families who are working around the clock doing search and rescue, and now recovery, for the people who are still unaccounted for, as well as family members who have lost loved ones.
First responders include emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, firefighters, police officers, city, state, and federal personnel. They are all working tirelessly with the destruction of the Champlain Towers. In addition, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs served all in that area who are working selflessly or are affected by this tragic event.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield – Brookfield, Wisconsin), Hope (Faith – Marietta, Georgia), Jewel (Christ Our Savior – Loudon, Tennessee), Lizzie (Trinity – Savannah, Georgia), Mary (St. Paul – Janesville, Wisconsin), Peace (Trinity – Orlando, Florida), Seth (Eternal Shepherd – Seneca, South Carolina), Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois) and Zoara (Island Lutheran – Hilton Head, South Carolina), along with their ministry teams, brought comfort and hope to all who are grieving.
On Wednesday, July 7, to start their day, the teams gathered at Holy Cross in North Miami to greet students as they arrived. They shared smiles and hugs with God’s little kiddos.
Later that day, the teams delivered hearts and markers to the memorial site in Surfside, Florida sent by LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion. One will be placed for everyone who has not survived this horrific tragedy. Visitors to the memorial site can sign and leave condolence messages.
The children from Holy Cross Lutheran Church & School signed the Hearts of Mercy & Compassion for those who died in the horrific collapse.
Watch the short video below to see how LCC's Hearts of Mercy & Compassion is serving Surfside, Florida.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their ministry teams were present at the memorial site to share love and compassion to help everyone who stopped by to process the grief they are experiencing.
The teams were blessed to spend time with the brave and dedicated fire rescuers who have been working long shifts in pretty extreme conditions to find the missing loved ones.
Many of these courageous men and women have been missing their families. The team shared some LCC K-9 Comfort Dog stuffies with them to take to their children.
One of the firefighters placed the Comfort Dog stuffie he was saving to give to his daughter in his boot, as his hands were filled with his personal protective equipment at the end of his shift. Seth Comfort Dog sensed this firefighter needed some comfort and attention and gently leaned into the firefighter letting him know he was loved.
We received the following note of appreciation from a Lieutenant from Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue A-Shift, Station 64:
On Friday, July 9, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to Trinity Christian Academy in Miami Gardens to meet the children participating in their Freedom Schools Summer Daycamp.
At Trinity Christian Academy, students learn about Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him every day. The students welcomed us with their version of the Hallelujah Chorus. Tom Moore, handler and caregiver for Mary Comfort Dog from Brookfield, Wisconsin, read to the students. The students were able to meet and interact with the Comfort Dogs. We were thrilled to have this time with them. May God bless these wonderful students, their families, the school, and their administration and teachers.
CLICK HERE to watch Trinity Christian Academy Hallelujah Chorus.
Trinity Christian Academy offers the Step Up For Students Scholarship, a private school scholarship for K-12 schoolchildren offering lower-income Florida families education choices so they can find the best learning environment for this child. 98% of the students at Trinity Christian Academy benefit from the scholarship.
On Saturday, July 10, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were present during shift change to give comfort and encouragement to the fire rescuers who continue to recover the loved ones still buried in the rubble.
When Judy, her husband Steve, and Jewel Comfort Dog left their church Christ of Savior, Loudon, Tennessee, for Miami, the women of the congregation had sent three prayer shawls with Judy to give out.
CLICK HERE to read how receiving a Prayer Shawl deeply touched a woman they met at the Memorial Wall.
On Sunday, July 11, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams attended services and Sunday School classes at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, North Miami. The LCC K-9 Ministry has been blessed to work with Rev. Dennis Bartels and his congregation. We thank them for inviting and helping us as the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams served in the community of Surfside and with the LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion markers.
The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." Genesis 11:6 6
Rev. Dennis Bartels and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, North Miami members continue the mission of placing the Hearts of Mercy and Compassion markers at the Surfside memorial wall. Nine more Hearts of Mercy & Compassion markers were placed yesterday in honor of the loved ones recovered and identified. Thank you Holy Cross for continuing the mission.
We received the following note of appreciation from a Holy Cross member:
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never charge those we serve.
Please prayerfully consider a donation to the LCC K-9 Travel and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Funds so that we may continue to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Please keep the Surfside, Florida community and the first responders who serve them in your prayers as they mourn their loved ones and friends perished in the Champlain Towers South collapse.