Last week, Kathy O’Day, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Director of Disaster Response met with three churches in Nebraska that were, and still are, a beacon of hope to their communities since the extensive flooding occurred.
Project Restore assesses damage, directs construction projects, houses and provides meals for volunteers deployed to Fremont to repair and rebuild homes that were damaged in the flood. Currently they are working on re-insulating many mobile homes, preventing the pipes from freezing in the winter, which would cause more damage and loss of housing for families. Volunteers from six different states served 1,832 hours in Fremont alone, but more help is needed. If you or your church are interested in volunteering for Project Restore visit www.goodshepherdlutheranchurch.org/project-restore-signup.
Good Shepherd wishes to give the 75 families whose homes they helped restore a Thanksgiving food basket and also hopes to provide gifts at Christmas, especially to the families with children. Most of these families are poor and struggling to make ends meet as they try to recover from flood damage. Lutheran Church Charities would like to help Good Shepherd provide food baskets and other basic needs for these families. Please click to donate to LCC Disaster Relief-Nebraska Flooding.
After the flooding, Pastor Anthony Gerber from Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont and Dawn Gilfry, Top Dog for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Katie opened the church's doors to serve for a week as a shelter to a large Hispanic community that was forced from their homes and to travelers who were stuck due to closed roads. Pastor Gerber told Kathy of sharing the love of Christ with their “new Trinity family.” The church has continued to assist these families with rent, needed household items and home repairs. He also shared the struggles they are seeing among some of the affected families, such as depression and suicide attempts by both
children and adults.
The local LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams have been serving in the schools to bring comfort and peace to the children on a regular basis. Trinity members have also been volunteering to repair homes and provide volunteer meals through Good Shepherd/Project Restore in Fremont.
Rhonda Harris and Ron Bender, Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) volunteer leaders at Christ Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska expressed concern for the residents of Winslow they had helped. Winslow is a small town with a population of 135 that had 14’ of water throughout. The town will now need to relocate as every home and business is uninhabitable, and the water supply cannot be restored. There is much talk about where they will go and how the homeowners will recoup any of their losses to be able to start their lives over.
Kathy shared that it was good to see how the churches in Nebraska are sharing the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.