Disaster Response Update
Thank you for your generous hearts and incredible acts of compassion. Your support for those who are in the midst of the hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquake is bringing hope. That hope reaches beyond those who are in the LCMS family into the neighborhoods and very lives of those who are also in the heart of God. Thank you.
The need continues and it is still being identified. Pray for all those whose lives have been upended that they would be comforted and know hope. Pray for all the responders who are working tirelessly and in difficult circumstances that they not grow weary in their well-doing. Pray for the staffs of the Texas and Florida/Georgia Districts and they work with a new normal, a different type of intensity. Pray for our Synod’s LCMS Disaster Response team that as they are being sent to many areas throughout the country and world that they continue to be messengers of hope with all they meet.
Please scroll down below the updates to see information on signing to volunteer and where gifts are needed. For those attending the All Workers Conference in October we encourage you to invite your congregation and school to collect gift cards (Walmart and Lowes/Home Depot are especially appreciated) and bring them to the conference. They will be sent to the Florida/Georgia and Texas Districts.
Hurricane Irma arrived in the Florida-Georgia District sometime during the weekend of September 8-12. During Irma’s tumultuous visit, numerous churches, schools, workers and volunteers in the Florida-Georgia District offered prayers and counted on God’s benevolent mercy to keep them safe. Stories are being told of unexpected mercies that were experienced, and God’s unfailing grace.
Zion Lutheran Church is a central distribution center for 2O plus congregations and communities in need and suffering. Donations may be sent to ZION Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, Florida 33919, attention: DCE Tim Richter. They have been distributing clean up supplies and essentials every day and are expecting trucks with additional supplies!
Mary Hahn Middleton, from Zion writes: “Hurricane Irma is gone, however, we still have thousands of people here in SW Florida and central Florida especially, Immokalee, which supplies the north with fruit and veggies all winter long in great need of food, water, clothing, and help repairing their homes. This is an area where 3-4 families often live together. Please pray for us as we seek to help our brothers and sisters.” She also notes that Joel and Kathy Matthews (an LCMS District Disaster Response Team) are on site at ZION. Joel and Kathy spent 6 months assisting the SED in Lumberton NC.
From Rev. Steven Misch, Texas District Disaster Relief Coordinator: “God’s people are mobilizing to cooperate, coordinate and communicate. I cannot do justification to explain the work that is being done or the work that will need to be done for months and perhaps years to come. Congregations and members have provided emergency shelter to people from within the area of the storm. People from Texas and from around the country have been asking what they can do. There are fuel shortages as far away from Houston as San Antonio. One LCMS congregation in California sent a tanker of gasoline to the Northwest side of Houston. The best contribution that can be made at this time is dollars and needed goods. Meals are being prepared with a capacity of 2,000 a day. Flood buckets are being assembled and delivered with regularity.
Here is a list of goods that are needed: Mops/Additional Mop Heads, Brooms, Large Squeegees, Shovels (wide/flat), Mud Buckets, Large Trash Cans, Heavy Duty Trash Bags, HD Dust Bins, HD Paper Towels, Regular Paper Towels, Disposable Cleaning Cloths, Clorox Wipes, Scrub Brushes, Scrubby Sponges, Bleach, Pine Sol, Window Cleaner, Multipurpose Cleaners, Bug Spray, HD rubber Gloves, Goggles, Face Masks, Hazmat Suits (Lowes/Home Depot), Diapers/Wipes (all sizes), Powder Formula (no liquid formula), Adult Diapers (men’s/women’s), Tarps. If you would like to contribute any of the above items and to arrange delivery to a warehouse, contact Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball at 281-947-2847.
From LCMS Disaster Response: Puerto Rico and Mexico City
“Even as Hurricane Maria continues her destructive course in the Caribbean and residents surrounding Mexico’s capital city frantically work to dig through rubble left by a major earthquake on Tuesday, Sept. 20, the LCMS Office of International Mission and LCMS Disaster Response are working to connect with our missionaries and partners in these two regions to determine the scope of the disaster and how the church might be able to respond.
In Puerto Rico, we evacuated our missionary family ahead of Maria’s landfall there, and our team in the Dominican Republic is finishing preparations to weather the storm. Once the storm passes, our regional leadership team will work with local church leaders to determine how the church might bear Christ’s mercy.
In Mexico City, our two missionary families are safe following the earthquake. In coming days, they will assess the impact of this earthquake on the local church, the communities, and individuals among whom they work.”
Recovery Support Opportunities
Financial Donations: – Gifts going directly to the Florida/Georgia District for Hurricane Response:
Material Donations – see list above
Sign up to volunteer for Irma Recovery at the LCMS Disaster Response Volunteer site:
Financial Donations – Some have inquired about contributing by check, in addition to on-line giving. This can be done by mailing a check to:
Texas District Relief
c/o Mrs. Linda Hagge
7900 Highway 290 East
Austin, TX 78724
Contact: Salem Lutheran Church
22601 Lutheran church RD, Tomball TX 77377
Bulk Item Form: They have identified a warehouse to assist with deliveries of bulk items. Information:
If you would like to volunteer your time in the weeks and months ahead, please go to the volunteer button and register your name and your group.
Earthquake Mexico City, Disaster Response Peru
LCMS Disaster Response is still receiving information on need in these areas. If you wish to make a donation for either Mexico City or Peru, follow the website for additional news and opportunities.
Special Opportunity: School to School
Lutheran schools can help those recovering from disaster
In response to the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, LCMS School Ministry and LCMS Disaster Response developed a plan for assisting schools affected by a natural disaster. Schools have the opportunity to choose one or more affected schools they wish to support. They can pray for their adopted school, and provide resources in response to specific needs. Check this out at https://schooltoschool.lcms.org/