This important post is an update on the Southern District response to Harvey relief efforts.
I know many of you have been praying for those in the path of the storm and are anxiously waiting to know how you can help. I have waited with this information because of the uniqueness of this storm. We are still three days away from it leaving our area. We continue to be in touch with our Louisiana folks as the ride out the remainder of Harvey.
Our Southern District Disaster Relief team has been asked by the Texas District to provide our experience and resources, especially in the area of organization and management of volunteer work camps. That team consists of Dave Buss, Camp Restore-Baton Rouge LA, David Goodine and Kurt Jostes of RAI and Camp Restore-New Orleans LA, Ed Brashier, Shepherd’s Heart Ministries-Gardendale AL, and myself. Preliminary work has started and a meeting of partners will be held next Wednesday in Houston.
It is important that we support the coordinated efforts of the Texas District. This will allow for the best stewardship of our resources. We will not be neglecting the needs of Louisiana and we will respond as we become aware of them. The volunteer camps will triage the needs. This order is not in order of importance but focuses on building greater capacity of care. We are enabling our churches and their people to be servants to their neighbors. The camps will also be centers of distribution to meet the basic and immediate needs of all people. Very early numbers from Texas are reporting over 105 members have water in their homes. Many members evacuated from their homes (over 30). Church damage – 6 with roof leaks, 3 with minor damage, 2 flooded. Pastors’ homes flooded – 5. Staff and teachers evacuated – 3 Staff and teachers flooded – 3. 30,000 people in shelters. These numbers will increase as assessment continues.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
PRAY for those in need and for those who serve them with the love of Jesus.
GIVE money and other items when the call goes out for them. Cash gifts are needed the most at this time. 100% percent of your gifts will go to the affected areas. CLICK HERE or go to http://www.southernlcms.org/disaster-relief-donations/ to give online. You can send your checks also by mail to: Southern District – 100 Mission Dr. – Slidell LA 70460. Please mark them for Harvey Relief. CLICK HERE for a list of care boxes that will be needed. Please do not send them until they are needed. We do not want to overwhelm the centers with items they do not need.
VOLUNTEER next week after the search and rescue phase is over we will be providing contact information to sign up to help. Watch our website – SouthernLCMS.org, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/www.southernlcms.org – Southern District-LCMS, and Twitter @SDLCMS for more information.
I thank all of you for your partnership in the Gospel and your generous sharing of Jesus’ love, mercy, and compassion.
Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
President, LCMS Southern District