Hurricane Relief Update—Nov. 22, 2017
Thank you for your prayers and support of the ministry of WELS Christian Aid and Relief. We are using the generous gifts of God’s people to help those suffering from disasters and medical and financial trials, as well as support humanitarian aid projects, which help our missionaries build bridges to proclaim the gospel.
Here is a Hurricane Relief Update:
Christian Aid and Relief personalizes our efforts by working through our congregations and missions in the affected areas. We work through our pastors and congregational leaders to make assessments and to distribute aid. We bring in volunteers when requested to assist in the recovery effort.
Our liaison to Puerto Rico, Pastor Tim Satorius has been in contact with pastors and leaders of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church of Puerto Rico. Pastor Satorius and a representative from Christian Aid and Relief made a personal assessment visit to Puerto Rico in October. One church there was completely destroyed and several homes of members were damaged. Groceries were provided to families in need. We are getting bids to consider for repair projects. We sent an immediate gift of $5000 through Direct Relief to assist those in need. We also sent $5000 to provide meals for people in the church and community suffering from this disaster. The present plan is for members of the national church to provide meals for 50 people a day for four weeks.
Volunteers from neighboring churches helped with the initial cleanup efforts in several affected areas. We have a project coordinator and volunteers in place repairing a parsonage and church at Christ our Savior, Angleton, Tex., the school at Sienna Lutheran Academy, and about 17 member homes in the Friendswood, Tex., area. The work is going smoothly and the volunteers are finding joy serving the Lord as they serve these people in their time of need. We have also provided grants to replace furnishings and appliances which were ruined by the flooding. We continue to consider new opportunities.
Volunteers, with the help of our relief trailers, assisted with the cleanup efforts in several affected communities. Those who have received assistance are most appreciative and wish to express their gratitude for a job well done. Pastors in the affected area continue to bring requests to us for immediate aid for their members through our District President Chuck Westra. This includes generators and equipment, rental assistance while being displaced from home, and assistance with cost of repairs and replacement of furnishings. We also assisted Abiding Grace, Covington, Ga., as their church suffered water damage from the storm.
Antigua and Barbuda
Assistance is being provided to families displaced from Barbuda, who are staying with members and friends of our WELS mission, St. John, Antigua. 29 families received $18,000 in immediate aid so far. Our liaison Pastor Tom Spiegelberg visited Antigua last month to help us make further assessment of needs and opportunities.
The Thanksgiving holiday offers another opportunity to count our blessings and praise God from whom all blessings flow. When we consider the physical and spiritual blessings God lavishes upon us by his grace, we realize that our cup of blessings richly overflows. One way we express our gratitude to the Lord is by reflecting his love and compassion to others. May the Lord bless our efforts to show love and kindness to those in need!
Pastor Robert Hein, Chairman, WELS Christian Aid and Relief
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The parental consent volunteer form needs to be filled out by the parent or guardian of any minors wishing to volunteer for Christian Aid and Relief projects.