You Stuffed the Tonka:
You did that!
Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator, addressed the Women of the NALC at our 2019 Annual Gathering. She spoke to the group about what was accomplished over the last year in regards to outreach for the natural disasters that have afflicted countless people across the United States. Flood, tornadoes, wildfires & hurricanes are just a short list of the catastrophes NALC Disaster Response faced head-on. At year-end 2018, the WNALC pushed for a Bible drive & our women delivered!
Tornadoes & floods are still wreaking havoc across the Midwest.
From Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator: Our thoughts & prayers are with thousands of families impacted by this severe weather: over 500 reported tornadoes for 12 straight days, spread from Colorado to New Jersey, 8 fatalities; flooding from South Dakota to Louisiana, setting historic records & severe thunderstorms later this week as the jetstream causes conflicting storm systems across the US. Your help is needed: prayer, monetary donations, volunteers, your material goods!
Please find it in your heart to send resources to the affected areas via NALC Disaster Response.
Tornados in Oklahoma, May 20th
Storms in Illinois, May 27th
Flooding in Oklahoma, May 22nd
Tornado in Ohio, May 28th
A series of massive, chaotic storm systems swept through the middle of the United States in early March. Alabama & Georgia are still reeling from tornadoes that tore through both states; 23 reported deaths & 97 severe injuries. Colorado is staggering from a severe blizzard. A majority of the state of Nebraska is currently under water; entire towns have been engulfed, bridges & roads are damaged for 75+ mile stretches, people are isolated without drinking water. Our NALC congregation in Dannebrog, Faith Lutheran Church, was flooded out. Over a million livestock are dead (including the start of this years’ crop of newborn calves), millions of acres of farmland are under water & grain storage facilities have failed. All of this will severely impact the agricultural industry &, consequently, our food supply & markets will suffer as the numbers roll in. This has now been identified as the largest agricultural disaster in the history of the State of Nebraska, if not in the entire United States, & damages are still being calculated.
Our brothers & sisters in Christ are suffering! Please find it in your heart to send resources to the affected areas via the NALC Disaster Response.
Aerials: Alabama/Georgia Tornadoes
Aerials: Nebraska Floods
As anyone who listens to the weather reports knows it has been a hard year with disasters affecting many areas across North America. The south is still in recovery after Hurricanes Florence & Michael left destruction in their wake & the wildfires cut a wide path through California.
Do you have a closet, a room or even a corner to spare to store disaster response items? It is important to have items on hand because you never know when or where the next disaster will strike!
A true story: St. John Lutheran Church in Statesville, NC had a spare room in a building on the church property where they were storing flood buckets & other supplies. Hurricane Florence came & hit the East Coast. After the brunt of the storm had passed, arrangements were made to truck the items to the hard-hit areas. Since St. John’s already had items on hand, & they were only a few hours away, it was a fast delivery! In fact, after the trucks got to the coast, they were detained a while because the rivers came up & flooded the roads making the coast inaccessible. You may wonder how much of an impact a couple of trucks could make; I guarantee that every item on those trucks were a welcome site to our brothers & sisters in Christ as they started the massive task of the cleanup! Just knowing that someone cared & was willing to extend a helping hand was a big comfort!
So look around your church grounds & identify a spot to store some disaster response items in order to help your neighbor or even someone from your own congregation. It doesn’t need to be a separate building. A closet or corner of a room will do! You never know when or where the next disaster will strike!
Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 16, devastating thousands in North Carolina.
Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator, assessed the need for donation centers & volunteer team housing to support local congregations in the impacted area in order to serve the larger community.
Truckloads of water, flood buckets with cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, garden hoses, more than 1,000 hygiene kits, 500 layettes/baby items, 2,000 quilts & Bibles, school supplies, & pet food have been delivered to families in need from New Bern, NC to Wilmington, NC & sites in between by NALC Disaster Response.
NALC congregations are being asked to respond to the following needs:
Volunteer teams for rebuilding homes are needed in New Bern, NC, Wilmington, NC & Rosenberg, TX (Hurricane Harvey long term recovery), where on-going recovery is in process. spiritual Christian care teams are needed with each team completing rebuilds, including clergy & laity, to minister to families as they return to their damaged homes; to pray with them & remind them that the Body of Christ is there for & with them in this difficult time.
Volunteer teams will be needed throughout the next year & devastated families will need help for a number of years. Mary Bates is addressing the needs for the California wildfires & will post volunteer team needs on the NALC website as it develops.
- Donations of building supplies for gift cards for the volunteer teams to utilize on-site. Flooring is a significant need. Monetary donations may be sent to NALC Disaster Response.
- Flood Bucket & Kit Challenge: Thank you to each mission district now hosting a disaster warehouse. The warehouses Caldwell, OH, Statesville, NC, Kings Mountain ,NC & Rosenberg, TX need filled – they are empty going into 2019. Will your youth or women’s groups host a collection of flood buckets, or health kits or school kits or quilts or layettes? Most importantly — Bibles?
- Items needed in each kit are posted on the NALC website/Disaster Response.
To assist with long term recovery efforts:
Monetary donations may be given online at thenalc.org or sent to NALC Disaster Response; 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220; New Brighton, MN 55112-2202.
Donate material goods to the NALC Disaster Warehouse, 810 Main St., Caldwell, Ohio 43724 or call Mary at 740-509-1132; gift cards from building supply stores are welcomed!
Schedule your mission trip to a disaster impacted area in 2019 – contact Mary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-509-1132.
Continue your prayers for those struggling to recover – God is with us always!
A Prayer: “So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1: