LCMS World Relief and Human Care, along with its LCMS Disaster Response, are already "hard at work" in "close collaboration" with the Texas District, with ongoing assessments to find out from local pastors and other leaders the "greatest, immediate needs" of those with flood damages, according to LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.
Once stabilized, Synod congregations in affected areas, he added, will serve as "hubs of outreach in their communities," responding to both physical and spiritual needs.
Initial financial support from the LCMS includes:
- a $50,000 grant to Austin, Texas-based Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South) to meet the hurricane- and flood-related needs - including food, water, clothing and medicine - of more than 250 low-income families and 150 foster families; and
- $15,000 to $20,000 worth of gift cards to be distributed to those with emergency needs.
The Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson, director of LCMS Disaster Response, plans to lead an LCMS assessment team to Texas, departing Aug. 30 from St. Louis.
Johnson noted that with some 160 LCMS congregations in the flooded areas of the state, "everywhere that there's substantial flooding, we have a congregation nearby," providing "unique opportunities" for Lutherans to reach out to all hurting people with both physical aid and spiritual care, "bringing words of comfort and words of hope."
"God is in the midst" of the devastation, Johnson said, "walking beside" those with needs - and those working to meet those needs.
Just as the Synod's response to 2005's Hurricane Katrina lasted many years - LCMS funding and volunteers helped complete repairs on more than 6,000 Katrina-damaged homes via the Southern District's Camp Restore, he noted - its response to Hurricane Harvey also will be long-term, "to walk alongside disaster victims" ... "for the months and years to come."
And he's confident, he added, that that comfort and care "will be a blessing and a light in a very dark time in many people's lives."
Resources for Congregations & Individuals
The LCMS encourages congregations to use these church bulletin inserts and resources to inform members how they can support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
How Can I Help? Updates from the Texas District Disaster Relief Coordinator
Give Now - Online Donations