Mission Service Activity of the Month
May 2019: Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action – When Disaster Strikes
We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
What do we do when disaster strikes? No matter when or where disaster strikes, we should pray for the victims and those who come to their aid.
And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great (Job 2:13).
What else can we do? Fortunately, the LCMS has an extremely well-developed disaster response framework that enables us to provide support for those in need. Take some time to visit the LCMS Disaster Response web page and you will find resources such as:
- Assistance request forms for members of your congregation or community,
- Articles on the impact of volunteering that show how Lutherans are offering love and hope to disaster victims,
- Information about Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) training,
- A FEMA brochure explaining how to donate or volunteer successfully,
- Worship resources and Bible studies; and
- Links to helpful online resources that address a variety of topics including coping with disaster and connecting with survivors.
“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37).
Mercy in Action:
- The article, In midst of flood heartaches, Lutherans offer help, hope references that financial donations are very helpful, since they can be put toward cleanup, rebuilding and other, more immediate, needs. Donations can be made online using this link or directly to a specific LCMS District Disaster Response website.
- Assemble flood relief buckets for distribution in areas plagued by flooding. This link takes you to a document that explains what goes in the buckets and how they are used. Consider having a “flood bucket assembly party” using these ideas:
- Solicit local businesses for supplies (5-gallon buckets, cleaning supplies, etc.)
- Use Thrivent Action Team funds to cover shipping costs
- Invite a local disaster response representative to talk about what exactly happens when a home or business floods and what the clean-up process is like
- Engage the youth group in the assembly process
- Bless the completed buckets praying that they will be a blessing to the recipients
- Assemble disaster response survival kits as a community outreach project. This link goes to a document describing what should be in a survival kit.
- Work with disaster response agencies in your community to identify potential recipients such as the elderly, residents of public housing, etc. These agencies may also be able to assist with distribution of the kits.
- Consider partnering with other local churches in order to maximize the number of kits assembled.
- Solicit local businesses for supplies or use Thrivent Action Team funds to purchase them.
- Involve the entire congregation in the assembly process.
- Pray over the completed kits prior to distribution. Also pray for the recipients.
Lutheran World Relief was chartered in 1945 by a council of eight Lutheran church bodies to provide relief to Lutherans in post-World War II Europe. Since then LWR has provided quilts and kits around the world in addition to providing services related to agriculture and the environment.
Lutheran Church Charities is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS. In addition to providing disaster response training, the organization has multiple comfort dog ministries.
Orphan Grain Train is another RSO of the LCMS. They aid in shipments and cooperate with Lutheran Hour Ministries, LCMS World Missions, LCMS World Relief and other Christian ministries. OGT shares personnel and material resources with needy people in America and around the world. OGT volunteers gather donations of clothing, medical supplies, food, Christian literature and other aid to meet real needs.
- State and local resources are available throughout the United States. To find agencies near you, try an internet search using the name of your state or city followed by the terms “disaster response” or “emergency management”.
Did you know?
- The LWML has funded mission grants related to disaster response:
- LCMS Disaster Response — Latin America, 2013-2015, $100,000
- Training K-9 Comfort Dogs for LCMS Chaplains, 2013-2015, $30,000
Disaster Response Trailers — LCMS Disaster Response, 2015-2017, $80,000
- Many District grants are also related to disaster response such as the Pacific Southwest District, Comfort Dog Ministry, Prescott Valley, AZ, 2014-2016, $10,000.
- You can find other ideas for responding to those affected by disaster such as “Purses and Verses” and “Service Projects with Thrivent Action Teams” at the Gospel Outreach, Paint the Planet Purple Feedback page, as well as the Mission Service Activities Archive page.
Through LCMS Disaster Response, local congregations, and the generosity of people of the LCMS, victims of disaster are finding hope. They are blessed through your contributions to the relief efforts whether they are prayers, monetary donations, mission service activities, or volunteering. All are a result of God’s great love for His people.
A Prayer as You Plan:
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise and thank you, for your immeasurable love and gifts that you provide for us. Grant us comfort and guidance in the wake of disaster. Help us to share your love and compassion with those who find themselves in disastrous situations. Lead us to action and help us to give hope and healing to those in the midst of chaos. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Colossians 3:12-13).
The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about, and share, your mission service activities! Please contact the Vice President of Gospel Outreach here. Thank you!