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Disaster Response
Update on Rochelle, Fairdale and the Destruction In-Between Print E-mail
Rochelle Last Saturday almost 150 volunteers returned to the path of the tornado between Rochelle and Fairdale, Illinois. Teams were dispatched to cut trees blown over by the wind, clear lumber and materials thrown about by the tornado, and clear the debris from fields so farmers could start planting. Unlike the previous week where crews were deployed in towns, most of our crews this weekend followed the tornado’s path across farms to help clean up destroyed barns and clear fields.

RochelleA number of our chain saw crews were made up of firefighters from areas as close as Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere and as far away as the city of Chicago. This past Saturday alone, hundreds of severely damaged trees were downed or cut into manageable pieces and stacked so city, county and state crews with heavy-duty equipment could dispose of them.

Again, it was the stories of people whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged, but who by the grace of God were spared, that made the impact on our volunteers. The volunteers were also impacted by the great cooks at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Illinois who supplied a generous lunch.

Rochelle If you are a LERT-trained volunteer, you will receive e-mail notices if we need to return and help more families recover from these tornadoes.

There will be weeks of work yet in this area. To help support our efforts in Rochelle and Fairdale, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE for select photos of some of our volunteer teams in action as they cut trees, removed debris and walked fields to help recovery.

Pastor Greg Hoffman VideoTim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities, had an opportunity to talk to Pastor Greg Hoffmann of St. Paul, Rochelle, Illinois about the impact the tornado and our volunteers have had on the community and his parish. CLICK HERE for a short video (2 minutes)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 18:10
 
Work Day Update - Northern Illinois Print E-mail
Rochelle As Christ took his disciples to a "Solitary" place, it was much like the Illinois rural areas recently hit by the latest tornadoes.

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." Mark 6:34

On Wednesday, April 15, LCC/NID DDRC team members Ken Cupples, Rev. Roger Pollock and Joel Moritz were in the Fairdale/Kirkland sites with our area contact, Pastor Jeremy Heilman of Trinity Lutheran, Genoa. There are many people within a large radius who have not yet received enough or any attention as of yet. Many of these resident farmers have large fields, most of which are filled with the debris from the towns. Field walkers are needed now that the sowing season is fast approaching, and farmers cannot afford the chance of their equipment getting damaged from debris in their fields.

We have also have a few more sites requiring chainsaw crews.

Rochelle On Saturday, April 18th, LCC will be stationed at St Paul Lutheran Church, Rochelle to dispatch LERT Field Walking Crews and Chainsaw Crews. The opening for sign-in will be at 8:00 AM with crews deploying as soon as 8:30 AM. It is most likely we will also deploy again Sunday. Sunday's time is tentatively set at 8:00 AM as well, but is subject to change. We will alert you via email of any changes.

Trinity Lutheran, Lisle will be serving lunch again. In order for the sign-in process to go smoothly, as well as accurate numbers for preparing food, we ask you register online HERE before arriving Saturday. Again, we will most likely need teams out again the following Sunday.

For those who will be walking the fields cleaning up debris, please wear work boots (not tennis shoes) and long pants. Also, dress in layers so you can remove layers as needed. You will need work gloves and head covering - a hat, baseball cap, etc. It is only spring, and it often feels cool, but being in the sun all day can be harmful. Bring sun glasses and sun screen. If you have a first aid kit that can be left in the car at the edge of field please bring that along. LCC will provide water for you to take out to the field with you. If you have something to carry some fruit, energy bars, healthy snacks and 4 or more bottles of water, please bring it. It is important that you keep your strength up and keep hydrated.

Please register HERE to expedite onsite check-in. CLICK HERE to donate to help those affected by the tornadoes in Northern Illinois
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 08:40
 
Hundreds Left Homeless, 2 Dead in Tornadoes. LCC Assists Local Churches to Minister to Them Print E-mail
Rochelle You are a blessing" was a theme echoed time and again to work crews helping people recover last weekend after an EF4 tornado (winds between 160 and 200 miles per hour) tore through north central Illinois. Two women were killed in Fairdale, Illinois and the storm almost totally demolished the town. Extensive damage was also done to homes in the Rochelle area and to a large number of farms in the path of the half-mile wide tornado that roared between the two.

RochelleLast weekend, 275 volunteers showed up on Saturday and another 150 came by on Sunday to help our Disaster Response teams clean up the aftermath of the storm. Almost all team members were certified as Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) members. The stories and photos they came back with were shocking.

  • On one street, a house was totally destroyed while homes on either side of it had only roof and tree damage, plus a car in their garage was now upside down in the front yard.
  • One family survived because the father who rushed home just before the tornado hit, moved his family to a different place in the basement. After the tornado came through, he discovered the floor and ceiling collapsed where his family originally stood.
  • One crew was assigned to walk a farmer's field clearing debris. The wife asked them to look for her jewelry box which was missing. The crew was delighted when they found a jewelry box with cash and jewelry in it...but it was the jewelry box of another woman who lived miles away.

RochelleOnce much of the debris was removed and home owners started to return to the area, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs arrived to bring smiles to faces that had been downcast for days. Again the LCC K 9 Comfort Dogs opened the door to numerous conversations about God's providence, His grace and His will. Many people expressed that they were amazed that "all these strangers" had come out to help them. They were all reminded that "this is what Christians do."

RochelleThe work that LCC teams were able to do last weekend could only have been possible because of the people at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Rochelle, Illinois and their pastor, Rev. Greg Hoffman who allowed us to use St. Paul as a command center. Volunteers were also blessed by the great breakfast food from St. Paul and the superb luncheon grilled meats, salads and treats from Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Illinois. There is still a lot of work and clean-up to do and that will continue for weeks if not months. So your support is still needed

Please keep everyone affected by last week’s tornadoes in your prayers as they continue healing from this disaster. Your financial support for them is also needed. CLICK HERE to help the families affected by these storms.

CLICK HERE to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the Rochelle Work Day

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 20:26
 
UDPATE: Disaster Response Work in Northern Illinois Print E-mail
northern illinois tornado We had a tremendous response from LERT and local volunteers (275 on Saturday and 150 on Sunday) a major dent was made in the Rochelle area of the recovery and clean-up of the tornado. We have been, and will continue, to work in some of the other affected areas as we can get in and as homeowners are ready. St Paul Lutheran in Rochelle and First Lutheran in Kirkland will serve as bases of operation for disaster response efforts.

At this time, the Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response Coordinators are reassessing this situation. As of Monday, April 13, 2015, we have a WAIT on deploying LERT volunteers, except in some sites in which we have already been working.

There will be email alerts going out this week for specific LERT certified members to assemble crews for some technical jobs which do remain. If you are a LERT volunteer for LCC, you will receive information as we gather it through the email address you supplied during your certification. If you are not LERT-certified in LCC Disaster Response but would like to volunteer, please click here to fill out the volunteer form. We are eternally grateful for your time and efforts in sharing the compassion and mercy of Christ during this disaster. Thank you for your help in making this happen.

Click here to donate to assist the families affected by this tornado Click here to fill out the volunteer form
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:56
 
Work Day in Rochelle, IL - Sunday, April 12 Print E-mail
LERT volunteer We will be working in Rochelle, IL on Sunday, April 12.

The base of operations is:

St. Paul Lutheran Church
1415 10th Ave
Rochelle, IL 61068

The day will begin with worship at 9 am. Trinity Lutheran Church (Lisle, IL) will provide lunch immediately following worship. After lunch teams will head out to work sites.

The work sites will be opened by the authorities at 9 am.

All volunteers must be LERT credentialed and registered in order to enter the disaster area. Come properly dressed, bring your "Go Bag," and equipment you believe may be needed with you.

We only have the Go Status for Rochelle, IL at this time.

All volunteers must be LERT credentialed and registered in order to enter the disaster area. LERT members, please register HERE to expedite onsite check-in. CLICK HERE to donate to help those affected by the tornadoes in Northern Illinois
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 08:36
 
Work Day in Rochelle, IL - Saturday, April 11 Print E-mail
LERT volunteer We have received a "GO" Deployment status for the areas surrounding Rochelle, IL beginning Saturday, April 11.

The base of operations is:

St. Paul Lutheran Church
1415 10th Ave
Rochelle, IL 61068

Onsite check-in/registration begins at 8 am Saturday, April 11.

The work sites will be opened by the authorities at 9 am.

All volunteers must be LERT credentialed and registered in order to enter the disaster area. Come properly dressed, bring your "Go Bag," and equipment you believe may be needed with you.

We only have the Go Status for Rochelle, IL at this time.

All volunteers must be LERT credentialed and registered in order to enter the disaster area. LERT members, please register HERE to help with onsite check-in. CLICK HERE to donate to help those affected by the tornadoes in Northern Illinois
Last Updated on Saturday, 11 April 2015 04:54
 
Urgent Help Needed for Damage from Tornadoes Print E-mail
Fairdale, Illinois

Fairdale, IllinoisSpring barely made its first appearance in Northern Illinois, and with its arrival came one of the worst tornadoes in recent history. Much of Fairdale, a small unincorporated community of about 150 people in rural northern Illinois, has been destroyed by this tornado. At this time, there has been one confirmed fatality and over 50 structures damaged, according to NBC News.

Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lindenwood, Illinois (southwest of Fairdale) has families that live along Hwy 39. Many lost their homes and several have been hospitalized.

Fairdale, IllinoisLCC President Tim Hetzner and LCC staff member Joel Moritz were in the area late last night to see how LERT members can best respond to individuals and families who have suffered massive loss from the tornadoes. Pictured right is Tim Hetzner speaking with Pastor Jeremy Heilman of Trinity Lutheran Church in Genoa, Illinois. Trinity will serve as the base of operations for LERT volunteers deploying to the area.

Please keep everyone in your prayers as volunteers are deployed to go to serve!

Click here to donate to assist in Fairdale and the surrounding area
Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 06:37
 
LERT Training - March 10, 2015 Print E-mail
lert When disaster strikes this year, there will be another 23 people to help. On Tuesday evening, 15 KARE 9 volunteers and spouses, as well as some newer LCC staff members and their spouses, participated in the Basic LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) training to assist in disaster and emergency situations around the country. This LERT training introduced the LERT rookies to the various ways they may need to care for those caught in disasters as well as how to protect themselves, emotional and spiritually, during and after deployment.

If you have any questions about LERT training or how to launch a Disaster Response Outreach Ministry at your church, contact Dianna Bonfield at LCC with questions or to book your LERT training. Call (866) 455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To donate to LCC's Disaster Response Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:51
 
LCC Volunteers Move Entire Warehouse in 2-1/2 Hours! Print E-mail
LCC warehouse Last Saturday, 33 LCC volunteers helped us move materials used in our disaster response deployments into our temporary warehouse space at the St Paul Ministry Center in Aurora. Because of the number of volunteers, we were able to unload 3 semi-trucks in just 2-1/2 hours!

The volunteers came from 15 churches: Cross, Yorkville; Immanuel, Belvidere; St. Peter, Schaumburg; St. John, Wheaton; Peace, Lombard; King of Glory, Elgin; Immanuel, Palatine; Calvary, Elgin; St. John’s, Lombard; St. Luke, Montgomery; St. John’s, LaGrange; St. Peter, Gilberts; Good Shepherd, Elgin; Trinity, Lisle; and St. Peter, Arlington Heights.

Special thanks to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Aurora for lending us the use of warehouse storage space on a temporary basis as we continue to look for new donated space. Additional thanks to Thompson Rentals for the use of 3 pallet jacks for unloading the semi-trailers, and to Boerman Moving and Storage for loaning us a driver plus the use of a semi-tractor to move the 3 semi-trailers from Elgin to Aurora then coming back this week to move the trailers to the loading dock for unloading.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:25
 
LERT Training Prepares People to Help in Disasters Print E-mail
LERT LCC is delighted to welcome 51 newly trained LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) volunteers who completed the LERT Basic Training last Saturday at St. Peter Lutheran Church of North Plato in Hampshire, Illinois. LERT certification is necessary for those volunteers who want to help out in times of disaster including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, fire, and the like.

Participants in last week’s LERT training came from the following congregations: Calvary, Elgin: Good Shepherd, Elgin; Holy Cross, Cary; Immanuel, DeKalb; Immanuel, Lindenwood; Messiah, Wauconda; Prince of Peace, Palatine; St John, Union; St John, Wheaton and St. Peter, Hampshire. That brings the total number of LERT trained volunteers up to 1,332.

This training session added two new LERT Teams to the LCC family. With the addition of the teams at St. Peter Hampshire, and St. John in Union, Illinois LCC now has a total of 48 Disaster Response teams in the Northern Illinois District.

If you have any questions about LERT training or how to launch a Disaster Response Outreach Ministry at your church contact Dianna Bonfield at LCC with questions or to book your LERT training. Call (866) 455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To donate to LCC's Disaster Response Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 09:26
 
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