I will be leaving early Monday morning for New York and New Jersey. This will be Chloe’s first adventure out of state. We will be accompanied by Barnabas the Comfort Dog and Ladel the Comfort Dog along with their handlers.
It is our desire to partner with the local churches to help them serve their communities as they recover from this disaster. The situation continues to be difficult because of the shortages of gas and other essential supplies. We will be traveling light and providing our own housing so as not to be a burden upon the churches and people that are struggling for their own well-being. At the end of this blog post is an update from Lutheran Church Charities that I copied which details the situation and the problem with sending volunteers at this time.
I know I would covet your prayers over the next few days. Please pray for the following:
- Safe travel to New York/New Jersey.
- Pray for our team of 6 to be united in purpose as we partner together to serve those in need.
- Pray for an elimination of the gas shortage so that we can get to where we need to go.
- Pray that God send us to the right places and the right people to comfort them through the Comfort Dog Ministry and the love and compassion of Jesus.
- Pray for safety for us and our dogs that we do not get caught in any compromising situations.
- Pray for us to help the local churches more effectively minister to their communities and help with the recovery process.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the right words to share with those who are hurting or who may be angry at God.
- Pray God to use us as he should chose so that his light would shine in the darkness.
Thank you so much for your support. I will keep this blog updated throughout the trip along with Chloe’s Facebook page.
Here is the article from Lutheran Church Charities website:
Imagine living without electricity or gas, and in many cases, running water. Without electricity, gas stations cannot function. The stations that are open have lines of cars miles long, blocking streets. People are lined up almost as far carrying gas cans in separate lines. The wait can be, at minimum, two hours to as long as six hours! That is what New York and New Jersey are like right now. Add to that many roads temporarily closed. What a nightmare to get around – thank God for GPS’s. For the most part people are taking it in stride, but each day without electricity and gas, it becomes more and more a test of one’s faith and patience.
Working in cooperation with LCMS Disaster Response and with the District Officials and Pastors, LCC is meeting with people to determine how best the survivors of Superstorm Sandy can be served. New York and New Jersey are the main focus. Rev Glenn Merritt, head of LCMS Disaster Response, along with other LCMS officials, has been in both states. Tim Hetzner of LCC has focused primarily on the situation in New Jersey.
One area that he spent time on today and will also tomorrow are the multiple LCMS “house churches” and their pastors serving the immigrant and ethnic communities. Many have low paying jobs, and only get paid if they work. With most business shut down because of lack of electricity, they are not paid, and many are unable to even cash their last paycheck because banks and currency exchanges are closed. LCC, through Rev. James Buckman, New Jersey Urban Mission Strategist, and Rev. Don Brand, New Jersey Disaster Response Coordinator, provided assistance to families who are without money to buy the basic food items to ride this through. Tim Hetzner will meet tomorrow with more of the LCMS “house churches” and their pastors needing assistance.
So – when it comes to volunteers here is the update as of 9 PM on Friday, November 2, 2012
EARLY Monday LCC will be deploying Pastors and handlers with our K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry to New Jersey and New York to provide comfort for individuals and families through our churches in those two districts. Housing is arranged at a private home of one of the handler’s relatives.
Because there are simply NO HOTELS available because displaced people are using the rooms, as well as utility workers from other states (Tim Hetzner found the closest open hotel in Pottsville, Pennsylvania that is now full) and because of the fact that many churches still remain without power, and those with power are not able to house volunteers or feed them, this is the major hold back on sending volunteers at this time. Add to that the difficulty of getting gas. The only volunteers at this time that can be used are volunteers who live locally, bring their own food and water, and can return home at night. This can all change as the situation changes, but LCC simply will not deploy people to help without housing and food being available, otherwise the volunteers become more of a burden on the churches and people we are helping.
We will continue to keep you updated as things change.
Thanks again for all each of you are doing to serve those suffering with the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ