As circuit counselors in the LCMS Texas District continue to assess damages, the LCMS’ disaster response ministry leaders are giving thanks that, so far, there have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries to member families after a series of tornadoes shredded homes and hurled tractor-trailer trucks into the air on April 3.
“[It's] nothing short of miraculous, given the fact there was a total of 12 large-sized tornadoes that were on the ground for a prolonged period of time in a metroplex region,” said the Rev. Dr. Edward O. Grimenstein, manager of the LCMS’ disaster response ministry.
The LCMS’ disaster response ministry is working with the Rev. Steven Misch, Texas District disaster response coordinator, as Misch gathers assessments from congregations and circuits. Although no deaths have been reported, an estimated 650 homes were destroyed in hard-hit areas that include Forney, Lancaster and Arlington, according to news stories.
In McAllen, members of El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church are dealing with damages after a March 29 storm that also took a toll on the church, school and parsonage. At least 12 members need help to make major repairs, according to Grimenstein, who has been in contact with the Rev. Ruben Dominguez, the church’s pastor. The church and school roofs will need to be replaced.
Help is needed
Because of an unprecedented number of tornadoes in 2011 followed by this year’s early storm season, Merritt said disaster-response resources are limited. He asks fellow Lutherans to “please consider supporting the Synod’s disaster-response program so that we can provide assistance to local LCMS congregations and districts as they respond to the needs of those affected by this severe weather.”
“Your contribution today will enable us to respond in Christ’s name when and where there is a need following damaging storms and other disasters,” Merritt said.
- make an online gift at http://lcms.org/disasterfund.
- mail checks (noting “General Disaster Response Fund” in the memo line) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- call toll-free 888-930-4438.
Donations received for general disaster-relief efforts will be wisely used to support LCMS disaster-response and relief efforts where the greatest need is as determined by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.