We often speak about our domestic disaster response work being done through a network of affiliates. The following is a great example of what this looks like in practice.
Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LCFS) of Missouri, a Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) affiliate, was not directly affected by Hurricane Sandy. Yet because of the strength of the LDR network which includes our membership in coalitions like, Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), a member of their disaster response team has been able to help in the response. The data manager for LFCS’s Disaster Case Management Program, Don Emge, was asked by the national staff at CAN to help with development and case manager training.
Using his experience from working in Missouri, which has been affected by a series of disasters including the tornado in Joplin last May, Don is working with the Red Cross and FEMA to mobilize efforts after Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. He is helping to initiate new case management programs up and refining training procedures so that as many as a hundred new case managers can be up and running. He is also keeping an eye on making sure the work they set up now can easily transition into the long-term recovery efforts.
So in a short while Don’s two week deployment will come to an end and he will return to Missouri to again engage in his good work there. Yet, the effects of his time will be felt, though perhaps not recognized, for years to come. And so the body of Christ works, through the relationships of a network, going when the call is raised, and working in quiet ways to bring hope and healing.
We thank Don and all those countless others who are a part of this network, through your actions, financial support and prayers. May God continue to bless this work.
Gifts to ELCA Disaster Response allow the church to respond domestically and internationally in times of need. Donate now.