LCMS Disaster Response Leaders Head to Joplin, Mo.

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$50,000 made available to help tornado recovery effort

This devastation is bad, really bad, for such a small city. The recovery will be more difficult because so many infrastructures have been destroyed.

Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, director of disaster response, and Rev. Carlos Hernandez, director of districts and congregations, both with LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC), the mercy arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, head to Joplin, Mo., tomorrow to assess first-hand the needs of LMCS members and the community in the wake of the devastating tornado that struck Sunday evening and to offer spiritual care.

At least 116 people died in the tornado, which also tore into a hospital and leveled neighborhoods, including the homes of four teachers at Martin Luther School, which is affiliated with Immanuel Lutheran Church, the only LCMS congregation in Joplin. The twister damaged the school and the Immanuel Lutheran Church parsonage. At press time, search and recovery efforts are still ongoing.

"This devastation is bad, really bad, for such a small city," said Merritt. "The recovery will be more difficult because so many infrastructures have been destroyed."

WR-HC has made available up to $50,000 for disaster response efforts and will be working with the LCMS Missouri District through Immanuel Lutheran, Martin Luther School and Rev. Gregory Mech, the church pastor, to meet needs in Joplin.

"The recent disasters have really depleted already low tornado/flood accounts for LCMS disaster response work," Merritt said. "This is a huge challenge, but I am confident that the people of the LCMS will respond with caring and compassion to meet the needs."

To make a gift:

  •     Mail checks (noting "Tornado Disaster Relief" in the memo line) to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
  •     Call toll-free 888-930-4438.
  •     Contribute online.

About LCMS World Relief and Human Care
LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC) is the mercy arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. WR-HC supports human care and disaster relief projects worldwide, and has coordinated multi-million dollar responses after the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Asia and the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast of the United States. In recent years, WR-HC has awarded more than $30 million through more than 650 domestic and international grants to help those who are homeless, persecuted, sick and hungry, in conjunction with proclamation of the Gospel.

About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1847, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in 89 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans. For more information, visit http://www.lcms.org.

Contact:
Vicki Biggs    
Director, Public Affairs & Media Relations
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
http://www.lcms.org
314-996-1236
314-556-3829 (cell)

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