As soon as LCMS mission-assessment teams recommended efforts for continuing relief work in tsunami-ravaged countries, LCMS World Relief/Human Care and LCMS World Mission began working to turn some key proposals into action.
Dennis Denow, an LCMS World Mission education specialist, has relocated from Papua Province, Indonesia, to Jakarta, to help develop and coordinate relief efforts in that country. By Feb. 20, Michelle Hoeppner, an LCMS World Mission community-development worker in China, is expected to begin serving a short-term assignment in Sri Lanka.
Posting personnel in those two countries to provide hands-on relief coordination was a key recommendation by mission assessment teams in their Jan. 27 report.
In addition to its first round of tsunami emergency relief, LCMS World Relief/Human Care recently awarded:
- two grants totaling $35,000 to the Lanka Lutheran Church (LLC) to repair a flooded Lutheran orphanage and rebuild a Lutheran chapel and parsonage, both in Batticaloa.
- $40,000 grant to the LLC to purchase school supplies and uniforms.
- $100,000 to Lutheran World Relief, to provide emergency supplies and shelter and help with rebuilding, job training, and counseling.
- a $30,000 grant to Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation-Thailand (CWEFT) to buy school uniforms, shoes, and supplies. CWEFT, a sister organization of LCMS World Mission, focuses on Christian social and educational work in Thailand.
Like the assessment teams in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Deaconess Christie Nelson echoed the importance of helping children return to school. Nelson helped assess needs in Thailand, where she has served with LCMS World Mission since 1991.
Because most relief efforts focus on “adult” concerns like rebuilding homes and restoring businesses, Nelson urged helping “the hundreds of hurting children” resume their education. Many schools in Thailand’s hardest hit areas have been destroyed or severely damaged.
In addition to these most recent grants for tsunami relief efforts, LCMS World Relief/Human Care previously awarded:
- $75,000 direct gift plus $75,000 in a matching grant to Lutheran Hour Ministries for disaster response through ministry centers in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India.
- $75,000 gift-matching grant to Orphan Grain Train to purchase rice, water, and other emergency supplies for distribution to tsunami survivors.
- $10,000 grant to the LLC for emergency needs immediately after the tsunami.
For more information about LCMS World Relief/Human Care tsunami relief efforts or giving opportunities, visit http://worldrelief.lcms.org.
Posted Feb. 24, 2005