Besides their homework after school this week, fifth- and sixth-graders at Martin Luther School in Joplin, Mo., baked cookies to sell to raise funds for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.
“The students were concerned about the people of Japan and really wanted to raise money for them,” said Charlotte Robertson, a teacher at Martin Luther. Her second-grade students pray for the victims during prayer time twice each day.
Robertson is organizing the school’s April chapel services to focus on LCMS missionaries in Japan. Chapel offerings will go to LCMS World Mission to support the missionaries’ efforts.
“Our missionaries directly or indirectly were affected by this disaster,” said Robertson. “We teach our students that it’s important to spread the Gospel to the entire world. We ourselves can’t go into the entire world but our missionaries can. And we can support them with our monetary gifts.”
In Honolulu, students at Our Savior Lutheran School (OSLS) culminated a week of gathering socks, blankets, canned food and other non-perishable items with a Friday prayer service for disaster victims in Japan.
“The small things we think are not important are important to someone else,” said Karen Dote, office manager. She and kindergarten teacher, Michele Zane, organized the collection of material goods.
An OSLS student’s father is part of a military search and rescue team tentatively scheduled to travel to Japan. He offered to take the donations with him, but the military is not allowing the transport of the donated items at this time. Dote said Plan B involves shipping the goods via an airline or a delivery service.
OSLS students were under a tsunami warning March 11 after the earthquake in Japan as the massive waves headed toward Hawaii.
“We are so close knit,” said Dote. “We started warning each other. Families with homes near the beach stayed with others inland.”
“Our schools rise to the occasion,” said Bill Cochran, interim executive director of LCMS Districts and Congregations, who also noted that LCMS schools have had a strong history of giving during times of disaster.
“When we see people in distress, it is quite normal, healthy, and God-pleasing for Christians to want to do something to alleviate that distress and suffering. This is especially true of children. One of most helpful things we can all do at this time is to pray. I encourage our pastors and teachers to lead the children in daily prayer,” said Rev. John Fale, interim executive director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care.
To contribute toward the Synod’s response to the Japan earthquake and tsunami:
- mail checks (noting “Japan 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.
- give online at Disaster Relief Fund for Japan.
For more information and resources, visit www.lcms.org/help.
Posted March 18, 2011