On Sept. 30, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Disaster Response Director Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson traveled to Florida to join the Rev. James Rockey, president of the LCMS Florida-Georgia District, in surveying areas affected by the hurricane.
Johnson and Rockey visited several LCMS congregations and connected with church workers, district staff and other disaster response personnel. Rockey said that, in the midst of great loss and devastation, “I saw thankfulness, resilience and joy. …
“And [the joy] didn’t just come from the fact that [the people affected] and those they love are still alive, but … from a God who indeed is real and alive and ever present with them — no matter what they may face in this life.”
Johnson said that a full-scale Synod response to the hurricane is underway and will include:
- A primary response center at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Myers, Fla., with a second response center possible;
- Assistance for LCMS rostered workers and congregations in meeting insurance deductibles; and
- A grant for the LCMS Recognized Service Organization Forged by Fire, which is providing 6,000 meals to the community of Fort Myers.
A variety of other measures are also in the works.
“This is what the Body of Christ does,” said Rockey, “and this is who we are meant to be. … We are going to keep facing these things, but … the eternal promises of Christ are certain.”
A detailed story, with additional information about the congregations and workers affected by Hurricane Ian and the long-term response, will be posted online soon and will appear in the November issue of Reporter.
Individuals, congregations and groups wanting to donate to the relief and recovery effort may give:
- By mail — Make checks payable to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and write “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line. Send to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- By telephone — Call 888-930-4438.
- Online — Visit lcms.org/givenow/hurricane.
- By text message — Type the keyword LCMSHURRICANES and send to the number 41-444 from your text-enabled smartphone or tablet.
For additional assistance or to ask questions about donating, please call LCMS Mission Advancement’s Contributor Care Line at 888-930-4438.
Posted Oct. 4, 2022