Harvey Disaster Relief Update – 8/29/17

This important post is an update on the Southern District response to Harvey relief efforts.

I know many of you have been praying for those in the path of the storm and are anxiously waiting to know how you can help. I have waited with this information because of the uniqueness of this storm.  We are still three days away from it leaving our area. We continue to be in touch with our Louisiana folks as the ride out the remainder of Harvey.

Our Southern District Disaster Relief team has been asked by the Texas District to provide our experience and resources, especially in the area of organization and management of volunteer work camps. That team consists of Dave Buss, Camp Restore-Baton Rouge LA, David Goodine and Kurt Jostes of RAI and Camp Restore-New Orleans LA, Ed Brashier, Shepherd’s Heart Ministries-Gardendale AL, and myself. Preliminary work has started and a meeting of partners will be held next Wednesday in Houston.

It is important that we support the coordinated efforts of the Texas District. This will allow for the best stewardship of our resources. We will not be neglecting the needs of Louisiana and we will respond as we become aware of them.  The volunteer camps will triage the needs. This order is not in order of importance but focuses on building greater capacity of care.  We are enabling our churches and their people to be servants to their neighbors. The camps will also be centers of distribution to meet the basic and immediate needs of all people. Very early numbers from Texas are reporting over 105 members have water in their homes. Many members evacuated from their homes (over 30). Church damage – 6 with roof leaks, 3 with minor damage, 2 flooded. Pastors’ homes flooded – 5. Staff and teachers evacuated – 3 Staff and teachers flooded – 3.  30,000 people in shelters. These numbers will increase as assessment continues.


PRAY for those in need and for those who serve them with the love of Jesus.

GIVE money and other items when the call goes out for them. Cash gifts are needed the most at this time. 100% percent of your gifts will go to the affected areas. CLICK HERE or go to http://southernlcms.org/disaster-relief-donations/ to give online. You can send your checks also by mail to: Southern District – 100 Mission Dr. – Slidell LA 70460. Please mark them for Harvey Relief.  CLICK HERE  for a list of care boxes that will be needed.  Please do not send them until they are needed. We do not want to overwhelm the centers with items they do not need.

VOLUNTEER next week after the search and rescue phase is over we will be providing contact information to sign up to help. Watch our website – SouthernLCMS.org, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/southernlcms.org – Southern District-LCMS, and Twitter @SDLCMS for more information.

I thank all of you for your partnership in the Gospel and your generous sharing of Jesus’ love, mercy, and compassion.

Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz
President, LCMS Southern District

Three Hots and a Cot

Solid Rock in Argo, AL, has started a ministry with Three Hots and a Cot. Every three months, we gather needed items. We are benefitting veterans who have served our country and are seeking employment and looking for a place to live. We enjoy helping our veterans, and everyone at Solid Rock participates in this endeavor.

Birmingham Lutheran Fellowship

Birmingham campus ministry meetings are Thursday nights, beginning at 6:00 p.m. and lasting about one hour. The meetings are focused on student interests in Christianity. Meetings are held in the UAB Recreation Center in Classroom 192, and pizza is provided. If you are unable to attend, we would appreciate your prayers! For more information, please visit: http://www.hopebham.org/Ministries/Campus_Ministry.

Harvey Relief Update

Hurricane Harvey has been and continues to be a unique storm system. Making landfall at Rockport TX (just north of Corpus Christi) as a Category 4 and bringing wind and rain two to three hundred miles from its center, Harvey has made its presence known. Having stopped movement, the feeder bands from this storm have trained relentlessly over the northeast section of the Texas Coast, including Houston and surrounding communities dumping record amounts of rain measured by the foot. The reach of this storm has been growing to include Austin, San Antonio and a large section of East Texas. In all, an estimated 212 LCMS congregations and members (in the tens of thousands) have been impacted. Before the storm made landfall, many pastors and church workers and members evacuated to higher ground. They have not been allowed to return as yet. Most of the church services have been canceled on August 27 and emergency officials are telling residents who did not evacuate to shelter in their homes, even if their home is flooded.

The rain is forecast to continue and heavy rates of downfall. Property owners and volunteer services may not be allowed into their areas until Thursday, August 31 or Friday, September 1.  It simply is not safe. For now, airports are closed and roads are impassable. The only significant movement in communities both large and small are emergency management.

The Strom has moved Southeast and is not threatening Southwest LA. Flooding is expected in the Lake Charles area.

The Southern District has been in close contact with the Texas District to offer our response resources and coordinate efforts.

What can you do?

  • First and foremost, your prayers are requested.
    a. Pray for emergency management personnel and first responders.
    b. Pray for the encouragement of property owners and renters.
    c. Pray for disaster relief organizations (that they make wise decisions)


  • Consider donating dollars to assist in the relief efforts. The needs of church workers, congregation members, and communities will be enormous. You can donate through the Southern District.


  • please wait until there is a clear call for volunteers. That time has not yet come!

Southern District Hurricane Preparedness Activation

harvey satellite photo
With the Gulf of Mexico Tropical Strom Harvey becoming Catagory 1 Hurricane, and in view of the information, just received from the National Weather Service, District President Schultz has activated Level 1 of the S0uthern District Disaster Response Network. The Hurricane is expected to make landfall near Corpus Christi late Friday night/Early Saturday morning as a major category 3 approaching category 4 strength.  One of the biggest concerns is the length the system may linger.  If it stalls and hugs the coast, continuing to feed off the warm waters of the Gulf, tropical storm force winds may continue for days.  Although Texas will definitely get the worst impact, Louisiana is anticipating flooding in the southwest portion of the state.  The other issue of concern in Louisiana is any heavy rainfall in New Orleans with the current situation with the less than adequate pumping systems operational.  Finally, there is not yet consensus on what will happen once with the system makes landfall.  One consideration is that it will dissipate inland, the other is that it will loop back to the gulf and make a second land fall in Louisiana. We know that this is a realistic possibility. This is why Louisiana has declared a statewide emergency.
Now is the time to monitor the storm closely and active Hurricane Preparedness Plans for your household as well as for those who may evacuate and seek refuge in your area.  Join in prayer for those in the path of the storm.  Be avenues of Jesus’ hospitality to those who seek shelter and refuge.   And be generous with His mercy and love to those who will need assistance after the storm passed.  

Affirming God’s Love for All People

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church participated in a summer-long project sponsored by Lutheran World Relief. Members of the congregation, the ladies of LWML, and Thrivent Financial all donated time and contributions toward this important outreach project.

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