Urgent Appeal to Bring LCC Comfort Dogs to Earthquake Victims in Napa Valley Area

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LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have been invited to come to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Napa, California and the surrounding area as soon as possible due to the earthquake that hit on Sundaymorning. A team of four LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and handlers will arrive in Napa later this afternoon.

Yesterday LCC received a phone call from Pastor Mark Heine and Rev. Michael Schmid – Pastors at St. John’s Lutheran Church and Schoolin Napa, California – asking for LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs to come to be with families in their church and community who are beginning to feel the emotional effects of the recent earthquake that hit the area earlier this week.

The District President, Rev. Bob Newton, also asked that we come to help them with the recovery. They asked that we come as soon as possible and stay through nextWednesday, September 4.

Pastor Heine told LCC that clean-up is well underway. Everybody is working to regain some sense of normalcy to routine, but nerves are frayed, especially with aftershocks that continue to strike the town.

Children and adults are having trouble sleeping and many people will not even enter their owns homes for fear that they are no longer safe. School children of all ages are frightened when dropped off for school and parents are nervous about separating from their children. The hospital staff is stressed and first responders are experiencing heightened stress due to the earthquake.

Building inspections are being expanded (KCRA News article) beyond the severely hit downtown area, where many historic, old buildings suffered structural damage (see video captured via drone).

A growing number of people are being told their homes are no longer safe to live in and will need to find temporary living arrangements.

Through it all, St. John’s still held their morning worship service on Sunday, just five hours after the earthquake hit. Pastor Heine wrote that it was “a time to worship our Creator and Protector, our Refuge and to minister to each other.”

As in any disaster, there is intense anxiety as to what has happened and what could still happen. This is particularly true with children. As Christians, we cannot explain why something happened but we can bring and point to the hope we have in Jesus Christ and share His mercy and compassion to those who are suffering.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3

Please keep everyone in the earthquake area in your prayers. LCC President Tim Hetzner, along with staff members Dana Yocum and Dan Fulkerson will be leaving later today for Napa. They will be accompanied by LCC volunteer K-9 handlers Lynn Buhrke, Toni Bazon and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Shami (St. John, Darien), Isaiah (Holy Cross, Portage, IN), Luther and Ruthie. LCC never charges those we serve and rely on the support of others to help cover transportation costs. We thank you for your support.

You can contribute by:

Donating online:

Napa K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund

Donating by mail (please put “K9 Napa Travel Fund” in the memo line):

Lutheran Church Charities

333 West Lake Street

Addison, IL 60101

Donate by phone(866) 455-6466

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