Hope Village Opening Draws Closer!

Hope Village opening date draws closer!  Follow this link to the official Hope Village web page for complete details, pictures, registration information, financial donation opportunities, and more.

The Official Hope Village Web Site:

www.hopevillageND.org

 

 

Thank You Notes From People…

Thank You Cards from Families Receiving

Gifts from the Minot LCMS Flood Relief Fund

 

To the Flood Relief Committee,

It helps to know that someone cares, thank you!  We so appreciate the money you sent and the fact that you included us even though we moved away – words cannot express the deep gratitude towards the people who donated money to the Minot LCMS flood relief committee. This money is a big help, as we have not found jobs yet.  Again, a BIG thank you to ALL!  Our hearts are with you.  Friends in Christ.  M & J

 

Dear Pastor Krueger,

Sorry I’m late in getting this to you.  Your members were a Godsend to me installing insulation.  I’ll need you again next spring, hopefully.   Christmas blessings.  KK

_____________

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for the check for $865.95.  It was unexpected.  Peter and I will put every penny into the 100 year old home we love so much.  We can hardly wait to get our antiques back into the house.  Thank you very much.   P & C

_____________

Dear Minot LCMS Flood Relief Committee,

Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and financial gift.  The rebuilding is going well and hope to be back in my home early spring 2012.  This has been an event that none of us ever thought we would have to face.  God will uphold us through this as he always has.  God’s blessings to all of you.  GA

_____________

Dear Flood Relief Committee

Thank you so much for your generous gift of money towards our flood recovery.  It is greatly appreciated.  May the season of Christmas bring new reasons to thank Him for His love and faithfulness. G&R

 

_____________

Dear Pastor Krueger,

Who do I thank for the generous gift from the church?  Man what a BLESSING and a huge surprise!  I am so thankful.  LW

Pastor Krueger Attends LCMS Disaster Conference

 Lutheran Leaders from all corners of the world gathered for a first-ever International Disaster Response Conference for Lutherans.  In addition to leaders from Japan, Kenya, Chile, Joplin, MO, and others, Pastor Krueger was one of the guests invited to participate in this LCMS World Relief and Human Care networked conference. 

Read the full story on the LCMS Reporter Online at: http://reporter.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=19328

 

LCMS World Relief and Human Care Visit Minot

 Rev. John Fale, interm Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human care visited OSLC families and other LCMS/Community families during a two day high speed visit, September 21 and 22nd.  Along with Al Dowbnia, the LCMS Director of Communication Services, the trip sought to highlight the critical need that is facing Minot as winter snow and bitter cold quickly approach.

Two goals were on the minds of the duo from the LCMS International Center.

1) To raise awareness of the critical need facing Minot.  FEMA has catagorized the disaster as a Level 5 disaster.  This is the same disaster rating as hurricane Katrina.  Yet, one day of national news coverage was the sum total devoted to the tragedy and the subsequent need.  “How can people know to help if they cannot see the tragedy of our brothers and sisters in Minot?”

2) To stimulate mercy gifts to the people of Minot, whether those are the gifts of critically needed volunteers/servants who travel to Minot for  desperately needed assistance as the winter snow approaches, or the gifts of financial contributions that will be critical to the ongoing help that must be supplied.

Read the full article (with national coverage) appearing in The Reporter, the official communications magazine of the LCMS, and see the video clips as interviews took place with OSLC members and others.   Click here:    http://classic.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=19177

 

Making Room for Servant Groups

With 4100 homes gone (1/4th of the city’s available housing) and every hotel filled,  housing servant groups has been a logistical nightmare to say the least!  Our partners with LDR (Lutheran Disaster Response) have been scrambling to make room to house the people who have so graciously travelled to Minot to assist with our flood recovery.  OSLC leaders have begun to explore the creation of a volunteer housing center, something like “Camp Restore” which providing lodging for workers in the aftermath of Katrina.  The planning process, in cooperation with LCMS World Relief and Human Care,  has begun along with the exploration of funding options that would make it possible.

(See the full LCMS cover story and video portions on the 2 day trip here: http://classic.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=19177)

The initial proposals call for the volunteer service center to have RV spaces for 12-19 units.  This would include water and electric.  There would also be bunk units for volunteer groups.  A shower unit and a laundry unit.   The bunk units would have twin sized beds and would each house 12 people.  The LDR office trailer, along with the tool and storage containers provided by Orphan Grain Train, would also be in this area, which by the way, is the property immediately south of OSLC’s parking lot.

LCMS World Relief and Human Care has a mobile kitchen unit that is concluding its time with Katrina related disasters.  A strong possibilty exists that this mobile kitchen unit would be delivered to Minot and housed in this complex.  Indications are that the greatest volunteer labor and home assignments for the rebuild phase will be handled through LDR, which means they’ll be handled through the OSLC facilities.  If that is the case, the mobile kitchen unit would be used to feed meals each day to the volunteers from any of the flood related organizations that would be serving Minot.

The goal is to build solid capacity to handle a large number of volunteers, servant event teams, and church groups who would see coming to Minot as a way to extend the care of Christ to a city full of people who are desperately seeking to rebuild their lives.  The simple truth is that NO VOLUNTEERS – NO REBUILD for many, many Minot people.

Following these initial sketches, conversations have begun with city officials regarding the project’s feasibility.

The goal is to provide a place to house, feed, and stage flood volunteers from April 1st to October 1st in order to provide the maximum assistance to the people of Minot.  In terms of ministry, this is fulfilling Christ’s own words for his people,

“…I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirst and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me … for whatever you did for the least of these, you have done it to me.”

“The Story Behind the Story” Video Presentation

What do people experience at a time of disaster?  What can we say?  How can we help?  On Tuesday, August 30, 2011 the Rev. Glenn Merritt, the international director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, spoke in Minot to address human care issues facing our friends and families.

Below is his presentation in 6 segments. We encourage you to watch them, and share them, to gain insight and understanding for helping yourself, your family, your friends, your community as you discover how to become a key person in the lives of those in need and ways to offer words of hope and comfort to a friend, neighbor, or stranger all in the name of Jesus.

 

The Story Behind the Story Part 1 from Our Savior Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

 

The Story Behind the Story Part 2 from Our Savior Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

 

The Story Behind the Story Part 3 from Our Savior Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

 

The Story Behind the Story Part 4 from Our Savior Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

Rev. Merritt is a former police officer with critical incident training from the FBI and FEMA.   As a pastor he’s served as a missionary to West Africa and a pastor in Texas and Montana prior to becoming the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s first Disaster Response Director.  In this role he has helped the church reach out to people in more than 240 calamities worldwide.

“Honor Our Heroes” 9-11-11

On 9-11-01, our nation was thrown into turmoil.

Many heroes arose.

This summer, the community of Minot was overrun.

Many heroes arose.

Come join us for a community-wide celebration of Heroes, to honor them for their selfless acts.

Sunday, 9-11.   Free meal served at Noon.  Free program and concert begins at 1:00 PM.

Glenn Merritt: Caring in Disaster “The Story Behind the Story”

What do people experience at a time of disaster?  What can we say?  How can we help?  On Tuesday night, August 30th, Rev. Glenn Merritt, the international director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care will be speaking in Minot addressing human care issues facing our friends and families.

Rev. Merritt is a former police officer with critical incident training from the FBI and FEMA.   As a pastor he’s served as a missionary to West Africa and a pastor in Texas and Montana prior to becoming the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s first Disaster Response Director.  In this role he has helped the church reach out to people in more than 240 calamities worldwide.

Make plans to hear Rev. Merritt, Tuesday, August 30th, 7:00 PM, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot.  Gain insight and understanding.  Discover how to become a key person in the lives of those in need, offering words of hope and comfort to a friend, neighbor or stranger, in the name of Christ.  There is no charge to attend.  For further information call 701-852-6404.

OSLC Flood Relief Fund Report

Thank you to all who have donated generously to the OSLC Flood Relief fund.  To date, more than $33,000 has been received from local contributions, church groups and agencies, along with caring individuals across the United States who have responded to the need.  The fund continues to receive donations as the needs continue to be great.

Expenditures to Date:

As of August 25, 2011 – $13,400 has been distributed to OSLC families and individuals to meet immediate short term needs arising from the flood.  These gifts were used for critical supplies and basic care needs immediately following the evacuation order.   68 families were assisted with your gifts.  Those numbers include, 4 elderly families, 9 single parents with children families, and 10 single adults who were all directly affected by the flooding.  Another $3500 has been set aside to be used in the next 60 days for additional short term needs for families as they are discoverd by OSLC’s pastoral staff.

$1100 of the flood emergency funds were used to maintain essential services at OSLC immediately following the evacuation order.  This includes – water, water transportation, and sanitization to keep OSLC’s child development center operating when the city was under a boil order.  Essential services also included $865 in computer related equipment to allow staff members to work remotely.  In Bonnie’s case, the evacuation too her more than 90 miles from Minot following the flooding of her home.  Grant dollars from LCMS Human Care and World Relief made continued communication, and thus continued work, possible.

Future Expenditures and Process:

Beginning in September, a four person board will be appointed to continue to manage the OSLC Flood Relief Fund.  With 1/4th of the city’s population (4100 homes) effected by the flood’s aftermath, the need is immense, both for OSLC members and for people in the greater Minot community.

The four person board will continue to gather funds and explore additional funding sources in order to continue to do the most good for people in need.

  • 20% of the dollars will be distributed beyond our doors and given to directly assist the neediest of the needy in our community through the Greater Minot Unmet Needs Fund which Pastor Krueger helps direct and is funded by the Minot Community Foundation and multiple agencies/charities /church denominastions.
  • The remaining 80% will be used to address OSLC flood related needs, and to directly assist people from our OSLC family who have been hit the hardest.  The board members will use a “needs scale” to evaluate each situation and target dollars where they are needed most, whether it’s a single parent home, elderly, handicapped, a family with children, etc.  The goal is to truly be the very best stewards with the financial gifts that God is giving us to distribute.
  • What remains to decide is whether an application process will be used for families to access these funds, or whether members of the OSLC family will make recommendations to the Flood Fund board and a need determination is then made.  This will be decided shortly with the goal to be ready to evaluate need in the first part of September.

As the OSLC Flood Relief Fund continues to grow the goal will be continue to serve people in need in the very best way that honors the Lord Jesus and communicates the care and concern of God’s people.

Flood Volunteers Needed

The Latest OSLC Disaster Response information…

A shortage of out of town volunteers, normally active in disaster response,  has seriously hampered the disaster recovery efforts of the past week.  Working with LDR (Lutheran Disaster Response), LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the North Dakota District LCMS, and the Western Synod of the ELCA, the OSLC staff has actively sought to recruit additional volunteer help to come to the Minot area.  The end result is that at the end of this week there will be a significant number of volunteers available to assist with the recovery process.  We’re grateful to groups from Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Jamestown who will be making the journey to Minot at the end of this week to assist.

Volunteer assistance still, however, remains at a critical level as the pre-winter window very quickly draws to a close in Minot.  For all practical purposes, any work attempted after October 1st will be considered “bonus” as it is not uncommon for snow to begin to fall in the first weeks of October.  Please join us in praying that a light winter falls upon the Northern Plain this year and that there is additional time for recovery efforts to take place.

If you are considering travel to Minot to assist, please know that we strongly encourage and invite you to do so!

Thanks to the organizing of Lutheran Disaster Response, supplies donated by Orphan Grain Train, and the tireless work of local congregations, movement is now in place to seek an immediate 300 Lutheran volunteers per day for this critical time.  Groups can quickly register through the web site of Our Savior Lutheran Church (www.oslcnow.com)  in Minot, which has been serving as the staging area for LDR’s efforts.  Group leaders can also contact LDR directly at 218-443-4970 to register, ask questions, and receive the registration packet.

In order to facilitate a quick response, volunteers can receive the necessary forms via email and can arrive in Minot with as little as a two-day notice.  Workers are asked to report to the LDR office at Our Savior Lutheran Church where they will receive assignments, necessary training, and equipment for the day’s tasks.  With 1/4th of the city’s housing destroyed, volunteer camps have been established in neighboring communities.  Some RV locations are available as well.  To find more detail on this critical need, please contact Lutheran Disaster Response at 218-443-4970 or contact Danette at dkrumwiede@lssnd.org .

To all who are awaiting assistance, we say thank you for your patience.  Please continue to be in contact with us as we are earnestly working to bring help your direction.