From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans Continue Disaster Relief in California

Date Mon, 5 Apr 2004 15:01:43 -0500


April 5, 2004

Lutherans Continue Disaster Relief in California

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Lutheran Disaster Response, a ministry of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, continues recovery efforts in
southern California, after fire destroyed land and property last
     About 750,000 acres and more than 3,600 houses were
destroyed in San Bernardino, San Diego and Fullerton, Calif.,
said the Rev. Gilbert B. Furst, director of Lutheran Disaster
Response.  "It has been over a decade since these areas have had
to work together on a major disaster response, so getting
organized to respond is challenging," he said.
     "Some people are literally still sifting ashes, hoping to
find wedding rings and other lost items.  People are feeling
frustrated and many unsubstantiated rumors abound," Furst said.
     Lutheran Disaster Response sent grants totaling $199,654 to
Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Fullerton, to
facilitate case management, emergency needs and unmet needs.
     "Our commitment is to be present for the long haul, which
could mean a number of years," said Furst.
     Furst said the California-Pacific United Methodist
Conference provided $30,000 to help subsidize the hiring of case
managers.  Lutheran Disaster Response and the United Methodist
Conference will "co-sponsor a case worker to work with the San
Pasqual Tribal Council," which reaches out to American Indians
"who were affected by the fires," Furst said.
     "As we approach the end of Lent, please keep our southern
California brothers and sisters in your prayers and in your
hearts.  For them, new life is slowing rising from the ashes.
Let us remember all God's people who are suffering the loss of
life and property, that in us and through us God's strength and
presence may be known," said Furst.
-- -- --

Editors: When listing organizations receiving funds to aid
survivors of major disasters inside the United States, Puerto
Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, please include:

ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago,
Illinois 60694-1764
Credit card gift line: 1-800-638-3522
Credit card gifts via Internet:

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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