Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mapleton Tornado Update

Reports about last weekend's tornadoes have come in from several Iowa District West congregations. 
Pastor Chuck Bettin reports that the members of Faith Lutheran, Early, and the people of the community are doing well. Pastor Michael Harman, St. Peter Lutheran, Newell reports that there are members who have lost everything and members at First Lutheran, Fonda have also been severely impacted by the storm. At this time people in those communities seem to be able to provide for one another.

St. Matthew, Mapleton has been a beacon of hope in a part of the community that was hardest hit. Although it was first thought that the building had received little damage, it now appears that there may be more extensive structural damage.

IOWAY Director, Ellie Menz has been working with Vacancy Pastor Klaus Raab and members of St. Matthew to organize the relief effort. Every member of the congregation has been contacted to assess their needs. At this point, it appears eight families lost everything. In the community approximately 100 houses were destroyed. In the short term no one is homeless, but there will be long term housing issues in the community.

Pastor Raab and members of St. Matthew have been offering spiritual comfort and physical help to those whose lives have been impacted. Jamie Nutt, Lutheran Family Service, has been offering counseling and a listening ear.

The churches in Mapleton are working together. The Roman Catholic church is the collection site for non perishable food items, bedding, health items and cleaning supplies. The Methodist Church is the center for items that people find as they clean up…photos, jewelry, documents, etc. St. Matthew is the hub for furniture and appliances that are needed.

LCMS World Relief and Human Care has offered grant money to assist the congregation and individuals in need.

Offers to help have also come from the Southern District, the Kansas District, and the Nebraska District of The LCMS.


Pray: Pray for those who have been impacted by the storms and for our congregations that they might proclaim the love of God in word and deed in the midst of this tragedy.

Donate: A door offering in your congregation can help our sister congregations help those in need. Please, make checks payable to the congregation with 'tornado relief' on the memo and mail directly to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 504 Walnut St., Mapleton, IA 51034

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to help with the cleanup. Call Kathy Jo at St. Matthew (712) 881-2243 to see how you can help. She will coordinate a work project and give you a bright yellow “Lutheran Servant” t-shirt to identify you as one of our volunteers.

Items Needed: 
  • Non perishable food items
  • Bedding
  • Health care items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Large stackable plastic tubs: for dry, pest-resistant storage
  • RV's/Campers: to rent for a short time
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Empty semi trailers: for temporary storage
(Storage is an issue. People who need items and people who have items to donate are asked to call St. Matthew at 712-881-2243)

Thank you for your prayers and gifts.

No comments: