“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord” — (Jeremiah 17:7).
Many people in Zion’s community have friends and family affected by December’s wildfires in Boulder, Colorado, and surrounding areas. In addition, ELCA congregations throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod have members who lost everything and are directly involved in disaster response and recovery.
Recently Zion’s has been working closely with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFSRM) and its Refugee & Asylee program. However, LFSRM plays a key role in disaster response and is an affiliated agency of Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), which is a cooperative ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The mission of LDR is to demonstrate Christ’s compassion for people by promoting hope, healing, and wholeness for disaster survivors.
When a federally declared disaster occurs, LFSRM represents LDR in organizing and implementing broad-based disaster response efforts designed to minister to the urgent needs of people who are affected.
Those affected by the wildfires have such needs. Below is a letter from the Rev. Daniel Rift, who is the director of ELCA World Hunger & Lutheran Disaster Response Fund. You can follow the link in his letter to learn how you can help.
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It is unusual for me to be sending a note to you on behalf of Lutheran Disaster Response on a holiday such as today, but the needs of those we serve persist even on such days – and today, the needs of our neighbors in Colorado are great. The Marshall Fire ignited on Dec. 30 in Boulder County, Colo. Over 6,200 acres burned quickly, forcing the evacuations of 35,000 people. The fire spread throughout suburban neighborhoods, destroying at least 500 homes. While December wildfires are rare, the severe drought in the western United States created hazardous conditions that allowed the Marshall Fire to spread rapidly. This unusual fire is one of the impacts of a changing climate and will become increasingly more common.
Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with the Rocky Mountain Synod and Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains to respond to the impact of the fires. We anticipate that immediate needs will include emotional and spiritual care, temporary shelters, food and other necessities. With local partners, Lutheran Disaster Response will continue to accompany survivors throughout the years of long-term recovery.
You may also designate gifts to “Lutheran Disaster Response” so we can immediately respond to disasters in the United States and around the world whenever they might strike.
We pray that God may comfort and protect those impacted by the wildfires in Colorado. Together, we can walk with survivors and show them that they are not alone.
In Christ’s service,
The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger & Lutheran Disaster Response Fund
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America