by Southeastern District on September 10, 2021

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SED Disaster Response and Recovery

The past few weeks have been filled with one devastating news story after another.  It is a challenge to sort out where to go, what to do, and how best to help! 

Let our first response be prayer.  Please pray for God's people, to set right the upside down moments, to calm the chaos, for shelter for those who have lost homes, to still the waters that pummel everything.  Be in prayer, asking for God's mercy and comfort in the hearts of his children who are facing catastrophic events.

An important message from Lutheran high school in metairie, Louisiana (October 11, 2021):

Dear Fellow Lutherans,

LHS is the only high school in the entire Southern District of LCMS.   We do not have a particular affiliated Lutheran Church (we are “stand-alone” grades 9 - 12). 

I am sending you pictures and information about the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida.  As a result of the hurricane, half of the roof was blown off and most of the classrooms were flooded. 

Two of our three buildings cannot be used.  We have been able to “transform” 5 storage rooms into temporary classrooms in the third building.  However this building does not have air conditioning or heat.  We welcomed the students back into these 5 classrooms on October 4…complete with a welcome banner, balloons and Canes Chicken for lunch.  It was an emotional reunion for all to say the least!

Right now we are renting portable air conditioning units to cool these 5 classrooms.  We need extensive electrical work before we can install window units.  The remaining two buildings cannot be used until there is permanent roof repair.

This school continues to serve a great purpose/ministry in our community.  We educate, we love, we serve and we spread the good news of Christ.  We have been doing this for 50 years.  We are a diverse, multicultural school, especially focusing on children who have never heard of Christ. 

We  are trying to get new/used text books, some computers, new uniforms for those students who lost everything in the storm and to try to help some of the students with their tuition.  We also need to continue to pay our faculty and staff until we are back on our feet. 

We have very limited insurance because the building is over 60 years old and most insurers will not insure us.  Our deductible is around $28,000.

Please pray for our school.  We are aware that we exist solely by God’s good grace.

We are located at:  3864 17th St. Metairie, LA  70002  (Current mailing address)      Principal:  Nancy Hernandez  504-455-4062

Please consider giving a gift to this vital educational ministry by visiting the SED's online giving page by clicking here.

An important readiness note

As Hurricane Ida makes her way through the Southeastern District, we have response teams and individuals who are ready to assist.  Please let us know how  we may serve you.  We have trained and well-equipped chainsaw teams, groups that are ready and willing to clean out flooded homes, and servants who can hold hands and bring the comforting words of the Gospel.  Please let us know.  We are standing together in prayer for the safety and well-being of all.

What can you do?

You can pray and pray again. You can send a video message and cards of love and encouragement.  They can go directly to Atonement Lutheran (6500 Riverside Drive, Metairie, LA 70003) where they will be distributed along with the other items.

You are invited to help.  Most needed items include:

  • Gift cards (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Target, and Amazon).
  • Water
  • Food
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Thick black garbage bags
  • Work gloves

Our schools received a longer list (you might want to check with them); note the above items were identified this week as most critical.

If you would like to help, please contact Sally Hiller at by email or by phone at the Southeastern District office at (703) 971-9371.  Please include your name, contact information, and how you are able to assist:  tree removal, tarping, mucking (cleaning out) homes, or gathering supplies.  There are the first actions needed. 

In times of disaster, the immediate need is for financial donations and gift cards ($100 gift cards to Lowes, Home Depot, local grocery stores, Target, Walmart).  Additionally, there is a need for building supplies...donations to offset the purchase cost are greatly appreciated!  Items that are not helpful include clothing, shoes, blankets, toys, etc.  The best way to deal with clothing, etc. donations is to sell them at a yard sale and donate the money.  Cash donations allow relief workers to purchase what is needed at the appropriate time and location.  Additionally, it allows supplies to be purchased locally, strengthening the local economy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of information available on hurricane preparedness and aftermath.

As news of a disaster becomes known, updates and ways to respond will be listed here as well as communicated through District newsletters. If you wish to have your name and contact information added to a network of individuals to aid in disaster cleanup and rebuilding, please click the following button to be directed to the Disaster Response Group sign-up form:

Disaster Response Group

haiti earthquake and tropical storm
Just days after a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace pummeled families desperately trying to survive.  The ongoing threat of COVID-19, cholera, and other infectious diseases loom large as we work to reach families in need.  Both Lutheran World Relief and LCMS Disaster Response are active in response to Haiti. 
Hurricane ida

The news about the devastation that Ida has already wrought is unbelievable. Our hearts go out to all who have felt her impact.  One easy way your congregation can help is to take an offering for gift cards.  Contributions can also be sent to the Southeastern District, LCMS office (please indicate that it is for Hurricane Ida Relief) or directly through the Southern District, LCMS website:

Seminary of the ethiopian evangelical church mekane yesus in addis ababa

The Seminary sits on the bank of a river that grew six feet in three minutes without warning; students and faculty did not have time to get out. Those that survived did so by climbing on the roofs of buildings that were severely damaged in the devastating floods, in which 8 people died.  Additionally, the offices of the Lutheran Hour Ministries - Ethiopia were destroyed, while LCMS Missionaries Rev. Eric and Johanna Stinnett and Rev. Dr. Mark Rabe lost their homes.

Rev. Teka Fogi discusses the situation at Mekane Yesus Seminary

The seminary is currently closed and is seeking support for 98 displaced families, as well as recovery.  Gifts will go directly to assist faculty and staff who lost their families and to help in the renovation and rebuilding of the campus.

afghanistan resettlement

Lutheran Social Services of the Washington Capital Area is working to resettle 800 Afghan allies. Not far from the District Office and the Washington Expo Center, refugee have been temporarily housed while they wait to resettle. A gift to Lutheran Social Services provides for transportation, temporary housing, and other immediate needs upon arrival.

Our friends at Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services (LIRS) are working hard to welcome nearly 50,000 of the evacuees.  They share that “unlike the refugees we typically serve, many of the evacuees  will enter the U.S. under humanitarian parole, which is a status that limits public benefits or services funded by the federal government after 90 days."

tropical storm fred

Areas in western North Carolina experienced severe flooding in the wake of Tropical Storm Fred.  Rev. Eric Hollar from Bethel Lutheran in Claremont, North Carolina is organizing a team to go and help NC Baptists on Mission with a mixture of debris clean-up, mucking out, and chainsaw work. To volunteer, please contact Rev. Hollar at or by phone at (828) 459-7378.

additional resources - provided by concordia plan services

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