The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Field of debris

Lutherans respond with aid after hurricanes hit Florida

Mile after mile. Block after block. Yard after yard. Hardly a square inch of ground was not covered with something—tree limbs; shingles; insulation; downed power lines and poles; pieces of metal, glass, wood, brick, concrete—when Hurricane Charley hit Florida’s west coast Aug. 13, before moving inland to Orlando.

ELCA congregations and members were among the affected. Peace Lutheran Church, Port Charlotte, sustained significant damage—estimated at least a half million for repairs. Large gaping holes at each end allowed water damage into the youth room, library, narthex and sound control room.

“We’d been praying for carpet,” Edward Struebing, pastor, said somewhat dismayed. “I guess we’re going to get it.” Struebing’s home also suffered damage to five windows, doors, most of the shingles and drywall. During the hurricane, he and his family hid in a bathroom with mattresses. “Stuff came in and just bounced all over the walls,” he said. “We heard a door go flying down the hallway.”

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