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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Comforting the children

Marlene Lund, executive director of the Lutheran Schools Association, says about 40 children from its 112 schools have a parent or grandparent who are missing after the attacks. Many children lost other relatives. "Still more children fear for the safety of a parent involved in the rescue work," Lund says.

Most have seen some of the destruction through constant media reports. Some preschoolers are experiencing nightmares, lack of concentration and lethargy.

ELCA Domestic Disaster Response is providing ELCA schools with counseling support to help teachers and other staff listen to the children.

"One teacher said she has to assure the children they are safe and OK at school, while at the same time the teacher herself feels scared to death," says Lund.

LSA hopes to offer long-term counseling for parents and students. Children from across the country, Germany and Australia sent the schools boxes of stuffed animals and letters. "That the letters from other children quote Bible verses and offer prayers is especially helpful to the schoolchildren," Lund says. "The knowledge of constant prayer support is helpful to all the staff." A special fund will help the children with a variety of needs, including tuition for those whose parents lost jobs or were otherwise directly affected by the disaster.


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