The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The other disasters

Hurricane Mitch ranks as 1998's worst storm, but it's just one of several for which Lutherans expect to provide long-term relief.

In September, Hurricane Georges strafed the Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless and causing damage in the billions. In Puerto Rico, where 100,000 homes were destroyed and an equal number severely damaged, Lutheran Disaster Response is helping to rebuild houses and lives.

"We always try to identify the most vulnerable," said Gilbert Furst, director, Lutheran Disaster Response. Volunteers will be needed for many months to come. Disaster Response was also looking for several longer-term staff.

International relief efforts continue in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where Georges destroyed thousands of homes and wiped out millions of dollars worth of crops.

Southeastern Texas is still picking up after a late-October storm that dumped up to 25 inches of rain in a matter of hours. The flash floods along the Guadalupe River valley destroyed or severely damaged some 11,000 homes.

Send checks to ELCA Domestic Disaster Response (Texas and Puerto Rico), or ELCA International Disaster Response (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), both P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764. To volunteer call (800) 938-5777 for Texas or (773) 380-2822 for Puerto Rico.


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