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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The heft and heart of helping

Volunteers bring courage, creativity, care

John Schiefelbein said he and his friends have had some good laughs together over the years. But as they volunteered in hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, “there was nothing there to joke about,” he said.

Schiefelbein, 56, owner of North Country Canoe Outfitters, Ely, Minn., and member of Grace Lutheran Church, Ely, volunteered with friends with whom he served in Vietnam: Bill Roseborough, 55, a captain with American Airlines, Coral Gables, Fla.; and Dick Ciccolella, 60, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Columbia, S.C. Schiefelbein’s brother, Scott, 47, a LaGrange Park, Ill., police sergeant, and Roseborough’s 13-year-old grandson, Mason Hope, DeLand, Fla., also volunteered.

They worked Oct. 17-24 at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Ocean Springs, Miss., a hurricane disaster response center through Lutheran Disaster Response. They spent most of their time doing home demolition

After Hurricane Katrina hit Aug. 29, Schiefelbein said he had a strong feeling that he wanted to do “whatever I could” to help. He asked his brother and friends if they’d join him and they replied, “Count us in—tell us where and when and we’ll be there,” he recalled.


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