August 2016 Newsletter
It's hard to believe that summer is almost over. That means our team is already hard at work on the fall 2016 schedule. If you would like to schedule a presentation or visit, now is the time to let us know. You can contact us through the website here to fill out an event/visit form.
Summer Travel plus Unexpected Deployments
The Comfort Dog teams were busy with summer travel to Lubbock, TX, New Orleans, LA and Northbrook, IL as well as unexpected deployments. Due to the generosity of people in our church and community, we were able to respond to the tragedies in Orlando, FL, and Dallas, TX. We continue to be amazed at what God can do! Prayers, words of encouragement, and your generosity have a HUGE impact. Thank you for walking alongside this ministry as we serve those who need the mercy and compassion of Christ.
Close to Home - Dallas Deployment
The tragedy in Dallas, TX, of course, hit closer to home. There is definitely a different feel when it directly impacts where you live and work. We have Dallas Police officers who attend our church and one is even a part of our team.
Phoebe and Pax were joined by 4 other comfort dogs from Illinois, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. With them and their teams, we spent most of our time working in and among the police department. We visited individual precincts that had lost officers in this tragedy. The opportunity to pray with the officers and provide comfort was a great privilege.
We will continue to reach out to the men and women who protect and serve our communities. You can see pictures here and videos here.
A Reason to Smile
Every deployment has unknowns and surprises. In Orlando with 11 other dogs from 6 other states, we visited places we were very familiar with such as hospitals. But we were also invited to the Medical Examiner's Office. Death is not foreign to this group of people, but completing 19 autopsies in one day because of tragic circumstances is.
Imagine walking into this room filled with people you don't know. There is a heaviness in the air, no conversation, and no connection; you feel a bit like an awkward teenager. Within moments, our beautiful Comfort Dogs break the ice. The noise level begins to rise as people relax and start to talk. In the end, tears were shared, laughter vibrated and one gentleman summed it up best when he said, "I haven't had a reason to smile in five days until now."
We think you would be blessed to watch the live video taken at the Medical Examiner's Office. You can watch it here as well as seeing many other pictures here.
National Youth Gathering (#NYG2016)
Can you even imagine 25,000 high school students from around the country and beyond in one place? The LCMS National Youth Gathering makes that happen every three years. Now picture the students raising a hand to pray over the Comfort Dog ministry. We were humbled and honored to share the ministry with so many students and their adult leaders. Great future leaders are rising up around the world. We feel blessed we could be among them while they were at the gathering.