Jesus spoke in his Sermon On the Mount in a series of statements that are commonly called “The Beatitudes”.
“Blessed are the mourners, for they’ll be comforted.”
The community now has space to grieve, as the majority of Uvalde’s narrative-seeking journalists and camera lights have moved on. They are not alone, and they have the support of our four-legged treasures.
From The Oklahoman:
After a shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left 19 children dead and two teachers wounded, a Kingfisher Lutheran Church sent a dog ministry and a team of crisis responders to Uvalde, Texas.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church is a Kingfisher affiliate of Lutheran Church Charities. It sent a team to Uvalde Tuesday as part of its wider outreach efforts with K-9 Comfort Dog Ministries.
Miriam, a golden retriever who has been trained for psychological comfort since she was eight weeks old, is the heart of that Kingfisher team. She had to go through 2,000 hours of training before she could be used to help people in crisis. Keith Leimbach, Denise Jech and J. Juan Jech are the other K-9 Comfort handlers. Susan Post is also a member of this team.
“It’s really rewarding and challenging for our handlers, to be in the middle of people who have lost loved ones, it’s really rewarding, but difficult work,” Deb Baran, director, of communications and media relations at Lutheran Church Charities, said. “I got the word from our coordinator that one member of our team was speaking with someone who was confronted with the shooter, and they survived. Although it’s very difficult and emotionally charged, the work is essential.”
Not just Kingfisher, Oklahoma but also the entire network of Lutheran Church Ministries. K-9 Comfort ministry was deployed to Uvalde by Lutheran churches from Texas including Austin, Houston, and Plano. Additional canine support groups and ministries were also deployed with their K-9 compassionate units.
USA TODAY reported on one in San Antonio
Fox 35 also reported on an Orlando organization for Golden Retrievers.
These dogs undergo 2,000 hours of training. This can take anywhere from one year to one year and a half. They are not paid by the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort ministry and Hearts of Mercy and Compassion ministry. Their role is to proclaim Jesus Christ’s mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation to all who are in need.
Tim Hetzner, CEO and president of Lutheran Church Charities, said:
“We are aware that comfort is necessary to help this devastated community and the first responders who provide it with assistance.”
All the Lutheran comfort ministries in the different cities and states created 21 crosses to honor the 19 children and teachers who had lost their lives. Each victim’s name was written by the teams. A Bible verse was also added to the crosses. People walked around the square looking for names of loved ones or victims they knew. The team members were present in the background, allowing the people to interact with the crosses and then the dogs. Many people in Uvalde were helped to open up by the kindness and presence of K-9 comforters. The team members were able to listen to their stories and cry with them. They also offered prayers and support.
Blessed are those who mourn…