Lutheran Early Response Teams are Lutheran volunteers across the state (and country) that are trained in disaster response. Rain, floods, tree damage, earthquakes–whatever the disaster they come prepared to help clean up free of charge to those affected. LERT’s training serves to restore more than property damage, though, they also are trained in mercy ministry, learning how to pray and be a spiritual support in times of crisis.

The impact of the efforts of these LERT groups is great. Their efforts were recognized at the LCMS National Convention this summer. Resolution 3-04A stated “To Commend and Give Thanks for Synod Work regarding Disaster Response”, and it passed unanimously.

Across Missouri, there are many active LERT groups. Sometimes these groups even travel to other states to help with disasters. Kris Schuldt serves as the Missouri District Disaster Response Coordinator and leads an active LERT group. Kris’s heart for ministry and service shines through in his tireless efforts this past year.

Kris was awarded the “2023 Disaster Response Servant Award” from LCMS Disaster Response. “Kris was selected from our entire pool of volunteers due to his numerous responses and leadership in the past year,” says LCMS Director of Disaster Training Rev. Michael Meyer. “He volunteered over 1500 [hours] in the past 12 months (more than double the next closest [candidate]), primarily in response to flooding in O’Fallon and St. Peters last July. He also led his team in flood cleanup at St. Matthews in St. Louis and wind events in New Melle and various other locations in the western STL metro region.”

Congratulations Kris on all your hardwork and thank you for your efforts to help those impacted by natural disaster!