By Pastor Mary Gade
(Ziegels Lutheran Church, Breinigsville) and Linda Deibert (member, Ziegels
United Church of Christ Church, Breinigsville)
I would have
liked to write each of you a personal note to thank you for the role
you played in supporting and encouraging the donations to the truck
to Biloxi. Since I am preparing to leave for Biloxi on Saturday, that
just will not be possible … please let the congregations of your
district know that they made a huge difference.
Pastor Mary Gade
wrote those words in a note to mission district deans on Thursday,
October 26, two days before she left to travel
once again to assist with Katrina cleanup.
Pastor Gade and members
of Ziegels Union Church had teamed up with synod congregations, community
members, and businesses to provide
supplies for Katrina flood victims through Bethel Lutheran Church
provided by Dennis Rothermel, a member of the Lutheran congregation
at Ziegels, who drove his new tractor and
a trailer provided
by Roadway Trucking to the site.
Rothermel had worked
for Roadway for many years and the run to Biloxi was his final trip
prior to his retirement. The tractor was
a gift from
Roadway for having over 2,000,000 miles of accident-free driving.
His name and "2,000,000" was
printed on the side of the rig. Giving his time was his gift
to the project.
Services established drop sites at churches throughout the synod. Not
only were countless items donated
but also over $3,000
to be used for trip expenses. Volunteers began packing boxes
of items the week prior to the trip. Donations were received
Kraft Food, Bill Steward Shipping Dept., and Faith Evangelical
"It was more
than clear that this effort would not have been possible without the
efforts of all our churches working together," writes
Pastor Gade. "It was amazing to see the supplies arrive
all week. We had various people coming and going to sort
and re-pack the items
so that they would be 'truck ready' on Sunday. When the items
started piling up it became more and more clear that we would
meet our goal of
filling the truck to the top!"
Rothermel left Ziegels
at 4 a.m. on October 16 and arrived in Biloxi on October 17. He noted
that when the back of
there were tears of joy. The supplies it held meant that
the members and volunteers
at Bethel Lutheran would be able to continue their ministry
within the community. He felt that the tears were because "they
never anticipated it being filled from floor to ceiling
with necessities for the Katrina
Pastor Gade notes
that it was a “group effort of all of our members,
the many churches that gave, the churches that served
as drop sites and kindly transported the stuff here, and the community
members who gave
both items and dollars to make it happen.
“It was an
amazing time to see it all come together. It is moments like this when
it is simply amazing to be the Church."