Current Relief Efforts
Volunteer in Houston
If you would like to volunteer or you have a group of people that would like to help with the rebuilding of the Houston area and stay in OGT’s bedroom unit located at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church here is your contact information. The registrations for volunteers are set up through The Fuller Center for Housing website http://fullercenter.org/disaster-rebuilders/ Click on Volunteer Lodging to find out more about the lodging, meals, requirements and who to contact with questions. There is a button “Register Here for Texas Location”. OGT is working with Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. If you have questions or problems registering please contact Brenda Barton at email@example.com. Thank you for supporting OGT and helping our neighbors in Texas with rebuilding their homes and lives from Hurricane Harvey.
Many Mouths Fed and The Word and Love of Jesus Spread
God is Good! In 2017 OGT was able to ship 15 containers filled with humanitarian aid to Haiti. Eight of these shipments were blessed to contain a total of 832,896 processed rice meals, 43,975 pounds of edible beans and other goods. That is a lot of hungry children and families fed along with praises of thanks to God. The food and goods were distributed to several ministries including Help For Haiti, Helping Hands for Haiti, Mission Haiti, La Gonave Alive, Ecole Univers Des Tout Petits, Haiti Lutheran Mission Society (2 locations), and House of Hope orphanage. OGT is grateful for our dedicated supporters and volunteers that help spread the Word and love of Jesus to the hungry and needy. This thank you was emailed to Karen Mangels, OGT’s Director of International Transportation:
This is to thank you for the food sent on behalf of God's people down here. This is very much appreciated. In the names of all the beneficiaries and in my own, I thank you so much for all you do. I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year.
Pastor Thomas Bernard
Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church and School Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The second shipment to Puerto Rico was unloaded in December 2017 by OGT’s recipient Centro Cristiano Gracia Y Verdad Inc. This shipment was a combination of goods from three OGT branches; Maryland, New England and Mid-Atlantic. They were overjoyed to receive the 40' shipping container for storage, 26,136 Harvest Pack meals, 5,184 Kid's Care meals (pasta/bean soup), bottled water, hygiene kits/supplies, diapers, cleaning supplies, buckets, brooms, mops, generators, rakes, shovels, tools, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, sump pump, wet/dry vacuum, clothing, shoes, and backpacks. Christmas blessings for families in desperate need. (12/2017)
Wonderful Yet Heartbreaking
We are excited to share these wonderful yet heartbreaking photos of our first shipment being distributed in Puerto Rico on November 27. This shipment was loaded in Indiana and funded by OGT’s international office. The shipment included bottled water, generators, canned food, baby food, diapers, infant supplies, hygiene supplies, feminine products, cleaning supplies, household supplies, and clothing. The first picture is OGT’s recipient contact in Puerto Rico Jorge Munoz in the white cap with his brother Orlando. He included this note with the pictures “Please keep those containers coming! I'm still here in Puerto Rico. The need up here is real and needs of everything. This connection with you (OGT) is being guided by God to bless our people. Thank you for everything. I'm going to create a PowerPoint and will be email you, so you can see what God is doing throughout our efforts. God Bless you.” The photos show the container being unloaded, goods distributed and some of the devastation in Puerto Rico. Please continue to pray for the families living in Puerto Rico and for safe travel and unloading of shipments to Puerto Rico.(12/2017)
Puerto Rican's Rejoice from Shipment
OGT’s first shipment to Puerto Rico was received by recipient Centro Cristiano Gracia Y Verdad Inc. on November 24th and on the 27th all supplies were distributed with shouts of joy and praise from families in desperate need! This shipment was loaded in Indiana and funded by OGT international office from the Hurricane Relief Fund.
On November 20th, the Norfolk warehouse volunteers loaded a second shipment for Puerto Rico. The cargo included bedding, cleaning supplies, generators, tarps, various foods, water, beds, hygiene kits, diapers and school supplies. Thank you to Community Bible Church of Norfolk for donating some of the goods. Puerto Rico Baptist College will be receiving this shipment to distribute to families in need. Thank you to our donors, volunteers and supporters that help make these disaster relief shipments possible. Please continue to pray for our ministry and the safe travels and unloading of shipments. (11-2017)
Rebuilding and Spreading the Word
Two loads of construction materials consisting of insulation, wall board, joint tape, screws, and plates were purchased by OGT Disaster Relief Fund and shipped to Tomball, TX in mid-November. Salem Lutheran Church received the items to distribute to volunteers helping with the reconstruction of homes damaged by hurricane Harvey. They also received two of the six shipments of drywall OGT purchased and shipped to Texas. Salem Lutheran Church has opened their doors to volunteers; housing and feeding them while they help to repair homes. When the volunteers are asked by families “why are you doing this?” they tell them “for the love of Jesus.” The non-believers are amazed and confused by the generosity and a seed is planted. Salem Lutheran Church works with 41 other churches by distributing donated construction materials to help rebuild the Houston area. Thank you to our donors for helping our neighbors down south. Pictures include the warehouse in Texas receiving one of OGT’s drywall shipments, pallets of insulation already delivered and a cheerful volunteer picking up some of the construction materials. (11/30/2017)
As of November 1, 2017 California was having record wildfires with more than 245,000 acres burned, an estimated 8,700 structures destroyed and at least 43 people killed according to Cal Fire. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County's largest city, lost entire neighborhoods to fires, approximately 3,000 homes and 23 of the dead are from this neighborhood. Orphan Grain Train is working with California’s Lutheran District to see what financial aid is needed for victims losing everything to the wildfires. We will be assisting the victims of fires in the Santa Rosa area with financial funding from OGT’s Domestic Disaster Fund. (11-2017)
Bedroom Units for Houston Volunteers
On Saturday, October 28, 2017 two bedroom units and a storage container left the Norfolk warehouse for Houston. The bedroom units are now set up with electricity on the grounds of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church with the container being used to store tools for volunteers to use while rebuilding homes. On October 30 volunteers had their first night’s sleep in the units. OGT is relieved and excited to have the first set of units set up and now to concentrate on the next volunteer village units’ placement. Orphan Grain Train wants to thank our donors for their generous contributions that help with the cost of transporting, obtaining permits, and setting up units that give volunteers a place to sleep while helping those in need in Texas. (11-2017)
Aid for Victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria Updates
The requests OGT has been receiving for assistance in Texas is for tools and building materials for rebuilding homes. OGT recently purchased $40,000.00 worth of drywall, 5 truckloads which were shipped to the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston for reconstruction of homes. This is just the start of a large commitment to Houston and the Texas coastal region of Rockport and Victoria for restoration and rebuilding of homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. On October 30 we will be moving two of our bedroom units (each unit houses 18-20 beds) to the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for volunteers to sleep in while using the Gloria Dei facility for meals and showers. We will also send a container that will store tools for volunteers to access. We plan to be there for the long term and this is just the beginning of our commitment to help with disaster relief of Hurricane Harvey.
Now for Hurricane Irma which destroyed portions of Florida, OGT is planning to send volunteer village units to the Fort Myers area as well as containers of supplies for the rebuilding process. We are looking at options for the village to be in a key location with the ability to obtain proper permits. Orphan Grain Train was stationed and assisted victims of Hurricane Katrina for 5 years and we plan to be a part of the rebuilding of homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria for the long term. Pictured is one of the truckloads of drywall heading to Texas on Friday, October 13, 2017.
Orphan Grain Train’s first relief container for Puerto Rico was loaded Thursday, October 26 and is expected to arrive in San Juan on November 14th. A Christian church, Centro Cristiano Gracia Y Verdad will be receiving the shipper owned container filled with bottled water, generators, canned food, baby food, diapers, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, household items, and clothes. Cornerstone Ministry Center in Seymour, Indiana loaded the container with donated goods from the area along with supplies from OGT’s Indiana Branch in Jonesville, Indiana. Hurricane Relief funds donated to OGT’s International office were used to fund this first of several planned shipments for Puerto Rico. These goods will be distributed to the many families and individuals of Puerto Rico whose lives have been shattered by Hurricane Maria. Please pray for improved living conditions and comfort for the children, families and workers in Puerto Rico.
The construction supplies can be delivered to the Norfolk OGT warehouse at 606 West Phillip Avenue Monday through Friday from 9 AM – 4 PM. Monetary donations can be sent to Orphan Grain Train, P. O. Box 1466, Norfolk, NE 68702 or donate on line by clicking the Donate button. Please indicate Disaster Relief Fund. Thank you for assisting the victims of the hurricanes through Orphan Grain Train. Please pray for those that have lost so much.
People of all ages from all over the St. Louis area came to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) International Center on Saturday, September 1, 2017 to load supplies to send down to Texas. OGT partnered with LCMS Disaster Response division to transport the supplies to Texas. The shipment was unloaded on the morning of Monday, September 4. Thank you to everyone who helped with getting this shipment of supplies to the flood victims in Texas. Photos courtesy of LCMS Communications.
Abundance of Food to Help Others
The Norfolk Warehouse has been blessed with an abundance of food donations and we are grateful to be able to help others domestically with these generous donations. The Lincoln Food Bank in Lincoln, NE received 2 shipments of food today. Lincoln Food Bank has several different programs and organizations to help fight hunger. The NAHA – Native American Heritage Association received a shipment of food yesterday and another today to share with families living on the reservation in North and South Dakota. What wonderful blessings to share with children and families in need.(8/2017)
Busy Beginning to OGT's Week
Three domestic shipments went out earlier this week from the Norfolk warehouse. Cornerstone Children’s Ranch in Quemado, Texas received a load of mixed foods and a load of clothing for those at the ranch and to share with families and organizations in their outreach program. NAHA – Native American Heritage Association in Black Hawk, SD received a shipment of various foods to share with families living on 6 different reservations in North and South Dakota. Many blessings for our neighbors in the US.(8/2017)
A Perfect Fit
This dear little boy attends Help For Haiti’s handicapped school in Haiti. His wheelchair had broken and desperately needed another one. Sandra Koch with HFH looked in her compound and had found this one donated by OGT. It fits him perfectly and is easier for him to get around then his last wheelchair. Praise be to God.(7/2017)
Helping Those Here In Norfolk, NE
Norfolk warehouse gave to Project Homeless Connect Norfolk which was a one-day, one-stop event where individuals and families who are homeless or near homeless are able to receive a wide variety of immediate, on-site services and support for unmet needs for free. OGT donated furniture, hygiene kits, bikes, and new socks. OGT also gave a variety of food to the local food pantry and Rescue Mission for the event. It was great to be involved with this event to help the less fortunate in our community.(7/2017)
Liberia to Receive Shipment
Maryland Branch volunteers were busy loading for Lutheran Schools in Liberia. Joe Boway with the Lutheran Church in Liberia will be receiving clothes, shoes, commodes, school furnishings, and school books to share with the schools and those in need. (7/2017)
Pails Designed to Encourage While Helping
In December 2016 St. James Lutheran Church in Shawano, WI and OGT’s Wisconsin Branch kicked off a special project to collect 5,000 pails to help families in Haiti recover from Hurricane Matthew. The pails could be used to collect clean drinking water and stop the spread of cholera. The children at St. James, St. Paul; Bonduel and St. Martin; Clintonville, WI all joined the project in creating their personal pail for a child in Haiti. The children decorated the pails with their favorite Bible passage or words of encouragement and love. The project was a huge success with collecting approximately 8,000 pails! The pails were shipped to Haiti earlier this year along with 21,600 rice meals, canned vegetables, infant formula, hygiene kits, and medical equipment. The pictures are the buckets being used in Haiti and the showing of the wonderful drawings from the children.(6/2017)
A Bike For A Boy = Such Joy
OGT recently received these wonderful pictures of Caleb, an 8 year old boy with cerebral palsy. Caleb is at one of (KIM) Kids International Ministries’ orphanages in the Philippines. He cannot walk and is at the mercy of people to push him around in his wheelchair. KIM received bikes from OGT and gave some of the smaller bikes to the orphanage. One of the bikes did not have pedals and Caleb was put on this bike. To everyone’s amazement and his amazement, he was able to scoot around on this bike and it gave him the freedom to go where he wanted. He was so happy. KIM shared these pictures and story with us and said “Thank you for the gift of bikes that made a BIG difference in one boy's life.”(01/2017)