LLC Humanitarian Aid Committee Origins
The LLC humanitarian aid work began in the spring of 2002 in response to requests by ministers returning from mission trips from both Togo and Ecuador. They saw that the most basic temporal and daily needs of many newly converted believers were unmet. Numerous speakers helped with their own funds and wished there was a way to help more of the brothers and sisters in these areas.
After hearing these requests, the LLC decided to form a separate fund designated strictly for humanitarian aid. This separation of funds was seen as essential so that the humanitarian work would not get confused with the LLC’s main mission, “to preach the Gospel.” This new fund would ensure that contributors to the LLC would be able to designate how their donation would be used, for mission work or for humanitarian purposes.
At the initial humanitarian aid meetings, the committee chose officers and drafted a charter that detailed its organization, mission statement, and short- and long-term operating plans. This charter was brought to the LLC Board of Directors meeting during the LLC’s 2002 Summer Services. The charter was approved, and the committee was encouraged by the LLC to initiate the work as described in the charter.
How Funds are Raised
Based on these initial meetings and the approval of the charter, the LLC Humanitarian Aid Committee (LLC HAC) started its formal activities of raising and disbursing funds. The HAC fundraising efforts to date have been at LLC-sponsored events such as summer services, as well as local fundraising events in congregations. Some of the fundraisers held by the congregations have included bake sales, presentations, general collections, meals, and special coffee lunches.
God has graciously provided for this work and the most acute needs have always been funded. These include medical needs, housing, subsistence needs, natural disaster relief, and primary schooling needs for the young. Other requests for post-secondary education and entrepreneurial grants have recently been able to be supported as well.
How Funds are Used
Raised funds are sent to the local humanitarian aid contacts in congregations in Ecuador, Togo, Ghana and Rwanda. A general grant is sent to the humanitarian aid contacts in these countries each quarter. These local HAC committees truly know where and how to best use the funds so that the greatest impact can be made with the resources available. These funds are used to assist in day-to-day requests in each country. In addition to these quarterly grants, money is sent to each country in either March or August to support the educational needs of the children. Additionally, money is sent to each country at Christmas to support the believers with a Christmas meal and a treat for the children. These grants have been greatly appreciated and these believers feel the love from North American Zion. The local humanitarian aid contacts have been crucial in this work.
Historically the LLC HAC has, in addition to meeting urgent medical needs, also provided assistance to help entire communities. These projects have included a water pump replacement project for the La Merced community, providing running water for 64 homes in the Riobamba area of Ecuador, providing basic immunizations for the Togolese believers, supporting a small grocery cooperative in Quito, Ecuador to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable, and to support both a trout farm and a sheep farm for some of the indigenous believers in Ecuador. These small communal farm projects were initiated to help believers support themselves and their extended communities. In recent years, due to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact, the committee has provided supplemental food grants to the aided countries. It has also supported a water pump replacement project for the La Merced community, a storm demolished kitchen replacement and home repair as well as numerous medical requests.
Make a Charitable Contribution
The LLC Humanitarian Aid Committee organizes assistance efforts in Togo, Ecuador, Ghana and Rwanda, where LLC mission services are held.
Laestadian Lutheran Church is a 501(c)3 organization.
Humanitarian Aid Committee Membership
Current Membership of the Humanitarian Aid Committee is as follows:
LLC mission directors Jon Bloomquist and Adrian Pirness support the LLC HAC work.
Contact the Humanitarian Aid Committee: