About us
     Mercy in Action – Jesus talks about showing mercy to others, giving an example of giving a cup of cold water in His name (Matthew 10:42). Acts of mercy are integral in the living out of faith in Jesus Christ, putting one’s faith into action in response to Christ's love for us (James 2:14-17). The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a good example of putting mercy into action (Luke 10:30-40).
 
     Disaster Resources refers, in a general sense, to being a resource by providing disaster training, planning, and management services to churches. We are a resource to pastors, congregations, and Districts of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
 
     Joel Mathews – Retired in 2015 as a Master Sergeant after a 26-year career in law enforcement. Joel’s first start in disaster response came when his agency responded to South Florida following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He served for 11 years on the agency's Special Incident Response Team as a team member, Logistics Coordinator, Platoon Leader, Assistant Team Leader, and Team Leader.  In addition to his law enforcement training, Joel’s training also includes Homeland Security, Incident Command, Crowd Management, Chainsaw, and Disaster Response. He was his agency’s lead chainsaw instructor, having trained over 350 deputies in safe chainsaw use. Joel led a team of volunteers from his church to assist in cleanup of Biloxi, MS, following Hurricane Katrina. He has assisted with other disaster responses (Hurricanes Wilma, Matthew, Irma, and Florence; "Groundhog Day Tornadoes", "No Name" storms, Wisconsin floods) and local assistance projects (Habitat For Humanity, Operation CodeVet). Joel served in various positions of leadership at his church, Messiah Lutheran, including congregation president and disaster team leader. He is a certified LERT and chainsaw trainer, having trained over 430 sheriff deputies and 150 "civilians" in safe chainsaw handling.
 
  Kathy Mathews – Also retired in 2015 after a 25-year career in sales administration with Paychex, Inc. Kathy’s disaster response interest started following the four hurricanes that struck central Florida in 2004. She has assisted with responses to Florida, Biloxi, MS, following Hurricane Katrina, the “Ground Hog Day Tornadoes” Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, Wisconsin floods, and numerous local tree and flood bucket projects at church. Kathy has been active in a number of activities at Messiah, including the handbell choir and "Angel Stitches". She has assisted in various trainings and is a certified LERT trainer.  

Disaster Response Assistance
   In 2016Joel and Kathy assisted the Southeastern District of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod with setting up and managing the District's response to Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina. They distributed over 770 flood buckets in Lumberton, established work sites for LCMS volunteers in Lumberton (muck-out) and the greater Fayetteville area (chainsaw), established volunteer housing, and partnered with various Lutheran churches, other denominations, and various NGO's working on cleanup efforts in the Lumberton area.

     In 2017 they coordinated the Hurricane Irma response for the LCMS Florida-Georgia District in Southwest Florida. Partnering with local Lutheran churches, they established a distribution center, secured housing for volunteers and coordinated over 100 cleanup and tree removal jobs. 

       In 2018, working with the South Wisconsin District of the LCMS, Joel and Kathy helped manage the District's work on flood response after torrential rains over 10 days caused much flooding in the South Central and South West part of the state. Several homes were mucked-out and had mold mitigation performed by volunteers. They assessed jobs, coordinated volunteers and supplies, and assisted in the work.

       Assistance was provided to the Southeastern District of the LCMS following Hurricane Florence as they coordinated assistance in areas North and South Carolina. They distributed supplies, tarped roofs, cleared trees, coordinated cleanup jobs and volunteers, established volunteer housing, and conducted training.
Sharing Christ through Faith in Action and Stewardship
It is the goal of Mercy in Action Disaster Resources, to provide disaster response training, planning, and management resources, enabling congregations to minister to their members and community in a disaster, being the hands and face of Christ.
 
Goals include:
  • Training volunteers in Disaster Response.
  • Assisting teams of trained volunteers to assist in disaster response relief and recovery efforts.
  • Assisting pastors, congregations, and Districts with disaster planning.
  • Assisting Districts, pastors and congregations in managing disasters.
  • Building and equipping disaster response trailers.
   
Mission
The mission of Mercy in Action Disaster Resources is to assist pastors, congregations, and Districts in preparing for, responding to, and managing disaster responses, serving the Lutheran Church and it’s communities as part of the Church’s outreach ministry.
 
Vision
Mercy in Action Disaster Resources seeks to become the primary disaster response training, planning, and management resource in the Florida-Georgia District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the southeastern United States.
 
Motivation
The motivation behind Mercy in Action Disaster Resources can be summed up in one phrase: “A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name” (Matthew 10:42). We follow the example Jesus established when He fed the 5,000 and the 4,000, and His teachings in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-40). Because He first loved us, we love others (I John 4:19).
 
We show our love for Christ by helping others. Mercy in Action Disaster Resources is Christian love in action. It is meeting the urgent needs of hurting humanity in crisis situations with loving care and a timely response, as James 2:14-17 instructs us to do. As Christians, we are called to not only have a relationship with Jesus Christ (spiritual), but are also to put our faith into action by serving others as Christ served us (physical) (Matthew 25:40, John 13:14).
    

If You Wish to Donate to this
​Ministry

Mercy in Action Disaster Resources​ is a ministry of Joel & Kathy Mathews, as we seek to live our faith in Jesus Christ, in grateful response to God, putting it into action by helping those affected by disaster. This ministry is funded through training fees, donations, assistance contracts, or out of our own pocket. We do not take a salary for the services we provide. We are not a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so any donation is NOT tax deductible.
Donations are gratefully accepted and will be used to help defray costs associated with purchasing or maintaining equipment used in training or the ministry, or providing disaster response planning and coordination to churches and Districts of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.​​
Donate Now
There is specific equipment that we are in need of to enable volunteers to properly and safely perform cleanup work. If you wish to donate the actual item please contact us regarding how to do it. If you wish to make a donation for a specific item you may make the online donation, then email us what you would like us to purchase with your donation.
Download Euipment List
Thank you for your generous contribution. You may rest assured that it will be used only for the uses mentioned. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.