|Pastor John Henry and his family have been through a terrible ordeal involving extremely high levels of lead in the home and the risk of lead poisoning (explained in more detail below by Lutheran Church Charities).
They were forced to get rid of most of their furniture as well as the majority of their children’s books and toys.
Please consider helping this faithful pastor and his family out during this difficult time. This is a wonderful opportunity for the body of Christ to show the love of Christ to their family this Christmas.
All donations are charitable gifts for tax purposes with a receipt provided by Lutheran Church Charities.
The following is from Lutheran Church Charities:
Reverend John Henry is Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran in Whiting, Indiana. He conducts services in English and Spanish, and also ministers to and conducts services in Spanish at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dr. Martin Luther in Chicago, Illinois. English and Spanish outreach is ongoing from both congregations, which are members of the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC) District. He lives in a beautiful, 93-year-old parsonage with his wife, Laura, and their four children, Johnny (7), Luke (5), Silas (3) and Molly (1).
The church had scheduled some work to be done at the parsonage and it was discovered that many of the doors, windows, and surfaces in need of repair were coated in lead paint. Young children are at the highest risk for lead poisoning and long term complications to lead exposure. At this point, it was advised that the Henry’s have their children’s blood tested. The tests showed that 2 of their 4 children had elevated levels. Toddlers between age 1-2 are the highest risk for lead poisoning, and Molly had lead levels in her blood that were serious cause for alarm. At this point, the Henry family was evacuated from the home until it can be appropriately remediated and all repairs and cleaning completed.
Pastor Speckhardt of St. Paul Lutheran in Munster, Indiana, where the Henry children attend the Lutheran grade school, was quick to respond to the need for immediate housing. The Henry family has been very grateful for a safe place to stay with temporary furnishings and such willing and immediate response to their housing crisis.
St. Paul Whiting has been pursuing all avenues to see that every environmental concern is addressed and fully remediated so that the Henry’s may return as quickly as possible.
Advanced environmental testing was performed that revealed that, in addition to lead based paint, due to chipping and friction on many of the lead based paint surfaces, and also due to construction, lead dust was pervasive throughout the home. The dust is very fine and heavy and can settle into the tiniest of any soft woods and porous surfaces.
The family was left to make a judgement call about most of their personal belongings. Due to the fact that their children already present with high exposure levels, and the high cost of professional cleaning, they have decided to replace most of the items especially in the areas with the highest concentrations of lead dust. This includes all the mattresses, upholstered furniture (couches, chairs, etc.), soft wood bed frames, kitchen and bath towels, curtains, baby swings, strollers and rocking chair, many kitchen items, décor, and the majority of the children’s books and toys. They hope to be back in a fully restored parsonage by February or March 2017, at which point they will begin replacing the lost items.
The Henry family is very grateful for the generous outpouring of support from their home congregation in Whiting, and from other brothers and sisters in Christ around the SELC District and Missouri Synod. Please consider donating to help the Henry family replace most of their belongings.