LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Amos
Amos is a five year old pure bred Golden Retriever. He was the first Comfort Dog in Virginia and is hoping to serve people all over the DC Metropolitan area.
Amos has received over 2000 hours of training and is no ordinary dog. He is able to visit people in long-term care facilities, memory care facilities, hospice care, hospitals, schools, offices and in the community. Furthermore, Amos' team includes a retired police officer and a veteran, which provides ministry opportunities with first responders.
For more information and a greater look into Amos' training, the training of Amos' team and the scope of his work check out Capital Comfort.
January 11, 2023 - Back to Schools!
This week, schools were back in session following winter break, and Amos was excited to return to his weekly classroom visits. This was a special opportunity to help teachers and students set back into their routine with the calming and comforting visit from Amos and the team.
One student summed it up perfectly, "I love Amos Friday!"
"I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith." Romans 1:11-12
January 4, 2023 - Happy New Year!
A new year brings excitement and worry, joy and pain, resolutions and failures. All around us, there are people who need God’s light to guide them and comfort them. Let us move forward into 2023 sharing the love of Jesus.
Happy New Year from Team Amos
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
December 28, 2022 - Sharing Christmas Love with Friends at Maple Grove
Glory to the newborn King! The week before Christmas can be a busy time getting all the plans, food and presents ready. Amos was happy to leave the hustle and bustle behind and just be present for his friends at Maple Grove. This week, he was able to meet many families who were visiting the residents, which was very exciting! It was a wonderful opportunity to share God’s Peace, comfort and joy to all!
December 21, 2022 - Merry Christmas from Team Amos
Wishing you peace and love this Christmas season! Your friends in Christ, Team Amos
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14
December 14, 2022 - Last Week of School
This week is the last week of school for students and educators before the start of Winter Break, and students have been busy with projects and preparations that are a little less stressful when shared with Amos. Team Amos enjoys visiting classrooms and attending holiday sing-alongs and other celebrations of the season. The extra hugs and shared excitement for the holiday brighten each day.
Heavenly Father, we pray that this Christmas season brings love, peace, and joy to the lives that you place in our paths each day. May they know through us that the greatest gift of all is your son, Jesus.
December 7, 2022 - Worshiping with our Church Family
Amos was happy to be back from deployment and return to worship with the congregation this week! On the Second Sunday of Advent, we prepare our hearts in faithful waiting as we look forward to the Joy of Christmas in the midst of hectic holiday activities and the brokenness in this world. Remember that as we walk with Jesus, we carry Christ's love for all people everywhere we go.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
November 30, 2022 - Chesapeake, Virginia
On Friday morning, Comfort dogs Amos, Claudia, Kezia, and Solomon along with their handlers responded to the community of Chesapeake, Virginia following the tragic Walmart shooting on Tuesday evening. The teams were invited by Pastor Nate Speerbreker and the Chesapeake Community of Hope Lutheran Church. Members of their congregation met us to help assemble and sign six crosses and Hearts of Mercy and Compassion, one for each victim killed, which we then placed at the memorial site near the Walmart.
The Comfort Dog teams responded as a loving and comforting presence to walk alongside the hurting. We listened to the pain and sadness that was shared, while some at the memorial site petted the dogs. We prayed with and for others who are struggling in their grief and fear. There were many emotions and feelings of uncertainty, as well as loving acts of support and hope.
We remembered to give thanks to the first responders who answered the call for help: the quick thinking 911 operators, the Chesapeake police officers, fire fighters, and EMS. These brave women and men face and respond to tragedies that none of us can imagine. We were invited to spend time with Chesapeake Fire Station 4, the closest station to the Walmart and the first to arrive on scene that Tuesday evening. We also visited with Chesapeake Fire Station 3, who also responded to the shooting. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams were honored to be able to meet and thank those on shift that night.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:6
November 23, 2022 - University of Virginia
Last week Amos Comfort Dog, Kezia Comfort Dog, and Solomon Comfort Dog and their handlers deployed to the University of Virginia following the tragic shooting that occurred on campus.
We were invited to meet with the UVA Cru ministry who were meeting on Thursday for togetherness and prayer. Many of these students had just returned to campus, and the presence of the dogs provided comfort to anxious, sad, and confused students.
The next day we went to The Lawn for a moment of silence in remembrance of the three students killed on Sunday: Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr, and D’Sean Perry, and the two injured students. Students and staff continued to carry the weight of grief and shock after such a devastating loss. We greeted students as they walked to class, and they shared with us that they were devastated, but committed to getting through this together.
We saw this sense of community support and faith when we visited the Beta Bridge where students left notes of remembrance and words of love, strength, and encouragement. As the students and community saw us at the bridge, they sought comfort from the team and felt safe in a gentle embrace and loving touch.
We continue to pray for students, staff, the community of UVA, and for the victims and families of those affected by this violence.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
November 16, 2022 - Mill's Run Elementary School Visit
On Friday's visit to Mill Run Elementary School, Amos was excited to be able to bring his Veteran Handler to their Veteran's Day assembly. The students did an amazing job of remembering, honoring, and celebrating the sacrifice and service of the veterans in their lives! After the assembly, we shared special time with friends in their classrooms.
Through this ministry, we are building relationships and supporting students and staff with a comforting presence. Our new friends are sharing with each other, collaborating, and having more smiles in their day. We are blessed to be able to serve God in this way.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
November 9, 2022 - Veterans Day
As we observe Veterans Day this week, we remember and honor all who serve and have served in our nation’s armed forces.
With grateful hearts, we ask for God’s blessings on our veterans. We are thankful for their selfless sacrifices and services to protect our freedom. We pray for their courage, strength, healing and peace, now and always.
May we always remember to say, “Thank You for your service!”
November 2, 2022 - Join our Ministry!
Amos Comfort Dog and his team of caregivers, handlers, and ministry partners are called to bring the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need. We serve through friendship, connection, prayer, and presence in the community every day.
As we begin our 5th year of Comfort Dog Ministry, we invite you to join us. There are many ways our ministry can incorporate the gifts and talents of our congregation to serve the community, and our greatest need is for volunteers who can serve as Handlers or Ministry Partners, especially on weekdays.
Handlers and Ministry Partners interact with others, listen, and pray with them while we share Jesus’s love. Handlers commit to a minimum of 2-5 hours per week, are physically able to work directly with Amos, and are available to take him to outreach events as well as to train and exercise him. Ministry Partners are not handlers, but go out with the handler and Amos on visits (typically 1-3 hours) to provide assistance, interact with the people being served, and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10).
October 26, 2022 - Out of Darkness Walk at Lincoln Memorial
Over the weekend, Amos and Kezia, Comfort Dog from Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD, traveled to the Lincoln Memorial to support the 2022 Washington DC Out of Darkness Walk, hosted by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
It is very important to bring awareness to mental health issues and suicide prevention and to show people that they are not alone. The comfort dogs received many hugs and pets while participants shared their stories of loss as well as their messages of hope.
Heavenly Father, we pray for everyone who has been affected by suicide, for those who are suffering from thoughts that are too big for them, and for the survivors of suicide loss. Help them to know that You are the light that shines in all darkness. Amen.
October 19, 2022 - Celebrating the Fourth Year of Comfort Dog Ministry
On Sunday, October 16th, between the worship services, the congregation joined Team Amos in celebrating our Fourth year of Comfort Dog Ministry. We praise God for the many blessings that this ministry provides to the community and for all of the people He places in our path, including YOU!
We thank God our Father, who strengthens and guides us as we serve those are hurting and are in need of mercy, compassion and Jesus’s love.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
October 12, 2022 - Stars and Stripes Honor Flight
On Saturday, October 8th, Team Amos, with veteran handler George Folta, and Team Kezia (Emmanuel, Baltimore) were at the Washington Dulles International Airport to welcome the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight arrivals from Green Bay and Milwaukee. There was a lot of excitement as three flights with 230 Korean War and Vietnam War veterans arrived to visit the memorials in DC.
Many veterans were overcome with emotion at the unexpected welcome and the ability to stop and pet or hug the comfort dogs was a blessing for them. Several stopped to thank us for being there. They told us that our presence meant a lot, but it was truly our honor to be able to thank these heroes for their service to our country.
October 5, 2022 - Visiting Maple Grove at Ashby Ponds
The residents of Maple Grove at Ashby Ponds welcome Team Amos on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings. Our visits share Jesus’s love through the power of presence. When we show up, our friends know that they are loved. Our time together is truly a blessing from God
Heavenly Father, guide us to be the type of friends You’ve called us to be. Amen
September 28, 2022 - Four Year Anniversary
Four years ago this week, thirteen volunteers answered God’s call and traveled to Chicago to be trained and bring the Comfort Dog Ministry to OSWLC. We learned that every LCC comfort dog is named with a bible verse. Our comfort dog, Amos’ verse is Psalm 116:6.
As each year turns to the next, we count our blessings in this ministry. We are truly richer and each of us continues to grow in our faith walk. We know that each time we serve we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we are walking with Jesus to bring mercy and compassion to those who are in need.
From the beginning, the congregation's support, prayers and encouragement have gone with us, and God has placed those who are in need in our path. We thank God for these opportunities and we thank Him for you!
Over the years Team Amos has welcomed new members and said goodbye to those who have moved away. Today, we have only about half the number of handlers in service to this ministry as before. The hurting in our community, the need for comfort, and the opportunities where we can be an example of Jesus' love surround us. Additional volunteers are needed during the week. Do you have two to four hours on a regular basis? Has God called you to make a difference? Join Us!
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).
September 21, 2022 - Loudoun Out of the Darkness
Amos was invited to bring comfort to the Loudoun Out of the Darkness walk at Ida Lee Park. We went out with Jesus to serve those who came together to walk for suicide prevention and to bring hope to survivors of suicide loss.
We are each other’s family. Our Heavenly Father wants us to know that we are dearly loved and we are not alone.
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19
September 14, 2022 - New School Year
Amos enjoyed welcoming and worshiping with you this past Sunday and was especially excited for the start of Sunday School and Confirmation classes. Amos will be returning to visit the 7th & 8th grade Sunday school classes again this year.
Recently one of our handlers met a new couple who shared that it was their first time worshiping with us and that they came to OSW because they saw Amos on social media and wanted to be part of a church that has a Comfort Dog ministry. We are thankful for all the ways God brings people to us!
It is a blessing to welcome families and worship together. See you next week!
September 7, 2022 - Back to School
A new school year has arrived! We are planning for the return of Amos's school visits and are excited to soon spend time with students and educators in the classrooms. While we don't yet know what this new year has in store, we know that our Heavenly Father leads us in the way we should go. We pray that the beginning of this new school year is filled with fruits of the spirit. Lord, help us to love unconditionally, be kind to others and walk in Your goodness.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23
August 31, 2022 - Brushy Creek Honor Flight
Team Amos had an awesome Saturday morning greeting veterans on the Brushy Creek Honor Flight arriving from Fort Dodge, Iowa! Kezia Comfort Dog joined us from Baltimore to help welcome veterans to our nation’s capital where they will visit their war memorials. It was an honor to help to show them how grateful we are for their service and sacrifice to our country. God Bless America! ❤️???
August 24, 2022 - Summer Days
The summer schedule for Amos included weekend visits to Blue Ridge Camp in Middleburg to see friends from Jill's House. These weekend getaways give kids with intellectual disabilities the supportive opportunity they need to experience Jesus's love through adventures and fun. We joined campers in the late afternoon during their downtime, hanging out, relaxing, and enjoying each other's company. There is nothing like a camp best friend!
Thank you for our friends, Jesus. You have truly shown us examples of your love and faithfulness through friendships that build us up, encourage, and support us. Amen.
August 17, 2022 - Celebrate and Support
Last weekend team Amos traveled to Williamsburg to join Solomon Comfort Dog (King of Glory, Williamsburg) and Kezia Comfort Dog (Emmanuel, Baltimore) for the celebration and installation of Rev. Dr. William Harmon as President of our Southeastern District, LCMS. It was an honor to be present to support our district’s leadership and be present for all who came to bear witness and pray for God’s guidance, wisdom, and confidence.
August 10, 2022 - Faithful Followers
Team Amos has faithful followers who are a part of our ministry but have never met us in person. They pray with us, love those we meet, and are comforted in the love and mercy that we share. One follower regularly sends the Comfort Dogs Ministries heartfelt, handmade gifts, like the ones we recently received containing blankets and toys made for Amos. We are so blessed by the support, love, and prayers that go with us every time we step out to share Jesus’ love.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." ~ 1 Peter 4:10
August 3, 2022 - You Are Loved!
Hello, Our Savior's Way friends! I want to remind you how deeply loved you are. Our Heavenly Father's abundant, steadfast love for each of us fills us with hope for the future. God encourages us in our love by providing a spiritual family of believers. At OSWLC we know that we are better together, in communion with our creator. Together, in the Body of Christ, let us have patience and trust in God's plan and remember how deeply loved we are.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." ~ Colossians 3:15
July 20, 2022 - Ashby Ponds Visit
This week's visit at Ashby Ponds was spent entirely with the memory care residents who were excited to have the extra time with Amos. Amos received lots of loving touches, hugs, and smiles as he helped to bring a sense of comfort and familiarity. Many of the residents shared personal memories of the dogs in their lives while gently stroking Amos. These nostalgic moments and sensory experiences with Amos bring a special calmness to the residents.
"And I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety." ~ Isaiah 46:4
July 13, 2022 - Connecting with Our Church Family
Amos was happy to be back in Virginia and attending worship with his OSWLC family on Sunday. We enjoy being used by God to touch lives and be available to greet you each week. This is a wonderful way for us to get to know our church family better. We hope that you are able to visit Amos before or after services. You may even catch him calling you with a look that says, "Come!"
"From him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:16
July 6, 2022 - We Can All Comfort
While the comfort dog schedule may change during summer we know that the need for comfort and the presence of Jesus does not change. God knows our desire to be loved and He made us for companionship. We are needed to encourage, listen, and support and we can do this with our presence, a hug, or a smile.
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that You have shown us examples of Your love through our friends. Help us to be a friend to someone today. We don’t know how much we may be needed, but we do know that You place people in our hearts and our paths for Your purpose.
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10