“For everything there is a season…. a time to tear down and a time to build up.”
“When tying to describe the area, the word ‘chaos’ is an understatement. The amount of trash and goods just torn up and scattered everywhere was unreal. Metal buildings just shredded, fences twisted, toilets hanging in trees, homes that seemed to have vanished, and walls standing without roofs!”
Let me start by saying thank you Bethel and a special thanks to The Magills who raised over $2,800 for the victims in Moore, Oklahoma! I’m in awe of Gods people coming together for this need! -Tara and Ryan Smith
We arrived in Norman Oklahoma on the morning of May 25th 2013 ready to deliver goods to an area in need. Our destination; First Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. We met with Clint, the outreach minister, and began unloading the 2 trailers that our community in Tyler, TX had donated for the Moore, OK tornado victims.
We had an assembly line of 14 people and it took every one of us to unload those trailers. We had everything from water (lots of water) to shovels, tooth paste, teddy bears, and dog food! It was so awesome to have people pull up and be able to load their car with so many needed supplies after loosing everything!
We also had 1,000 lbs of fajita meat to cook so we headed over to a small church and community that had very little support. They were having a town meeting at 3pm so we got there and started cooking for the community at a church called Pecan Valley. When I say these folks were excited about having a hot fajita with veggies I can’t stress the excitement. There was a line approximately 1/2 mile long waiting to have a hot meal.
That evening we were able to go help a few people in the area with clean up. At first I thought many of these victims were still so dirty, (and many were from working) but most were actually just so bruised from getting hit by debris. There were so many hurting physically, and even more that were emotionally and psychologically destroyed by the realization of all their belongings being gone. Many have no job, no cars, no house, and are living in tents. There are shelters, but because of looting people can’t leave. This is a very finacially depressed area so there aren’t many homes with insurance.
We met a mom who lost her job (the business was destroyed by the tornado) so she didn’t get a pay check the week before. Half of their home was destroyed but they did have electricity and they were the only home on the entire road that had power. So, with half of her home gone, she is feeding 25-30 people out of cans and donations! I was in SHOCK! Red Cross is there but they don’t climb hills to feed others, or come to you to feed those that are in the remote locations.
We decided that the next day we would help cook for these people. We pre-made fajitas and delivered them up and down the roads on Sunday. We would say “God bless you” as we handed them a luke-warm (but familiar) meal and many would just break down in tears.
We realized that many were in need of very specific items and tools, but no longer had any form of transportation to go get what they needed. We ended up asking what people needed, driving up to the distribution center, and coming back to deliver the items.
Many locations have SO much clothing but not specific sizes and no more room to handle the clothing. A few times we were able to go to Walmart, buy specific clothes and supplies that weren’t available from the distribution center, and help families that way. Each family was SO grateful! I had one sweet precious mother tell me:
“What you focus on is what you get. We have nothing left to lean on but God. I’m standing on the promises.”
She lost her family business, her vehicles, and her home.
While working at a distribution center at a gas station in Little Axe we were able to pray with people, meet immediate needs, and find out from them what physical labor they needed for our group to do when we come back!
How can you help?
Please be praying for God to continue to work in these small areas. Moore is saturated with help. But these smaller communities have just as much damage, but little if ANY support.
We are going back the week of June 9th. If you are interested in serving on a work mission please let us know. I am excited to go back and love on them in Jesus name!
List of items still needed:
- CHAINSAW CHAINS
- CHAINSAW FILES
- CHAINSAW BAR OIL
- WORK GLOVES
- FLASH LIGHTS
- CAN OPENERS
- BABY WIPES
- SUN BLOCK
- MOSQUITO AND TICK REPELLENT
- SPECIAL BABY FORMULAS
When we return we will be sharpening Chainsaw chains for the families and volunteers. We will be working to remove trees and brush from homes and helping those who lost everything recover the goods they can so they can feel comfortable to go to a shelter!