As we walked down a street that had obviously been hit hard by the tornado, Alyssa stuck out like a light in the dark. She was smiling and making jokes. When we asked her where she lived it was almost a surprise. She was so happy we didn't expect her to point to the house on the street that was completely demolished.
She reminds the people around her that while they don’t that things like pictures, they have memories that they can hold on to. Alyssa views the situation as a do over and a fresh start.
Across the street was a man named Jeff who was searching through the rubble of his house with his son. Jeff joked that he might have been the cause of the tornado since he felt that God had been putting it on his heart to start a Bible study about loss. He painted a verse on one of his last remaining walls. Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” This is the verse chosen by a man who just lost everything...or did he?
As we talked to the rest of the people on the street, they all seemed to point to the same house and thank the same man for keeping them safe in the storm. He is a tall slightly older humble man who didn’t want to be on camera or even be recognized for what he did. He has a large storm cellar in his back yard that he opens up to his neighbors during storms. Twenty people hid safely in his cellar while the tornado reaped havoc above them. It took five men to push the door open when the storm was through.
This street didn’t have any fatalities in the storm and many feel like they have this man to thank for that.
We set out not to tell the story of just devastation, but more importantly the story of hope and God. I am happy to report that we found that on every destroyed street and at every leveled house. It was amazing and heart breaking all at the same time.
It is hard to believe this woman can smile standing in what used to be her house. She is truly an inspiration.
If you'd like to help, Feed The Children is already on the ground coordinating the delivery of crucial supplies to both survivors and relief workers. Anything you can pitch in goes a long way.
As you drive down the street in Moore, Oklahoma, things change between 18th and 19th Street. The line between the have’s and the have not’s is clear. People stand in mountains of debris trying to figure out what things use to be. Everyone here has a story to tell.
When the news of the tornado came, people had to make a quick decision. Either ride out the storm in their homes or evacuate. A soldier and his wife decided to stick out the storm in their bathroom shower. By the grace of God they somehow survived.
When the aftermath looks so horrific it begs the question, “how do you rebuild?” and, “where do you start?” As we walked through piles of rubble, there laid the soldiers army bag. It was torn open with his cantina, boots and a crisply pressed uniform exposed and yet clean.
Down the street Wally and a team help a women search for her cats.
She shared how she gathered her pets and hid in the hallway. She broke down in tears as she explained that the hallway she was in held her recently deceased husband’s belongings. This was the only area of the house left standing. She cried and rejoiced for every small salvageable item that the team pulled for her from the wreckage.
While in the midst of so much loss, people still found joy. They were grateful. Grateful for their lives and grateful that it still wasn’t worse. Some even had a sense of some humor.
Feed The Children has rushed alongside other efforts to provide needed supplies and relief to the devastated community of Moore, OK in the wake of those terrible tornadoes.
Wally and Katie Rose are on their way there too, thanks to Feed the Children, to personally survey the damage and, on your behalf, pitch in wherever they can on the relief efforts. They'll be reporting back to you live from the ground in Oklahoma, so check back for updates.
Please join us in praying for the people of Moore and the surrounding communities affected by this event. And if you have the means to give, consider helping the Feed The Children effort, by clicking this link. Anything helps.
This was one of the best parts of the trip, getting to actually deliver hope and health to a family in the form of a Biosand filter.
Powerful! "The Lord gave me what I had, & the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!"… http://t.co/cC14yFXKlRposted 4:12 PM, May 24th, 2013