The following is an email that was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org email address. These words are the words of Steve Curry
I wanted to give you guys an update on my experiences in Moore that last few days. There is a lot going on there that I am not involved with nor am privy to, so this is my very narrow view of what was happening around me.
I emailed you guys earlier telling you that I was in Moore on Wednesday, our first really organized day there. Due to the short notice we expected maybe 200 volunteers and hoped for 500, but 3000 came. Though we were not yet allowed into the really devastated areas, there was still much that we could do and it was awesome to see God's people working together and ministering in Jesus' name.
Yesterday (Saturday) I arrived at the Volunteer headquarters just after 8 am and found that it was already full of people and material. After the first group of workers were sent out, a call went out for anyone who had led a C-group, house church, cell group, bible study, VBS, pretty much anything. We had about ten raise their hands and that became my group. We went to the corner of Janeway Ave. and SW 4th where a tent had been erected, split up into three groups, and the groups went out into Zones 1, 2 & 3 (roughly from SW 4th St. on the north to SW 19th on the south, and from Telephone Rd. on the east to Santa Fe on the west) which encompassed a square mile. This is one of the hardest hit areas and in the middle of that square mile is the spot where Plaza Towers Elementary School had been. Each person in each team had forms which allowed us to record people's addresses, names, and needs. It was also a release form for the City of Moore so work could be done by the volunteers without danger of liability for the city. The beauty of the forms is that it allowed the people on the teams an opportunity to interact with everyone they found at home, discover their needs, and pray with them. It took several hours for the teams to cover the Zones, though in some areas there were no homes left and nothing that could be done. Nearly 13,000 homes are either severely damaged or completely gone, and it is hard to get your head around that number until you see it.
After each team had finished canvassing its zone, the forms were returned to me at the tent and I called for a runner to return the forms to the headquarters. The forms were then quickly sorted, addresses were texted to me, and workers were sent by the busload to me at the tent. The workers were then split up into groups of 10 or 15 and sent them out on foot with an address and description of the projects to be done. A team leader was assigned to each team of workers and we traded phone numbers. Several times during the afternoon one of the team leaders called me with special requests; a chainsaw or a bobcat, ice or water. I was able to call that in to the headquarters and the needed material or tools were dispatched quickly. So it went all day until a storm moved in and we ceased operation about 6 pm.
A few observations:
The release forms were a great idea. No one on any of the teams canvassing the Zones had anyone refuse to pray with them. Repeatedly through the day I heard reports from our people that the victims of the storm just wanted to talk to someone about their experiences. Our guys and gals listened and prayed, and I think that was probably as important or more important than anything else that we did. For me, one of the most impacting things was to see how Father is linking His people together. In our canvassing teams there were two Baptist guys who had driven from Mississippi to help, one lady who had come by herself from near Chicago, two ladies from Victory Church, a mother and her grown daughter from Life Church, and three guys from Frontline. The people that were sent over on the busses to work were black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and a few ethnicities that I could not identify. The people that were set up cooking food right next to our tent at 4th and Janeway own a BBQ restaurant in Texas and had moved their mobile operation to Moore to cook for anyone who needed it. They gave away food to victims, volunteers, anyone who looked hungry and a few who didn't. All in the name of Jesus. There was a long haired sandal-wearing guy walking down the middle of the street carrying a laundry basket full of bottles of water, making sure no one got dehydrated. A doctor and his nurse walked around in the devastated neighborhoods giving tetanus shots to anyone who wanted one. A few of our people got them.
When I was in Moore on Wednesday I got separated from the guys that I came with, so went into a neighborhood and linked up with some Baptist kids from OU. We raked, shoveled, and filled up trash bags together. As we worked I thought about June 6, 1944, D-Day. In the darkness of that early morning thousands of Allied paratroopers parachuted into France, behind the enemy lines. In the darkness, few were able to hit their drop zones accurately and many men found themselves alone, cut off from their platoons. With their little cricket-clickers they began to signal to one another in the night, and slowly an army began to coalesce. However, the men found that as often as not, it was an American GI making a rendezvous with a Canadian, who had earlier found a Brit and a Free Frenchman. But this did not matter as they has a common goal and a common enemy. That is how it is in Moore. We are all seeking to serve Jesus and are doing our work in His name. The minor doctrines that usually divide us are just not that important there.
My prayer is this: Father, help us to serve you and these people well. Help us not to over-promise and under-deliver, as Your church has done for years. Let us do our work with excellence and in a way that reflects your loving kindness to the people of Moore. Amen
I am heading down there again tomorrow morning. Hope to see some of you guys there.