Chasing Pavements Project

"I recently volunteered for a day with your organization," university student Ellie Gray wrote in an email to Serve Moore. She and her friend Emily Andreoli, both students of the University of South Carolina, were on a cross country road trip from North Carolina to California and back, filming their adventures and posting updates for their online readers.

The tornado swept through Moore while Ellie and Emily were in Houston, contemplating what they should do to break up the monotony of the drive ahead of them. For the next few days, the radio inundated them with news of the relief effort in the wake of devastation, so when Emily’s mother suggested the women make a stop in Oklahoma City and spend a day volunteering in Moore, the idea was welcomed with enthusiasm.

"We were so glad we had the chance to stop in and do what we could for the little time we had to help the people who were affected," Ellie says in her email. After documenting what turned out to be an emotional day while they volunteered with Serve Moore, they wrote with this thought in mind: "We wanted to share the video with you to show how much the experience touched us. We hope it will raise awareness of the need."

Read more about Ellie and Emily’s experience in their own words and watch their heart touching video at Chasing Pavements Project.

Serve Moore thanks Ellie, Emily, and all the volunteers prompted by many and varied reasons to serve Moore.

Serve Moore, Oklahoma from Chasing Pavements on Vimeo.

Natives of compassion

A common theme is developing as more people gather in Oklahoma to volunteer with ServeMoore. Complete strangers from one end of the nation to the other are happily rubbing elbows as they work under a common cause. Alien to one another, but familiar in the light of grace and selfless kindness. 20130607_160439 Locals serve alongside visitors from Seattle and Ohio; all natives of compassion.

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Moore Family Portraits

Serve Moore Portraits IG-01  

As we've helped you clean up the remnants of your homes, we've seen thousands of ruined photos. We'd like to help you start regaining your memories on Father's Day, June 16th. The Austin Stone Story Team is coming in with professional photographers, cameras, and backdrops so that you can have professional photographs created for free. The images will be ready the very next Sunday!

If you've had photos destroyed in the storms, please join us at Frontline South OKC, located at 4501 S. I-35 Service Road, any time between 9am - 1pm. Email info@frontlinechurch.tv with any questions.

Message to Pastors

Message to Pastors from Frontline Church on Vimeo.

As many of you know, an EF5 tornado cut a path of destruction 17 miles long and more than a mile wide across Moore and Southwest Oklahoma City on May 20th. Some of you may not know about the tornado that also hit Shawnee, Oklahoma, on May 19th.

Immediately following these disasters, pastors and ministry leaders from Frontline Church, Love and Justice Church, and many other local churches sprang into action to do as Jesus did, which is to love people in both word and deed, become His hands and feet in service to others, and point the lost and broken to Jesus.

We, this group of churches of whom not one seeks personal credit, quickly became a joint effort called Serve Moore and are now providing leadership and organization for thousands of volunteers and coordinating with city officials to develop a recovery plan.

As a result, thousands of volunteers have been mobilized, debris has been removed from city parks and public property, over 600 locations have been worked in UNDER TWO WEEKS. We've served hot meals to those in need, and the gospel has gone out - daily.

Many churches from across the nation and around the world have been asking how they can help. We tell them this, and ask you to do the same:

1. Pray for Us - This is the most important thing you can do. Jesus must be in the midst of this effort, or it is all for nothing. Pray for the churches, the church leaders, and our cities that they may be rebuilt by His grace and for His glory.

2. Send Financial Gifts - Of any size. But prayerfully consider giving toward the longevity of the Serve Moore effort. Ask God what amount He might have you give faithfully, over the long-haul to assist us in the effort of rebuilding our cities. Your financial gifts would allow godly, Spirit-filled men and women to continue leading the relief efforts in our cities. It would also free our pastors, who have lately been consumed with this burden, to return to loving their wives and children, and loving their churches.

3. Volunteer - We need hundreds and hundreds of people to volunteer, not for just the next few weeks, but over the next couple of years. We are thankful for the thousands of people who have shown up over the past several days, but we know that initial zeal will taper off as the media begin to focus on other things. You can supplement this effort by committing to send volunteers over the next two years.

We expect that God is going to work in the midst of this loss and pain. That He will use it to lead people to Jesus, and to bring revival, renewal, and reconciliation. We thank you for your participation. Your partnership. You have been so quick to respond in the immediate aftermath of this crisis and we hope you will prayerfully continue to do so.

Please visit ServeMoore.com and learn how you can pray, give, and volunteer.

As always, we continue to pray for your cities and your churches.

Sheds of Hope sheds hope

While working with ServeMoore.com to help link those who had needs with those who had items/services to donate, I was amazed at some of the situations volunteers have been able to resolve. It often takes clever thinking and resourcefulness to connect the dots. Now, if someone had told me about this effort called Sheds of Hope before I worked with ServeMoore, I wouldn’t have thought much of it.

But then I started reading the horror stories from tornado victims.

“We had some of our things in storage before the tornado. I can see our storage unit and it’s intact, but the storage company said they’re not allowing anyone in for safety reasons... They’re planning to bulldoze our unit on Saturday.”

Now I see how Sheds of Hope offers the perfect solution for families with an immediate need for storage as they begin the process of rebuilding.

Sheds of Hope will be building permanent, on-site storage for tornado victims to use while their homes are being restored/rebuilt. Families will own their sheds outright, meaning they will not pay storage fees and won’t be subject to the whims of a storage company. And since this is all sponsored by The Presbyterian Church of North America’s Mission to North America (MNA) and their partner churches and organizations, the sheds will be built at no cost to the homeowner.

Some families may even be interested in helping to build their own sheds, a positive and proactive endeavor which Sheds of Hope believes will remind them of the hope of The Lord.

Follow this link to read more about Sheds of Hope.

Monday at 3:45

An email that was sent to stories@servemoore.com email address. The follow are the words of Aimee Myers.

On Monday at 3:45, I parked my car behind the Walmart Market on 4th street. Wearing my work shoes and skirt, I stepped out into a thick layer of mud and a fog of chaos. I looked down Eastern Ave and knew I had to walk through emergency vehicles and downed power lines to get to my son's in-home daycare.

I made it further down the street and saw entire blocks of houses shredded; my walk became a run. Not a block beyond this destruction, my little guy sat in a state of blissful ignorance swinging his little feet from a chair on the front porch of a house that stood mostly untouched. His only recognition of my terror was that there was a storm, and it was really hungry. He said he could hear it growling as it ate things outside the house.

I informed him we would have to walk a long ways to get to mommy's car, and it is very dangerous, so he would need to stay very close. I carried him as long as I could, but he was a ball of energy due to his excitement of getting to see all the "good guys" everywhere (police officers).

As I held his tiny 2 year old hand in mine, I wanted to feel joy and gratitude that he was safe. But I was being crushed with the heavy sadness and despair around me. I realized I had his squirmy little body in my arms while jumping over downed power lines together like super heroes, but other parents were experiencing the darkest grief. Other families were still looking for loved ones or walking around in a stupor covered in mud.

For days I had no clue how to process this dark dichotomy of feelings. I was able to kiss all three of my children before bedtime. I hugged them so many times they were sick of me. Every time I slipped into my clean sheets or read a book to my children, I felt sad or guilty.

Friday afternoon I walked into the Serve Moore headquarters. We were put in trailers and worked in homes helping clear debris for families in the same neighborhood I had to walk through to get to my son. I was given a task and a purpose to help victims deal with this darkness. By helping them find the light, I found mine. There were groups of people everywhere eager to help with nothing in return. I looked around and saw God in every face I encountered. God has not left Moore. He was right there in that moment for me, and I knew He never left. - Aimee Myers