Calling All Neighbors

For the past 16 months, we have had volunteers from all over the world come to serve and renew our city of Moore. As summer comes to an end, fewer volunteers are coming from around the country. It is now time for our City and our neighbors to take strides in helping one another recover. Serve Moore is excited to announce an opportunity for our local friends and neighbors to do just that!

Once a month, HQ will open its doors to local volunteers. Serve Moore Saturdays will be an opportunity to help affected neighbors recover and to renew our city. We at Serve Moore love all things local - local business, local churches, local families - and we also love seeing people come together for a specific, beautiful goal. Serve Moore Saturdays are putting two things we deeply love together and we are so excited to be a part of it. 

Our very first Serve Moore Saturday will be Saturday, September 20th, and we will have one every third Saturday of each month following. Volunteers can come to Serve Moore HQ at 9am. Whether you are an individual, a group of friends, or even a local business - we would love to have you join us, and your other neighbors, to serve and renew Moore.

Give us a heads up and let us know you're coming by clicking the button below. 


#RenewMoore with Sheds

One very important part of the recovery and renewal effort in our city has been replacing or creating storage for affected homeowners. Storage can be an afterthought in times of disaster but the reality is that more storage is needed following a disaster than before. 

We've heard from many homeowners in need of storage. Sometimes they are forced to pay a new monthly bill to keep a storage unit; sometimes they're moving back into a smaller home and need additional storage. No matter why, we want to help provide some long-term, cost effective storage for people affected by the storms.

Do I Qualify?

We have three general stipulations for homeowners who are looking to have sheds built by Serve Moore AND provided at no cost. My property was affected by the tornado, and:

  • My shed or storage was destroyed.
  • I have moved into a smaller home or a home with a smaller garage and have therefore lost my ability to store things. 
  • I am currently paying for a storage rental and could be relieved of that payment with a shed.
     

None Of The Above?

Would you like to have a shed but weren't affected by the tornado or don't fit into the situations above?  We would still love to have a conversation to see what we can do. If you are willing to pay for the materials necessary to build the shed, we would be happy to provide the volunteers to build it! This is all part of our vision to #RenewMoore!

Come Build With Us!

In our last post, we teased a little bit about the building projects coming up in the fall. We are excited to finally give you a little more info about those upcoming projects!

Starting in August, Serve Moore volunteers will be working with other long term recovery organizations to build houses in the affected areas. The Serve Moore team is excited to help local families who are still struggling to recover after the tornados in May 2013. We will absolutely need skilled and unskilled volunteers to help with these house builds!

Not only will we be building houses, but we will also be continuing to build many fences, as well as more sheds. We hope to continue helping homeowners finalize recovery by aiding them in these last steps. In addition to building sheds and fences, we've been renewing properties through gardening, and even painting homes. 

As we begin new Build Projects, we will also be continuing with Renewal. This summer, we have already been busy with Playground Builds across the city (including Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary, and Little River Park). We have worked along side the City of Moore Parks & Rec Department, as well as organizations like Kaboom! In the fall, we plan to build several neighborhood parks in our effort to #RenewMoore.

We would love for you to join us in these projects to build houses, fences, sheds, and playgrounds - as well as all our other projects going on to Rebuild and Renew Moore. Starting in August, we have tons of weeks available to bring volunteers! Contact us for more information or sign up here to volunteer!

 

 

Summer of Renewal

This summer, Serve Moore volunteers have been busy doing many different kinds of good work. Not only are we continuing to build fences and sheds to aid in homeowner recovery and renewal, but we are also finding areas of debris that are being cleaned for the first time since the tornado hit a year ago. 

For some, the final steps to recovery...

Fences continue to be a very important piece of homeowner recovery because many cannot obtain an occupancy permit without a fence. Volunteers have been putting up fences all across the city providing safety, security, and that last step of recovery. Serve Moore sheds have also been a big help to homeowners who have been paying for storage units or those who are ready to move back into a smaller home. Every day, groups build shed kits at HQ, as well as assemble sheds in homeowners' yards. Beyond this, volunteers have helped with landscaping, painting, and other projects to renew homes and properties. It's part of our passion to #RenewMoore. 

For others, we're only getting started...

While we are working hard to renew the city, we are still finding areas in need of basic recovery. Many parks and properties have been cluttered with debris for over a year. Serve Moore has been partnering with the City of Moore to find the places still in need of clean-up. This summer, volunteers have gone to work to finally clean these areas with great excitement. 

The Excitement Builds for the Fall

As the good work to serve and renew Moore continues, excitement builds of what is to come. As that excitement builds, so will we! Toward the end of the summer, Serve Moore volunteers will begin building houses. These projects will last through the fall, so we are taking volunteer reservations for the months following August!

Join the team at servemoore.com/serve


A Statement on The Future of #ServeMoore

The words "Thank You" just seem so small. We've always seen Serve Moore as a team effort but we're talking about a team that's just rolled past 42,000 people strong. How do you tell that many people you deeply appreciate their partnership; that thousands of residents are grateful for their service; or that an entire community is forever-changed by their presence? 

Read More

Being Weather Aware

Many have a new-found concern for weather preparedness and reliable information since last year's tornado outbreak. We share that concern and are always seeking solid information on which to rely. Some of the most reliable information we collect each day to give to homeowners and volunteers comes from the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman.

This information is available to the public in a number of ways:

weather.gov/norman  --  The website is updated multiple times per day as forecasts change.
@NWSNorman  --  NWS's local Twitter account provides great up-to-the-minute information.
Facebook  --  Posts come as the forecasts change. Search National Weather Service.
youtube.com/nwsnorman  --  Multiple daily briefings and forecasts are clear and concise.

 

Tonight will bring an increased risk of severe weather and, as usual, there are a number of events happening that might be impacted. Southmoore High School prom is just such an event. Here are some tips for a safe, prepared Prom night directly from SHS faculty to parents:

Good Information To Have

1. Address of the prom location
2. Your student's friends' phone numbers
3. Address of restaurant at which your student will be
4. The driver's phone number (for those using a car service)

And as always, the faculty and staff at Moore Public Schools is staying weather aware to keep your students safe. There will be a line of contact between the NWS and the faculty on duty at Prom throughout the night. Keep in contact with your student through the night. Any plans that change will be communicated to students at prom and using the school's normal communication processes.

Whether you're at a prom tonight, enjoying a warm evening at the park, or hanging out at home make certain that you aren't far from weather information. As the advice goes -- "Don't be scared. Be prepared."

Hello, April

As storm season approaches, Serve Moore churches are working harder than ever to make sure residents and their RENEWED homes finally have some of their final physical needs met. The fences, landscaping and shed-building continues to be of high importance in this process as they protect homes and belongings from high winds, drainage issues that result from high amounts of rainfall and hail.

Along with these continued efforts, this week our volunteers have been painting fire hydrants around the city (honk and wave if you see them!) and today picking up efforts to renew Orr Family Farm. The owners of Orr Family Farm are especially grateful for the volunteer efforts. The farm is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and along with the many other homes and businesses, was hit hard by the May 20th storm. The large acreage of the property means lots of debris cleanup to this day. Along with the re-leveling of gravel and walkways on the property, our volunteers are cleaning up any remaining debris just in time for the farm's annual Easter egg hunt on April 19th. This is a great example of how debris cleanup isn't just for looks - it is necessary to restore the safety of outdoor spaces like the farm and our city's public parks. 

Tomorrow

The University of Oklahoma's Big Event is a highly energetic university-sponsored service group that we will be fortunate enough to work this Saturday (tomorrow). They are bringing 200 volunteers to #RenewMoore! We can't wait to update you early next week on all the progress they will contribute to renewal. 

We are so blessed to have such wonderful groups sent our way to undertake the many tasks that go along with the renewal efforts. Thank you to each of our volunteers once again for coming and spending your valuable time (including your spring breaks) to serve Moore in a very special way. 

A Huge Thank You

As always, thanks to the hundreds of new and returning volunteers to HQ this week:

Next Step Ministries joins us again from Madison, WI

Mizzou BSU from Columbia, MO

Wonder Voyage from Coppell, TX

Seattle Christian School from Seattle, WA

University of Oklahoma's Big Event from Norman, OK

Disciples of Christ Christian Church from all over

United Way of Central Oklahoma, from Oklahoma City

First Church of God from St. Joseph, MI

Toccoa First United Methodist Church from Toccoa, GA

Preparing Your Kids For Storm Season

Welcome to Springtime in Oklahoma, land that I love! If your heart is like mine or if your family is like mine, there are already questions about what the next few months will hold for us. Last week, my kids were given helmets in their classrooms at school, bringing on a new wave of conversations in our home. The weather folks are reminding us to prepare our storm shelters, and while I want to make preparations for my home, it’s also an important time to make preparations in our hearts and in our children’s hearts. Here are a few simple truths from scripture that you can share as a family heading into a season of uncertainty.

Jesus is our safety
The name of the Lord is a strong tower, we can run in and be safe. Proverbs 18:10 

There truly is peace in just speaking the name of our King. When we are afraid, we can take refuge in Jesus and His love for us.

God cares for His kids
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

My son has expressed to me that his greatest fear is that we would lose our home. We find great comfort in knowing that God cares for the birds and the flowers. He gave us the house we have, and we can trust Him to make sure we have what we need.

Rain comes from God’s hands.
Job 5:10 says that it is God who commands the rain to fall and the fields to be watered.

Rain shouldn’t frighten us but remind us of God’s provision and care. Genesis 2 shows us that God’s design even before the fall was that He would send rain to cause plants to grow. When God sends rain, he’s sending nourishment to the earth to care for it and for us.

Thunder can be a reminder to us that God is in control.
He thunders with His majestic voice, and does not restrain the lighting when His voice is heard. Job 37:4-5

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. Psalm 29:3

Many times in scripture, we see that thunder is a reminder of God’s strength! When we hear thunder today, we can remember that God is in control of waves, wind, and storms.

Jesus sent His Spirit to be with us and comfort us.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:26-27

Jesus promised to send us another Helper when He left the earth. The Holy Spirit of God is inside of us if we belong to Him. God is with us!

If we belong to Jesus, nothing can separate us from Him!
Read and be comforted by the words of Jesus in John 10:1-18. He is a shepherd to us, He cares for us, and nothing can take us out of His care.

Jesus will make all things new.
Romans 8 says that all of creation is groaning and longing for the day when it will be set free from the bondage of corruption. And we are too! We wait for the time that is ‘not yet’ while placing our hope in Jesus who has “already” paid the price for this redemption.

The place we live is broken and won’t be fixed completely until Jesus comes back for those who love Him and have put their trust in His work on the cross. The promise we have in the mean time is that we can trust Him. Many difficult things will happen to us while we live here, but none of them can separate us from the love and hold of Jesus. Not sickness, not tornadoes, not even death.

“Be of good cheer, I have overcome the whole world!”—Jesus

January's Current Work Outlook

This Week

Serve Moore Headquarters has been buzzing this week as we welcomed several teams in as our first of 2014. These teams all hail from places that were covered in snow — New York, Illinois, and Indiana. We’re so thankful for people making the trip to serve alongside us; even when weather threatens their own hometowns.

Work this week has been a lot of interior rehab. Specifically we’ve seen teams demolishing drywall and flooring, installing tile, painting, hanging drywall, and mudding & taping. We’re seeing a lot of this work for several reasons. Many people who come to us for help have only just now gotten their insurance company to pay out on their property. Some homeowners have been swindled by contractors who took their money and did shoddy work or simply left town. Still others have had no where to turn and only recently heard there was still help available.

Along with that work this week, however, there were loads of debris to carry to the dump, several fences to build, and tree stumps to remove. Even those who are “lesser-skilled” volunteers this week found plenty to do in helping homeowners with their recovery.

Looking Ahead

As we move ahead in our plan for renewal in our city, there are lots of projects we hope to be involved in. Community Renewal to us is very broad. Folks who live here were affected by the storms even if their house is still standing. With that in mind, we’d like to work to show renewal in our community so that everyone can see the progress and continue the healing process.

Projects we’re planning include painting storefronts, planting trees, a community garden, building playgrounds, adding a house number to every curb in the city, and caring for parks. Add these to our list of construction projects and you can see that the work in Moore and our surrounding communities is far from over.

We’d love to have you come and serve alongside us as we work for renewal in our community. We’re praying that this temporary renewal will show people a picture of the eternal renewal Jesus brings. There are lots of needs – both physical and spiritual – and we’re gearing up for a Spring and Summer chock full of meeting those needs.

Local Love

You know, it's pretty incredible that Serve Moore volunteers hail from all over the world. Literally - within one week after the May 20th tornado, volunteers from all 50 states had come to help. Then, within the second week volunteers from all 6 inhabited continents had shown up! All this love from all over the world has been a hugely encouraging feeling. While many in our community have been busy working through their recovery plans, people from all over the world continue to show up and help. But as is usual, the world keeps spinning and help is needed in new places and volunteers turn to be more and more local. These local volunteers are the inspiration of our newest colors of Serve Moore shirts!

You locals can support your favorite Moore Schools high school with these Moore, Westmoore, & Southmoore colors!

Our new shirt colors inspired by local high schools and volunteers.

We created these shirts so that people can share a common thread that ties affected residents and volunteers together; that is a memento of the great outpouring of love and support our community received and continue to receive. We sell these shirts so that Serve Moore projects (such as new homes, materials, and supplies) can continue to be provided to residents and volunteers.

You can purchase these shirts at Serve Moore HQ at 200 S Howard Ave any Tuesday-Saturday from 9a to 5p.

December & Beyond

Winter is setting in here in Moore. This first week of December alone threatens frigid temperatures, ice, and snow. Pray for our volunteer teams as they either travel or make the call to stay home this week. Current Work Outlook

Our work for December is shaping up to remain in the roofing/interior rehab area. We are putting new roofs on a few houses this month using both volunteers and our partner churches. The interior rehab we're involved in is mostly removing and replacing water-damaged drywall but in some cases also includes flooring. The next steps for these homes will be mud, tape, texture, and paint.

There are a few outdoor jobs that will need attention soon but finding a day with good weather AND with available volunteers is proving difficult. All that's to say, if you're a local volunteer reading this post, we sure could use your help!

One last note, we have a new brick-laying need on the horizon as well. If you are a mason or know of one interested in leading a team to lay brick, we need your/their help!

Holiday Plans & 2014

Serve Moore will be breaking for the Christmas holiday on December 14th. Headquarters will be closed from 5p that day until 9a January 2nd. Our small staff will spend this time resting and recharging for a full 7 months of work coming out of the holidays. We would so appreciate you praying for them.

2014 is shaping up for us to be a time of great community renewal. Right now, we're working hard to organize lots of renewal projects for the Spring and Summer of 2014. We're looking for lots of volunteers who have big, flexible hearts for Moore. These volunteers will be doing anything and everything from building new playgrounds to painting house numbers on curbs. All of these projects will carry the same vision of showing Christ's love and power to our city. We would love for you to be a part of it all.

As always, you can get the volunteer process started by heading to servemoore.com/serve or you can give to the effort by heading to servemoore.com/give

6 Months Later

Today marks six months since an EF-5 tornado ripped through our community on May 20th. An incredible amount of work has been accomplished in that time. For some perspective, take in these stats: 3,300 people showed up that day to clean the Moore Cemetery, taking #ServeMoore from a hashtag to movement. In 1 week we saw people from all 50 states. By Week 2 we saw people from all 6 inhabited continents. Since then, the 2,500 needs of 1,800 residents have been met by nearly 40,000 volunteers having logged more than 200,000 hours of service. Whew!

Look at how much favor God has poured out on our community. Moore residents constantly tell us they are blown away by the amount of love and help that's been given. So thank you. Thank you for coming and volunteering. Thank you for sending cash, gift cards, and supplies. Thank you for praying for and encouraging us with notes and emails. Every piece of this puzzle is invaluable and we've seen everyone do their part.

Now we stand with 6 months behind us. What will the next 6 months bring?

Consider this our first of many "Work Outlook Updates." We want to inform you of what work we're still doing and what we expect we'll be doing down the road. Right now, Serve Moore Teams are busy with lots of interior rehab. That's to say we're tearing out interior walls, ceilings, and floors. Then, we'll go back with new framing, drywall, insulation, and flooring. This many times also means that we need to repair or replace a roof. 

In addition to all of that, we're also doing a variety of lesser-skilled work such as: painting (both interior and exterior of homes and at public parks), yard work (such as removing dead bushes and repairing yard ruts), moving (residents moving out to begin work and some back in now that work is done!), small repairs (we're looking at you handymen and women)!

The point is that a lot of work still remains. If you have great skill, we need you. If you have lesser skill (but a big heart) we need you too! Even if you can't make the trip to volunteer, you can GIVE so that others have material to work with!

Please consider volunteering. You can start the process at servemoore.com/serve. Please consider giving. Every dollar given is invested in our community's renewal. Give right now at servemoore.com/give.

Thanks again. We look forward to another 6 months as we #ServeMoore together.

Here We Go Again

Romans 8:28 reads, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” This promise, made by God to his people through the Apostle Paul, has been vividly displayed during the months since an EF-5 tornado destroyed 1,100 homes, leveled two elementary schools, and killed 24 people on May 20 in our town of Moore, Oklahoma. It defies logic that something so destructive could generate anything approaching the description of “good” but time-and-again we’ve seen just that — good coming from tragedy.

Where We've Been

In the hours after the tornado there was a lot that was unknown. One thing we did know was that we wanted — needed — to do something instead of just talk about doing something. After all, these were our people who were hurting: friends, family, congregations. We met that next morning at the Community Center and saw needs all around us. We began cleaning lawns in that neighborhood. The idea was to start where we could and do what we could. We invited anyone and everyone to come join us. We’d figure the rest out along the way.

As folks shared pairs of gloves and wielded shovels and rakes that day, the City of Moore made a request; to assemble volunteers and begin cleanup at the cemetery ahead of graveside services for victims. The plan was simple: ask for 500 people to join in Wednesday morning and clean as much as we could. Our churches began asking people to “#ServeMoore” on social media. A meeting time and place were set. Wednesday morning came and brought with it more than 3,000 people — too many for our buses so they walked across the interstate overpass to the cemetery. It was clear then that God was pouring out favor on this community and that we stood at the start of something very big.

Since those first days of work, Serve Moore has welcomed nearly 40,000 volunteers to the community. Your church may have even been among that number. Those volunteers have clocked hundreds of thousands of hours served, met the needs of more than 2,000 homeowners and residents, and brought hope to an entire city. Everyone knew God would do something big. We just couldn’t have imagined how big. And now, mere months later, we again find ourselves at the start of something big. A phase of renewal in our community that will prayerfully last for decades.

Where We're Going

Our dream is that through the tragedy of these storms and the extraordinary good we’ve seen since, the Church would spark renewal in our community. Renewal which spreads to every part and every person; bringing both healing and growth. We want the Gospel and it’s unmatched renewing power poured out here in Moore and our surrounding areas. We’re looking for churches, local and not to join us in partnership. Local churches to serve families in their neighborhoods; churches from afar to pour in resources and people. Many needs remain unmet; some storm related and some not. Our vision is to match residents with churches in or near their neighborhood so that a long-term relationship can be built. Churches who serve their neighbors earn the right to share the Gospel and speak truth into the lives of the families who live around them!

Will you join us? Will you give of your people, your time, your cash, and your supplies to bring about renewal like our community has never seen it before?

We pray that you’ll consider partnering with us in this phase of renewal. For more information about partnering with Serve Moore please call us at (405) 735-3060 or email us at chris@servemoore.com.

Our Town

We’re the Church - this is our town. Not long after the tornado struck Moore, the city was visited by a number of organizations and ministries from all over the nation. All of them were amazed and intrigued by the organization of Serve Moore’s leadership and the mobilization of the seemingly endless waves of volunteers.

Truth in Action, a ministry that stresses the importance of churches being relevant to their communities - especially during difficult times - visited Moore to experience first-hand how the local Church has mobilized to serve the community.

“What we want to do as the church is show people that we serve a God of unity, love, and care,” Chris Fox, student minister at Moore Community Church, told Truth in Action, “and that’s the God who is chasing after them.”

Sean Evans, lead pastor of Frontline Church South and one of the many church leaders who have been on the ground since the storm pummelled Moore, agreed with Fox’s sentiment in his interview with Truth in Action. When organizations like Red Cross, Americorps, and FEMA popped up at the volunteer headquarters for Serve Moore expressing awe and wondering “who/what is Serve Moore?” Sean’s response was a consistent, “We’re the Church. This is our town.”

We love these responses! God is good. He loves people. Our job - our one thing we can give back after receiving the ultimate gift of freedom from sin through Christ’s sacrifice - is to love Him and love others. Serve Moore is part of the loving others. It’s not just a favorite pastime, it’s a responsibility.

Read about Truth in Action’s visit to Moore and watch the video to see for yourself how unity among community churches can make a greater impact than many churches operating separately can do.

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.

Grace and Hail

This is reposted with permission from The Austin Stone. Original post can be found here.

The destruction in Moore, OK is overwhelming, but so are the small moments of grace.

On May 20th, Andrew Burkhart was finishing up a meeting at a coffee shop when he realized that a severe tornado was bearing down on his town. He was immediately evacuated to a nearby home improvement store, and tried to get through to his wife on his phone. When they could communicate briefly, Andrew told Hilary where he was, and to follow the instructions from the weathermen on TV.

moore burkhart fallwells 001

Hilary watched the TV and waited. Even if she wanted to leave the house, she could not. Softball-sized hail pounded their neighborhood. One hailstone could hit their small child on the way out, or go through her window while driving. Leaving now was not an option, though their home would soon be destroyed.

At the same time, only blocks away, Jamie Fallwell was rushing to her backdoor to let in her husband, Matt. It was hailing hard, and getting worse. The chunks of ice were growing larger, and the tornado was dangerously close. Matt had seen it in his rearview mirror while racing home.

Jamie opened the door and asked, “How bad is it?”

moore burkhart fallwells 004

“It’s bad,” Matt said. The look on his face said more.

Matt came in the house and they started for the bathtub. They were not confident in their plan, but could not leave because of the storm. Then, the hail stopped.

At the same time, the weatherman on TV advised shelter for the Burkhart’s neighborhood. Hilary prepared to do so, but had a bad feeling. Then, the hail stopped.

Hilary saw the hail let up and clearly felt God tell her to run. She rushed to the car, put her child in, and tore down the road, putting as much space between her and the twister as possible.

moore burkhart fallwells 002

As the hail stopped at the Fallwell home, Jamie remembered seeing a storm cellar their neighbor’s backyard over the fence one day. She asked if they should head next door.

Matt immediately took their son in his arms and ran through the backdoor, with Jamie on his heels. They ran to their neighbor’s yard, and found the gate locked. Matt wrenched it open with his free hand. They ran to where the storm shelter should be, but did not see it.

In that moment there was real panic. Jamie doubted her memory. Was the shelter really here? Matt instantly regretted coming outside. Why had he led his family outside, with no guarantees, when the tornado was drawing near?

The only thing in the yard was a shed where they thought the storm cellar should be. Matt ran to the shed and pulled open the door. There, staring back at him in the middle of the floor was a door. The neighbor had built the shed on top of the shelter. Matt banged on the door and yelled down, “Is anyone in there?!”

A voice of rescue echoed back, “Yes! Come on down here!” The shelter door closed just moments before the tornado leveled their block.

moore burkhart fallwells 003

Once she drove clear of the storm, Hilary Burkhart headed to the store where her husband was sheltered. Minutes later, Hilary walked into the storm shelter, with her child safely in her arms. Andrew was shocked to see them. In that moment, he felt overwhelming relief. His heart leapt with praise for his Savior.


Written by The Austin Stone Story Team

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.

20130607_153911

Volunteers going the distance

Efforts in Moore by notably impassioned and responsive volunteers over the last several weeks have kindled a spark of interest in people from all over the world. Employees of QuiBids recently volunteered with ServeMoore and were moved by the outpouring of support from people who live conveniently near and from others who traveled the distance.

“While there, we met a group of volunteers from Israel,” one employee said. “There were two guys there from Texas, too. Some people just showed up and asked if they could help once they saw us. It was definitely touching to see the hearts of others”

There is a long list of tasks left to be accomplished, which means we will be serving central Oklahoma in cleanup/rebuilding efforts for the foreseeable future. But with such generous and continued volunteer efforts from people near and far, that seemingly endless to-do list will be fulfilled sooner rather than later.