Last year, we had the incredible experience of traveling to Moore, OK to help with disaster relief volunteering cleanup efforts. Disaster relief has been a passion of ours for a few years now, and our trip to Moore was an experience that none of us can really put into words. It deeply changed who we are. (all the pictures in this post are ours, taken last spring in Moore…)
While we were in OKC last spring, we made lasting friendships, and really grew to love the people there. And that is why we came back a couple of weeks ago. Rebuilding efforts here have begun, as well as storm shelter installs, and we wanted to have a part in that. While we felt like we should come back to OKC to help (it’s was on our way back to MT), it wasn’t a ‘drive’, a passion to get back like it was then. We were really thankful to be able to reconnect with some of the friends that we made here, made a few new ones, and got to discover just how family friendly Oklahoma City, Moore, and Norman are, thanks to their tourism board.
But the whole volunteer thing didn’t materialize these past couple of weeks. And we’ve been really struggling with that, wondering why we were here. There was just not enough stuff out of the ground (contractor talk for started projects) to keep the overnight volunteers busy, let alone our crew. So we have stayed here with the carrot of projects almost being ready, but they just keep getting pushed out. We finally said we’d help pour a foundation this week (V pours some sweet flatwork 😉 ), but then we need to head home and get to work; we just don’t have the funds, or the desire, to just hang out here when we could be back home working.
But then Arkansas happened. And we feel that call again, just like we did last spring to OK. And a gut wrenching, all consuming feeling that takes over when we think of heading home, staying here, or anything other than heading to Arkansas. We feel a bit like, just maybe, we were here in limbo, ready to be available for this time…So, this tribe will be hitting the road in the next few days, and we’ll be driving 5 hours east to Mayflower, AR, to help with cleanup efforts. How are we going to make it work? Well, we don’t know – just like we didn’t know last year, yet God made it work because He was putting that passion in our hearts to help others in this way. We don’t know where we will park, nor what we will be doing. But we are game for whatever God has in store for us. It may be lots of muscle intensive, dirty, shovel-happy cleanup,
it may be slogging through muddy lots, wet with sewer-smelling liquid, hoping to salvage memories for home-owners,we might even get to help man a donations distribution center and be a shoulder, for those affected, to vent to, cry with, and lean on. And in all those meetings, to share God’s love and tell people about His saving grace.Whatever we end up doing, what matters is that we be willing to make ourselves available when God calls us to be His hands and feet, even if we don’t know what all that entails, or where we will be parking, or how we are going to get home (or when – we don’t have any commitments back home until June 24th! lol!).(my favorite picture from Moore)
Life’s picture should be bigger than just us. Our part of that picture is being onsite; a physical presence that hopefully reminds and shows people that God is there through their darkest hour. We are excited to know that we are following God’s will for us at this time; it’s up to Him to work out the details.