At 7am we start our day eating breakfast and packing lunches. We meet at the church at 8am for morning devotion and then we pack into vans and trucks and head to Serve Moore.
Serve Moore is an incredible Christian organization and ministry that serves as the volunteer headquarters for Moore, Oklahoma City, and the surrounding area. Now that the Red Cross has left the area and volunteers continue to pour in to support the relief and rebuilding efforts, a few local churches decided to create this ministry. The things that God has done through these people are absolutely wonderful! The Christian community has such an impressive presence in this region.
The Serve Moore building is filled with supplies – everything from sunscreen and bug spray to chainsaws and wheelbarrows. Every day volunteers are divided into three groups. Some scout for new work orders, a few make phone calls and pair volunteers with projects, and the majority do the physical labor. I would love to just sit for a few minutes to watch the logistics.
We began our first day clearing some brush. Our group is very special in that we have a lot of experience and expertise. Chainsaw projects are no issue for us.
After that project, we took some time to look at the surrounding area to get a better understanding of the devastation. A total of 1,025 houses in Moore alone were completely destroyed with close to 500 more in Oklahoma City. The Moore Monthly newspaper quoted a local meteorologist who said, “This is the worst tornado, damage-wise, in the history of the world.” We only looked at one community. Too much of this at once would be terribly overwhelming, even for an outsider coming nearly two months after the damage was done.
Our group split up after lunch. We were given a project with a request for women only to help a “recovering hoarder” clear out her house. This was far from what I had in mind as relief work, but this required even more compassion and dedication than the physical labor I did expect. Two of the women from our group were at the house making dinner, which left four of us to take on the project.
We were not the first group to help this woman. Serve Moore volunteers have been coming every few days for the past five weeks, and they have changed her life. The first group showed her more compassion than she has felt in many years. They ended their workday by joining hands in prayer and asking her to lead. She had been away from the church for quite a while, but she embraced the opportunity and with a powerfully peaceful and joyful feeling from deep within, she received the Holy Spirit! That pure joy that can only come from the everlasting, saving love of God Almighty was pouring out of this woman! We were so blessed by the opportunity to spend time with her and help her rebuild her life.
One of the men we are working with said today that he almost felt selfish by coming here to volunteer because he enjoys it so much. God is blessing us in a major way, and it is no surprise. God blesses his workers, wherever we are and whatever we do for His glory. He is great.