THANK YOU! September, 2013
I’m writing this open letter to say thank you so much for helping us minister to our community here in Moore, Oklahoma. After experiencing a devastating EF5 tornado on May 20th, our community was left with around 7000 homes and businesses destroyed or seriously damaged, including thirty Highland families directly impacted with partial or total destruction of their property. We have survived and thrived during 100 days of ongoing disaster relief ministry. Thanks to the generosity of so many friends, we have been able to assist approximately 3000 families in Moore, and continue to help more families each day. And we’ve been doing so in a way that strives to love people in a tangible way in the Name of Jesus, extending prayer and the Good News of the Gospel at every opportunity. With the help of so many amazing ministry partners, we’ve been helping to feed and house and send out into our community approximately 9000 incredible volunteers during this adventure and recovery effort. Our church family has never hesitated to open the doors and we’ve done our best to be good hosts for the survivors and volunteers who’ve needed our help or the use of our facilities.
Many of the amazing volunteers I’ve met personally; and most of them came from churches and ministries around the country. Several groups have come from areas previously ravaged by tornadoes or other storms, “paying it forward.” I’m continually amazed that so many of THEM thank ME for allowing them to serve here! Wow. I’m blown away by the kindness and generosity of so many.
Where it stands today… Currently we continue to do clean-up and recovery ministry with families on a limited basis. We’re also doing light construction and / or a few priority rebuilding projects as we can—prioritizing the uninsured and “the least of these.” We have several additional construction teams scheduled to come and work on some important rebuild projects this fall. Because of the generosity of God’s people, we’ve helped—along with our ministry partners and volunteers, to rebuild several homes. And because of your generosity, we’ve been able to distribute approximately $88,000 in Disaster Relief funds, gift cards and materials to families in Moore, and an additional $15,000 in materials, supplies and gift cards to folks in McCloud and Little Axe, Oklahoma (also hit by storms in late May). In the middle of our mess, God has demonstrated the “meant for good” principle again and again!
During September and October our church will be in the process of restoring our facilities. We will replace the roof (totaled by tornado debris and insurance will cover about 80% of replacement). We will be replacing our flooring (about $75,000) and portions of the parking lot that suffered damage from ongoing heavy equipment traffic over the 100 days. We also hope to build a modest storage building to accommodate ongoing resource needs in disaster relief supplies and to support our weekly food pantry ministry. Please pray for us as we undergo this process and as we ask God to provide for our financial needs. Thanks so much to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Union Baptist Association, Operation Blessing and several churches for already pledging their assistance to help make this happen.
The gifts of so many have truly made a difference in the lives of hurting families. And I’m confident that God has provided and done so much more than I have any idea. Thanks so much for your partnership in the Gospel and the Kingdom of God! May He receive all the glory!
Pastor Dave Evans