CSI would like to thank everyone who has donated to our Oklahoma Fund! Your generosity is helping those who have lost so much. CSI has set a goal to raise $150,000.00 to send to families who lost their homes in the recent tornadoes. While we know this is a big goal we also believe that there are many people who have a heart to help these families as they rebuild from nothing. We have been able to raise just over 15% of our goal. We still have a long way to go but we know that with God all things are possible. He knows the need. If you have been considering a gift I encourage you to make that gift today. You can simply click here: https://compassionservicesinternational.cloverdonations.com/oklahoma-fund/
When I think of the families who had everything they owned literally ripped away from them it is almost to much to comprehend. Some people get angry when these things happen. Others begin to question how a loving God would allow this type of tragedy to happen. I don’t have all of the answers but after meeting some of the people who have lived through this situation I have learned that our faith and trust in God are what will get us through these instances. Over and over I heard people testify of how good God is. I heard them express their thanks to God for his hand of protection, for his peace in the middle of the storm. The talked about how they have hope and that they will rebuild. They will rise above the rubble and come through this stronger than before.
None of us want to lose our homes or our possessions. Most of us have worked hard to acquire the things that we have. I am reminded of this quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo who said, “The most important things in life aren’t things.” While this is true and those whose lives were spared can most certainly attest to this fact. The truth is that this life requires certain things and that is why CSI is still raising funds to send to the people of Oklahoma. We want to help them be able to create some sort of normalcy during this rebuilding process. We want to allow mothers to purchase new shoes for their growing children and food to feed them, fathers to purchase new tools to replace those lost and for children to purchase books and toys and games. This list goes on and you can help. Remember no gift is to small. It is every person giving what they can that makes the big difference.
Thanks again for partnering with us to help those in need.
On the afternoon of May 20, 2013 an EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding communities carving a path more than 17 miles long and reaching 1.3 miles across. Winds reached 210 miles per hour causing catastrophic damage to homes and businesses. In the hardest hit area two schools, Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary as well as the Moore Medical Center, suffered extensive damage. At Plaza Towers Elementary school 75 children and staff members were present during the storm. Seven children lost their lives. Dozens of other children and staff sustained injuries as the school was reduced to just a few standing walls.
Plaza Towers Elementary School
Compassion Services International had an Emergency Response Assessment team in Moore on May 22, 2013. Kevin Warren and Anthony Guidry were able to assess the situation in Moore with the help of Abundant Life Church, pastored by Mark Fuller. ALC is located just blocks from Plaza Towers Elementary School. Relief supplies were readily available and the decision was made that CSI would shift our focus to raising financial donations that would help families in need. A dozen families from Abundant Life Church had their homes completely destroyed during this storm.
The Henson Home
Thanks to many of you CSI was able to travel to Moore, OK on May 24, 2013 to take donated supplies as well as over $2,000 worth of gift cards to give to families who had lost everything. CSI director, Scotty Slaydon and Office Manger, Michelle LaVoi along with their families had the opportunity to help with clean-up efforts during their stay and meet with families and hear their survivor testimonies.
CSI staff children helping with clean-up
What an inspiration to hear how in spite of great loss people were able to tell of God’s faithfulness and mercy to them. The Haney family lost their home during the storm but testified of God’s protection on their family. As the storm raged Mrs. Haney and her two children took shelter in their bathtub. The roof was ripped from their home and the walls began to come down. The wind strength was so fierce that their young daughter began to be lifted into the air. Mrs. Haney reached out and grabbed her daughter’s hair and was able to hold onto her and they walked away with very minor injuries. While driving through the hardest hit neighborhoods and seeing the devastation it was hard to imagine how people could move on. But in the midst of the rubble I heard laughter and I saw smiles as people found salvageable items. It was hope in the darkness.
There is still so much to be done in Oklahoma. Families are now in the rebuilding phase. CSI wants to continue to help. With your donations CSI has been able to send an additional $7,000.00 this week to help with immediate expenses like insurance deductibles, temporary shelter and personal items. The financial burden on these families is great and CSI wants to do all we can to assist. CSI is working with the UPCI/Oklahoma District to ensure continued donations get to the families in need. If you are interested in helping you can make a donation here: https://compassionservicesinternational.cloverdonations.com/oklahoma-fund/
Please remember to pray for Oklahoma. We know that God is faithful in all things. We believe that good will come out of this horrific event. Thank you for partnering with CSI to help those in need.
Abundant Life Church