Monday, July 8, 2013

United Methodists Embrace OK Tornado Survivors

This tee-shirt is from a team of volunteers from North Carolina, who came to support
relief and recovery efforts in Moore, Oklahoma, following the tornado there.
Photo Courtesy of Holly McCray

By Holly McCray*

Today I went to the UMCOR office that is set up at First UMC, Moore. David Nichols told me a great story: Several streets in Moore have become unofficially named "Methodist Row." By word of mouth, residents in some of the devastated blocks have shared with their neighbors that the volunteers who are helping them clear debris are United Methodists. Thus others have turned to us to ask for assistance. David explained that the volunteer work to clear a slab saves $12,000-$15,000 for a family.
T-shirts and posters hang on the walls inside the UMCOR office.... Here's a photo of a shirt from a North Carolina team.... It feels like United Methodists around the nation are wrapping their arms around the people who are helping on the ground as well as the people who lost so much...
Rob Harris, First UMC's new senior pastor, said the homes of 12 families in that church were destroyed and they lost everything...
So many stories of people serving in the name of Christ...

*Holly McCray is the editor of Contact, a publication of the Oklahoma Annual Conference.