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What You Can Do in the Aftermath of the Oklahoma Tornado

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I can remember a time several years ago, when I drove to the high school to pick my children up after school. As I waited in the car line, the emergency sirens went off – tornado warning.

School personnel urged parents inside to take shelter. As I huddled in the nurse’s office, all I could think about were my kids. Where were they taking shelter? Would they be safe if the tornado hit the school?

Finding God in Joplin

I cannot even remotely imagine what the parents in Oklahoma have gone through . . . are going through. Earnest prayers are needed.

Heartfelt, intense, diligent prayers. Walking-through-our-day prayers where the Oklahoma survivors are constantly top of mind.

God is near – as near as our breathing. He knows our longings before we even put them into words. He hears and answers the prayers of his devoted people.

You might say, “What good can our prayers do now? The tornado ripped through. The damage is done. People have died.”

If you’re looking for the miracle of changed situations and people found alive, you’re missing the depth of what God offers us.

Suffering may not be relieved immediately. Victims may not be found alive. God won’t change this circumstance.

There may not be a miracle, but there will definitely be an increase in grace.

Grace that sees the survivors through to the other side of the tragedy. His presence giving them the strength to move through each moment as miserable and horrific as those moments might be. His incredible power to persevere. His love that brings healing to hearts, minds, and bodies.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

In the Bible there’s the story of a man named Boaz who has compassion for a widow named Ruth. He prayed that God would bless, protect, and provide for her needs. In the end, God answered those prayers through Boaz. He became her husband providing protection, shelter, and a new life under his care.

God may want to do the same through you. If you feel him moving your heart as you pray for the victims of the Oklahoma tornado, listen to him carefully. Don’t brush it off thinking someone else will help them. Do something. Helping others is the result of true faith.

Here are some ways you can take action:

Give to the Red Cross Relief Fund

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (They are receiving monetary donations. This may also be a good contact if you want to volunteer.)

Give to the Salvation Army

Text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army through your cell phone.

Give to Samaritan’s Purse

Give to Save the Children

AmeriCorps (Keep an eye on this site for potential opportunities to serve in Oklahoma. They coordinated volunteer efforts in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado.)

I told my husband last night that God’s people need to converge on that place in huge numbers to encompass the survivors with his great love. They need God’s love, comfort, and strength so desperately. He makes his compassion tangible through us.

Clean-up and restoration will literally take years. Would you consider mobilizing your church in the relief effort – maybe organizing teams of people to serve? How about considering repeated trips until the clean-up and restoration is as complete as possible?

If you need help organizing something like this, let me know. I would love to assist you any way I can.

 Lisa~

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