Plaza Towers Elementary School Memorial | Moore, OK

Plaza Towers Elementary School Memorial in Moore, OK remembering seven children killed in the school in the wake of the May 20, 2013 EF5 tornado.

When two weeks in Moore, OK this summer turned into ten weeks, I had the opportunity to get more than a glimpse at the brokenness, hope and healing of a city recovering from a May 20, 2013 EF5 tornado. I spent most of June trying to figure out how to fit a week of disaster relief into our family schedule, but a call from Operation Blessing at the end of the month brought me to Moore as volunteer coordinator for the organization.

As a task-oriented person, it’s easy for me to get immersed in the job at hand, but the stories always bring real need back into its proper focus … a single dad with two young sons trying to restore equilibrium to life after the storm flooded their home, a couple living with eight children in a 1000-square-foot home struggling to repair their roof and subsequent damage, a family painfully trying to adapt to a new normal without their 8-year-old son and brother, who was one of seven children killed in Plaza Towers Elementary School, neighborhood after neighborhood stacking the debris of their lives on a curb with the intent of rebuilding.

Operation Blessing | Moore, OK

Operation Blessing reports to Moore, OK in the wake of a series of tornadoes that devastated the Oklahoma City region.

But out of the rubble comes help, healing, relationships, purpose and, most importantly, hope. For some hope comes in the form of Operation Blessing, Samaritan’s Purse, Christian Disaster Relief, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, American Red Cross and FEMA. For others, hope shows up in the hundreds of missions teams from churches, colleges and communities determined to stand in the gap during this time of need. And for others, it’s a neighbor who pulled them from what’s left of their house, a policeman who watches over their property at night, an EMT who cared for an injured relative.

If there’s one thing I see more in the face of disaster than anything else is caring people putting flesh on the love of Christ, reminding a hurting community of the hope of healing and new life.

Read more about Operation Blessing’s tornado relief efforts in Moore, OK and surrounding communities …