Above: DR volunteers serve in Beaver after storms came through the Panhandle.
As of July 11, Oklahoma Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers—supported by volunteers from several other states—have completed 386 work orders which resulted from late June tornado/storm damage across the northern section of the state.
“We moved our Command Center from Owasso, First to Sapulpa, First during the first weekend in July to be more centrally located to the remaining work to be done,” Oklahoma Baptists’ State DR Director Jason Yarbrough said. “In the two weeks following the storms, we had received a total of 470 work requests in 20 different communities, and we have about 75 remaining to be completed.”
Yarbrough said teams from the New Mexico, Kansas/Nebraska, Missouri and Kentucky conventions have joined Oklahoma teams to do the chainsaw work, which he expected to continue in the Tulsa area for an additional couple of weeks.
“We are grateful for our partners we can call on for help and they come running,” he said in expressing his gratitude for the support.
In addition to providing cleanup and debris removal services at no charge to many Oklahoma families, DR chaplains had made more than 700 ministry contacts leading to 50 Gospel presentations, which resulted in two professions of faith in Christ and three recommitments.
“We praise the Lord for the seed that is sown by our volunteers during these times of disasters,” Yarbrough commented. “This reminds us that, as DR volunteers, we work through disasters to advance the Gospel. We are also thankful for the support we have received from Oklahoma Baptists and their prayers as our DR volunteers work through disasters to advance the Gospel.”
In addition to the chainsaw work, as of July 11, DR volunteers have prepared more than 13,500 meals, including 2,500 for volunteers, provided 383 showers and washed and dried 149 loads of laundry.
DR teams serve in Oklahoma Panhandle
Yarbrough reported DR volunteers recently served areas in the Panhandle, completing 28 work orders. He commended Jerry Hodges, pastor of Beaver, First, for his support while DR was serving in the area. DR work also was done in Forgan, responding to wind damage that affected that region of the state.
DR teams serving in Weatherford after July 9 storms
Major windstorms on July 9 caused damage in the Weatherford area. DR has an incident command center set up at Weatherford, First. Currently, 21 DR team members are serving the area with support of Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) students from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU).
Yarbrough said he appreciates the “good hard workers” SWOSU BCM is providing, which is a great support for DR volunteers.
“The consistently of the storms that have hit Oklahoma over the past several months have kept our volunteers extremely busy,” Yarbrough said. “But they have been faithful to serve, and it is so encouraging when groups like Baptist Collegiate Ministry students come to help. It’s a boost of morale to our volunteers. The out-of-state teams that have come to assist also is a great sense of help. Just to know that we have the prayers and the encouragement and the support of our fellow Oklahoma Baptists keep us going.”
For more information or to donate to Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, visit okdisasterhelp.org.