Monday, June 24, 2013


Before I tell of the mission, I would like to thank David, Michael, Edward, my brothers, my Dad and all the other workers that built my tool section in the barn.  It was something I had drawn and thought I would have many years in the future, not when I got home.  It is not our way to thank people, but Eli Schwartz out did himself giving me the flat bed wagon.  It will be put it to good use-I have used it already.

Bridget and I left for Oklahoma by bus with other Mennonites from our area.  We were allowed only one suit case per person on the bus.  On the bus, the men sat on one side and the ladies on the other.  People let Bridget and I each sit on an end so we would be across from each other.  The bus went straight through except for stops for meals, gas, and change of drivers.

The bus came into Oklahoma City where we got on a Mennonite Bus to take us to Moore.  Seating was the same as on the other bus.  At Moore, our headquarters was set up.  They had ladies quarters on one side, men on the other with the dining room and office in the center.  When you got off the bus, picked up your suit case, your checked in and given a brochure with all sorts of materials like bed assignment, meal times, prayer times, rules and regulations and more.  Bridget went to her side and I to the other to see our rooms.
There we found our beds and met the others that were already there that we would be working with the next two weeks.

When dinner came we prayed, had dinner and after were told the work of the area, people, etc,  After that the people from other churches that will be working came in and we introduced ourselves.  We told our name, religion and where we were from.  It was this time we realized that we were different religions, but yet all doing the work of the Lord here in Moore.  We spent the rest of the evening together singing, praying and talking.  Then they left and we went to bed.  I said good night to Bridget in the dining room as men are not allowed in the ladies section nor women allowed in the men's section.  Some of the married couples had gotten motel rooms at a place in Oklahoma City and were bused back and forth each day.  When we do this again, if motels room are available, we will do that.  This being our first mission together, we didn't think of it.

After breakfast in the morning, we went to our supervisor or boss who took us to where we would be working.  I can't explain what it was like seeing all those buildings destroyed.  It's a shock.  Our job was to clear the sites-mostly we did with bulldozers, but some areas by hand.  To think families had lived here, built their lives, maybe businesses and now it was all gone.  All I could think of is: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Most of the time we found nothing that wasn't destroyed, but once in a while we found something that the owner had been looking for. We cleared house by house, street by street.

Bridget's job was to clean the men's and ladies rooms along with other ladies.  They cleaned the bathrooms, made the beds, washed the sheets every other day, etc.  They were only allowed in the men's area when all the men were out working.  The second week, she was on the kitchen detail which she liked better.  In the kitchen she helped setting the tables, serving the food, preparing the meals, clean up and more.  You have no choice what you job will be.  You do the job you are assigned.  Women usually do one job one week and then a different job the second week.

What really concerned all of us there were the air raids they had some nights meaning tornadoes were in the area. Two nights we all had to go to an underground place to sleep because they thought the area might be hit again.  It did near us.  Also, the other problem were looters.  People were coming during the night from other areas-some from other states-and stealing the metal and other items.  It is hard to believe that there are people in the world who would come and steal from people that have lost all their material things. I am not sure if they called the Police or the National Guard, but they did have guards at night, but still they couldn't cover every where at the same time.

Our two weeks done, we returned home on the bus.  As our bus was leaving, more were coming in with people that would be there the next two weeks.  This will go on and on until the buildings are back up again.
We were glad we went and could serve. My brother, Erin, and I were assigned to the same group, so we worked side by side most of the time.  We feel it is our duty to help others.

While we were gone, there were people home doing our jobs on our farm and my parents farm.  They plowed our fields, planted our crops, milked our cows, fed our animals, built my tool room and more..  When they go, we will be at their farm.

I know I did't write everything that happened, but I hope this gives you an idea of what we did.  Also, I am not bragging just stating fact.  We do not look at what we will gain on earth, but what we get in heaven.

Serve For God,
Kevin and Bridget


jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is a wonderful thing that you did!

New York State Of Mind said...

Thank you, jaz. I will pass this on to Kevin and Bridget. I am sure they will appeciate it.


Vickie said...

God Bless you Kevin and Bridget. I was sad to learn of the looters.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,

I will pass it on to Kevin and Bridget. Isn't terrible that people like looters would do something like that?


Fionalina said...

Thank you both for helping and the others with you -I was glad to hear this work will be ongoing-but sad to hear about the looters

I enjoyed your post Kevin and hope you will post again-it would be good to hear from Bridget also


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Fionalina,
I will pass your comments on. We tried to get Bridget, but she is shy. It took us a while to get Martha to do a post and it may take a little while to get Bridget on. Kevin was kind enough to do it when Bridget didn't feel that she could.


annie said...

Thank you for giving of yourselves to help others. Hoping the looting will cease ad those who did it, will turn from their sin, and instead become the people God would have them to be.

Fionalina said...

Hi Marilyn-I understand-yes it was kind of Kevin-hopefully Bridget will be able to do it sometime

Hope your job is going well


Dimple said...

It is a shock to see this sort of devastation, thank you for answering the call to help clean up.

Countryside Reflections said...

How wonderful that you and your family have done so much for others. What's even more impressive is that doing something like this is common among the Old Order Mennonites, and the help that your friends and family give to you while you're gone. I hope Kevin will do more posts, and I would love to hear from Bridget.


kymber said...

first off - a hat tip to jaz above - she cooks delicious food for a shelter! another hat tip goes to Marilyn for all of her volunteer work - oh Marilyn - we need an update on how it is all going. have you finished your training? how is/was your training?

and now to Kevin and Bridget - it is so lovely that even though you both just moved into your new farm and must have a million and one jobs to do there, that you would take time out to help others. and we all know that you are not trying to brag - you are doing the Lord's work and for that i am very happy! thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Marilyn - this was an excellent post and if Kevin is interested in doing more - maybe he could tell us about what is involved in being newly-wed, setting up your farm, etc. please tell Jean and Martha how much i enjoy all of their posts and please tell Olive that we need her canning posts - she has so much to teach all of us! and lastly, Marilyn, thank you for keeping the site running. there are many of us "englishers" who come here expecting to leave with a smile and a heart full of the Lord!

your friend,

Anonymous said...

Well done Kevin and Bridget! And all to Gods glory! So glad you were wonderfully surprised with the tool room area the family made for you! We knew about it here(in NY State of Mind land), and the secret was app apparently well kept. Blessings to you+Bridget as you begin your new life together in the Lord-growing in Him and bringing glory to His Holy Name. In Christ, Carol

SueAnn said...

Absolutely serve for God! Bravo! Well done...the World needs more and more of people such as you and Bridget...and help the rest along! For the betterment! Good moves to good....and keeps moving a chain...we can only hope! Bravo! Faith in God...gave you both the work...and come home safe.! I did not see one word of bragging in your post at all....!

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Folks,
I am sorry that I haven't been on answering your comments. Verizon went off and I still can't get a lot of things like e-mail. I called and they said they know and are working on it.

Thank you all for the comments, I will pass them on. I know they will appreciate them.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Kymber,
I am still in training, but I have it down pretty good. I will be alone to handle it myself on July 1st and 2nd. The food part I know. I still have learn the paper work.
We still don't know if my boss is coming back so I am still not getting paid.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi jaz,
Great volunteer work. You deserve a pat on the back for all the work you do.