Monday, June 24, 2013
KEVIN AND BRIDGET'S OKLAHOMA MISSION
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