Destructive tornadoes tore across five states on Monday, May 20, 2013, with the most devastating damages occurring in Moore, Oklahoma. At least two dozen people, including at least seven or more children, lost their lives while more than two hundred people were seriously injured; more people are still missing and more than a thousand homes have been damaged or totally destroyed.
When horrible natural disasters happen, many people question how a loving Father in Heaven could allow such terrible things to happen. None of us know why God does or does not do things; however, we do know that He could have stopped the tornadoes IF He so chose. The fact that He did not stop them should tell us that He has a grander plan in place and we must keep our trust in Him to do what is best for all of us.
I believe that part of that grander plan is to see how the rest of us deal with the problems that hit other people. Are we willing to mourn with those who lost loved ones? Are we willing to comfort those who lost their homes? Are we willing to share some of what we have with those who lost everything? Here are a few individuals and/or groups who are doing something to help.
Soon after the horrible tornado hit, “television and radio host Glenn Beck announced that he would be accompanying a team from Mercury One and Operation Blessing to help out with relief efforts in Oklahoma….
“Beck put out an open call on Twitter earlier Monday evening for tractor trailers and drivers who would be willing to make the trek to Oklahoma to assist those in grave need. It didn’t take long before Beck had the vehicles, drivers, supplies and team-members that were needed to help those impacted by the disaster.” Beck announced on his radio show on Wednesday that his listeners had donated $1 million to Mercury One to help those in need and that one hundred percent of the donations would go for the relief efforts.
TheBlaze TV spoke with two pastors in Moore, Oklahoma, yesterday. “Kevin Clarkson, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma, said it’s important to remember that `this isn’t the final story’ and that `God’s not done’” Clarkson added that he tells those “who are struggling that `God loves them and God understands. He’s not punishing them…. God is with them in their suffering, [and] we’re with them.’”
The other pastor was Cliff Mansley, the pastor of New Creation Church in Joplin, Missouri. Joplin residents went through their own disaster two years ago when their city was nearly destroyed by another monstrous tornado. Mansley was busy gathering up support and supplies for Oklahoma. His counsel was to “Hang in there, God is going to do great things.” “When asked how he and his community can possibly help so soon after they were in such desperate need,” Mansley bit back emotion and answered, “The way that people have poured out their hearts and their lives for us, when we see other people in need, we just can’t help but to move into action.” You can see the entire interview here.
Approximately 200 missionaries plus hundreds of local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are assisting with disaster relief efforts as directed by their local leaders. Local Church leaders are working in partnership with local agencies to provide relief efforts in the community. The Church has also established a relief operations center to coordinate supplies and volunteers. I was pleased to learn that my daughter and her family will be among a group from the Dallas-Fort Worth area who will travel to Moore to assist in whatever way they can.
I am positive that other churches and caring individuals and groups will be in Moore to do what they can to help. What will you do to help those who live in the devastated areas? The most important thing we can do for them is to pray for them and to plead with Heavenly Father to bless them. Then we can take whatever action we can do personally. I would go with my daughter to Oklahoma if I lived near her. Since I live in Alaska, I will send extra money to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use in their humanitarian relief efforts. If you desire to donate toward the Church’s relief efforts, you may find more information from a Mormon bishop in your local area. I funnel most of my relief donations through the Church because I know that one hundred percent of my donation will be used to help those who are suffering – wherever they may be. I encourage you to do what you can to bring relief to those who are suffering.after