BIC respond to tornadoes in Oklahoma
mechanicsburg, Pa. (may 21, 2013)—On May 19, violent storms produced tornadoes that tore through communities in central Oklahoma.
There are two Brethren in Christ churches in Oklahoma, neither of which suffered any damage; Bethany Church (Thomas, Okla.) was closest, at 100 miles northwest of the storm’s path.
“Although no BIC churches or individuals directly experienced the storm’s devastation, Brethren in Christ are encouraged to remember those who are suffering during this time of pain and difficulty,” says Perry Engle, bishop of the Midwest Regional Conference. He reports that Bethany Church will be deploying a volunteer crew next week to provide relief efforts to those affected by the storms.
Additionally, Brethren in Christ interested in helping with the work of rebuilding are encouraged to consider giving to Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), an affiliate of BIC U.S. On May 21, MDS shared this information on its website:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the disaster survivors who have lost family members and belongings in the Moore, OK, tornado that touched down yesterday afternoon.
Tuesday morning Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Disaster Response Coordinator Jeff Koller and Jay Blough, MDS OK Unit chair, lead a team that will investigate the tornado damage in the communities of Shawnee and Carney where storms hit May 19. They will start investigating the Moore tornado damage later in the afternoon.
Search and Rescue efforts are still underway and according to Oklahoma VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) relief groups are urged “not to self-deploy”.
MDS enjoys a long standing partnership with the Oklahoma VOAD and anticipates working with partner agencies within the VOAD to respond to this disaster as needed.
MDS will be accepting funds for the cleanup and recovery efforts of the Oklahoma Tornados.
Monetary donations can be made on the MDS website, by phone (717) 735-3536, or by mailing a check to MDS, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543. To designate the donation for the Oklahoma tornados, write "OK Tornados" in the memo line of the check.