Just 2 years ago, the most devasting tornado to hit the USA up to that time, hit Joplin, Missouri. From the day the tornado hit Joplin, Pastor Cliff Mansley and New Creation EPC in Joplin, MO has been coordinating daily, on-the-ground help to individuals and the community. His experience over these 2 years gives him a wealth of experience and information to help those in Moore, Oklahoma. Following is an open letter from Pastor Mansley.
MOORE, OKLAHOMA – LETTER OF ACTION
From: Pastor Cliff Mansley, New Creation EPC of Joplin, Missouri
Dear Concerned EPC Friends,
It is with a sad and heavy heart that I write this message to you.
When I saw the pictures of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on Monday it was horrifyingly déjà vu. Just yesterday, the community of Joplin, Missouri and members of New Creation EPC commemorated its two-year anniversary from the most devastating tornado to hit in 60 years.
As much as I wanted to pretend it was all a dream, I couldn’t help but to weep for the massive suffering that I knew was going on in Moore. As I prayed for those who were caught in the midst of the destruction, I knew that New Creation Church had to respond. Immediately we sent out word to bring things to the church that we could quickly deliver to Moore and it didn’t take long to have a trailer ready to go.
I was in Moore, Oklahoma on Tuesday, toured the ground-zero area at night (Plaza Tower Elementary School) and helped with distribution the next day. While the number of deaths in Moore were significantly fewer than those in Joplin (Joplin 161/Moore 24), Moore lost 12,000 homes while Joplin lost 8,000 homes. The scenes were eerily similar to Joplin with shattered structures as far as the eye could see. People had lost everything.
If you are asking HOW CAN I HELP?…allow me to be succinct…
1) Pray… pray for the churches and government agencies that have leaped into action. First Baptist Church of Moore and Southland Baptist Church are the most organized at this moment, but more and more churches are starting to recover and move into action.
2) Cash donations are helpful. The General Assembly Office of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is prepared to receive donations.
3) If you are planning on going or sending a team, please be sure to secure accommodations in advance. I imagine that churches will eventually open up their doors to volunteer groups, but right now things are spotty. If you want to bring supplies, please review the list at the end of this letter. Remember Moore is not isolated (Joplin was). It is a suburb of greater Oklahoma City. Consider the use of gift cards and purchasing items there.
4) Stop-over Housing available in Joplin… New Creation EPC is opening its doors to all groups that need stop-over housing on their way to Moore, Oklahoma. Please call Celia Holland at 417-396-2829 to make a reservation. Celia is also very good at helping groups think through the Moore context and what you might do to be helpful during the relief effort.
In the meantime, we continue to rebuild here in Joplin and are receiving groups who would like to assist in our efforts. We expect to be rebuilding for another three years. Keep this in mind as you pray for the people of Moore. It’s a long and weary road… and yet, the blessings of God’s love abound!
Thanks for your love and concern for the people of Moore, Oklahoma… and for us!
Blessings and love,
P.S. New Creation EPC is located at 1831 South Connor Drive, Joplin, Missouri 64804. Our phone number is 417-782-8200. Our website is www.newcreation-joplin.com. You may reach Pastor Cliff Mansley by e-mailing him at
email@example.com or calling him at 417-396-6175.
IMPORTANT ITEMS FOR TORNADO EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Chain saws Saw Sharpener Rakes
Axes Gas Cans Shovels
Saws Bar Oil Flashlights
Drills Pry Bars Batteries
Hammers Ladders Work Gloves
Hand tools Generator Rubber Gloves
Power washer Rope Power Tools
Temporary structure Twine
Event grill Pots/pans/cooking utensils
Light bars Blankets
Generators Sleeping bags
Gas stove Ponchos
Gas canisters Cots
Coolers Gott coolers
Other necessary items
Bottled water Pens
Dish soap Bibles
Detergent GIFT CARDS (Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot)
First-aid kits Paper plates, cups, napkins and utensils
Trash bags GRAB AND GO FOOD ITEMS
Paper towels Maps/GPS
Toilet paper Gatorade
Tooth brushes Toothpaste