Pray Moore, Love Moore, Hope Moore

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Well it’s been 1 week exactly from leaving Oklahoma and I have to say that my heart is torn in two. It’s really freaking difficult to leave a place that has nothing…when I know that at the end of summer I will have all my needs not only met but my wants exceeded beyond my own dreams. It’s really difficult to leave behind a place that when you look around, there aren’t houses standing or strong trees standing tall anymore and seeing crosses holding the name of those who have passed away from the tornado, leaving a place that from the outside seems to have lost everything…but this community is holding something very dear that hasn't been lost. The one thing that makes leaving a little easier is the strength of the human spirit of the community of Moore, Ok.  The strength of this community is so beautiful, my friends.

The greatest thing I have noticed about this community is a lovely organization called, Hope Raiser. This team of people went to Joplin for 3 months after the tornado hit.  While in Joplin they set up a tent and had different therapeutic activities for the families to do, as well as sharing their stories as closure. Well, the same group of people decided to travel to Moore, Ok after the tornado hit. They set up camp in front of the Plaza Towers Elementary School. Plaza Towers is the elementary school that was greatly affected…7 children lost their lives during the tornado at this school. So, Hope Raiser set up a big beautiful tent with volunteers there every day from 9:00 am -6:00 pm for 3 months post disaster. Students and families that went to the school, or anyone in the community, are invited to go to this tent for hope.  The goal of this organization is to bring the positive and good out of natural disasters, as well as helping families to cope.

So, the students, families and people affected by the tornado are able to come to the tent to have free custard, treats, and food. In addition and more importantly, Hope Raiser has a couple of therapeutic activities for the kids to do. These activities and the whole goal of this organization are to make the disaster not to be scary, rather be something positive.

 One activity is that the kids are able to write on bricks that were a part of the school, they are able to decorate the brick however they want to and then those bricks will be used in a memorial. In addition to the brick decorating, there is a huge board that says “HOPE is…” on it placed in front of the tent. The children are able to write what Hope means to them on this board. Also going with the Hope theme, each child, teacher and families are given T-shirts donated by the organization. The T-shirts are really awesome because you can write your story or what you think HOPE is on the back of it. Hope Raiser really focuses on allowing healing to take place in this tent. 

It’s amazing that so much Hope can be found in the faces of the people who volunteer at the tent and those who go for healing because when you look past the faces in the tent, you see the elementary school completely demolished, and the whole surrounding neighborhood to be destroyed.  But, this major disaster has not taken the beautiful spirit out of this community because they are able to move past it.

My heart completely sank when I pulled up to the school for the first time because I saw a memorial of teddy bears and everything you can imagine for little kids…I didn’t even know it was the school because the whole area had no building just debris everywhere. Then as I approached I saw School Zone signs , as well one classroom wall left standing with a black board. The school was fenced off because of the mass amount of destruction. But, this community didn’t see that as something to fret about, instead they created the memorial for the students who lost their lives. I’m not even sure I can explain how it felt , other than heartbreaking. Please look at the photos below to see the memorial. (The crosses you will see , have the names of all the children who died)


If you are anything like me, you’re probably at a loss for words. It’s heartbreaking but it’s truly inspiring to know that there is such good happening in uplifting this community. The world desperately needs people like these Hope Raisers. 

This is the T-shirt and the back is like the above pictures, just with no writing on it. 
Something cool that this organization is doing is selling awesome T-shirts (I got one!). If you feel so moved to buy the Hope Raiser T-shirt, you will not only receive the T-shirt but you will provide a student or child affected by the disaster with the children’s version of the shirt, for free. It’s amazing to think that just by buying a shirt; you could be that hope for a child who needs it most. Here is the website if you wish to buy one:

Please say a prayer for all the families affected by this disaster, especially those who lost their children.  Also, pray for the souls of those who passed on due to the Tornado:
Terri Long, 49
Megan Futrell, 29
Case Futrell, 4 months
Shannon Quick, 40
Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months
Karrina Vargyas, 4
Jenny Neely, 38
Antonia Canderaria, 9
Kyle Davis, 8
Janae Hornsby, 9
Sydney Angle, 9
Emily Conatzer, 9
Nicolas McCabe, 9
Christopher Legg, 9
Cindy Plumley, 45
Deanna Ward, 70 
Rick Jones, 54
William Sass, 63
Gina Stromski, 51
Tewauna Robinson, 45
Randy Smith, 39
Leslie Johnson, 46
Hemant Bhonde, 65
Richard Brown, 41

One last thing...our group and team of teens signed a CMT shirt and hung it up on the fence, it felt pretty amazing to feel like we were able to leave a legacy of our team on the Moore community!

Hope is something truly powerful and I am praising God for allowing me to experience such Hope in the time where Hope seems most distant.



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