Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 4, 2013

Delivering aid to Okla. victims

Local church group volunteers in tornado-ravaged areas.

Mrs. Reeves climbed inside a shipping container in Shawnee, Okla., May 19 and braced for the storm headed her way.

She struggled to hold the container door shut with a rope as a tornado touched down and ripped through the trailer park she was in.

When the skies finally calmed and the storm had passed, she climbed out of the box unscathed. She had survived.

But as she looked around, all she saw was rubble. There were heaping piles of debris in every direction. Trailers had been flattened.

More than a month later, Rusty Maynard and his group from Center Road Church of Christ met Reeves along the side of the road.

They were in Oklahoma last week on a mission trip to help tornado victims.

Maynard said he unfortunately couldn’t remember the woman’s first name. He met so many who survived the tornado. It was hard to keep their names straight.

He would never forget her story, though. Maynard heard many last week.

“I never talked to anybody who didn’t want to tell their story,” he said.

For some, it was the first time they had talked about those horrific moments. Even a month later, many were still emotional.

Maynard counseled them, listened to them. Sometimes he simply prayed with them.

The pastor remembers one young couple in particular. Lance and Destiny had four young children and lived in a rural area off the beaten path. But when the tornado struck, the family was scattered. Mom and Dad were at work. The children were with friends, Maynard said.

After the tornado, phone lines went down. Lance and Destiny went hours without knowing if their children were OK.

“They were emotional,” he said.

When Maynard wasn’t counseling the people he met, he and his group were performing manual labor — clearing debris and tearing down houses.

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