The heat was brutal.
He was worried the youth on his mission trip wouldn’t be willing to do such hard work. He was amazed at their willingness to help, though.
They were on rooftops working for hours on end. They wouldn’t even stop for water breaks until Maynard made them come down.
Those living in the storm-ravaged area were gracious and thankful for all of the help, Maynard said. Some even offered to help out others when they could.
They would loan their tools to volunteers to use on other people’s homes. Some wanted to help clear debris and sort through rubble to help their neighbors, even though they, themselves, had lost everything.
There was so much devastation, Maynard said.
Those who had home insurance were rebuilding. But many in Shawnee didn’t have insurance. They were living with very little.
“It was humbling,” Maynard said. “You walk down here in 102-degree weather in pure dust with people living with their families in tents.”
He didn’t know how long families could live like that. Some were losing hope fast.
There were people who were determined to rebuild their lives. But some people had already given up, he said. They had abandoned things altogether.
Maynard said it was all so surreal. He didn’t really know how to describe it.
He said he was just glad he could help out and be the “hands and feet of Jesus.”
All around him, people were helping each other out. The spirit of giving really showed through there, he said.
“Something about it is horrible and terrible,” he said. “But there’s something about it that brings out the good in people.”
Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO HELP? Those who wish to help victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes are encouraged to donate money at www.redcross.org.