Broken Arrow Ministry Volunteers Working In Joplin

Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 11:20 am
By: News On 6 & Lacie Lowry, News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- More than 70 volunteers with Rhema Bible Church headed to Joplin, Missouri, on Thursday to help with tornado relief efforts.

5/27/2011 Related Story: Oklahomans Send Supplies, Volunteers To Aid In Joplin Relief

Rhema Bible Church has been sending volunteers and supplies every day this week. Buses leave at 7:30 a.m. each day and return at 9 p.m. Saturday is the last scheduled trip.  Children 13 years old and younger are not allowed to help with relief efforts because of liability.

"We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and we must go out to areas that need help," said Pastor Keith Nachbor. "We are doing this to restore hope to a community that is hurting."

With rescue and recovery efforts now over, the focus is mopping up the mess that Mother Nature left behind. Volunteers raked debris and sorted materials into piles of wood, plastics and metal.

"Just to be able to go in with this many people, you make a huge impact just in one day," Nachbor said. "We're talking hundreds of man hours with this amount of people."

Every chore involved heavy manual labor.

"The tendency is people want to move fast and get through it," Fern said. "We have to slow them down, make them take their time, because this is going to be a long, long journey."

 Jamie Hall took a timeout for a sentimental snapshot of some tattered band uniforms.

"I was in band, those are important. I remember how important it is to treat your band uniform correctly so it's kind of sad to see them," Hall said.

About 20 volunteers stayed back at the food distribution center.

"It helps me to know that I did something for it. I didn't just watch and sit back. I actually did something. Rhema Penrod said.

As donations from across the nation come in, women sort and organize them.

Families in need can come in, grab a shopping cart just like they're at the grocery store and pick items they need. Volunteers like the ones from Rhema are constantly restocking the shelves, making sure they stay full.