Tornado cleanup in Ark.

As We Have Opportunity —
Deadly Storms Move Through Arkansas

By Oran Burt, Somers Avenue minister

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BNc)- There is no question as to what our Christian duty is toward the less fortunate. Based on the opportunity we have to help, we help all mankind, especially those of the household of faith. That’s what Paul wrote to the Galatians (6:6-10).

Again we see suffering due to natural disasters in our state. Many of us have friends and relatives in the affected areas. Immediately we are mobilizing teams to assist in the recovery, cleanup and rebuilding efforts in Clinton and Choctaw.

We cannot possibly do it all, and we obviously cannot help everyone, in every place all at the same time. But we can step up with a definite plan to help one area at a time.

Mike Penrod and Mike Hughes, Somers Avenue elders, have been to Clinton and assessed the situation and how we can be involved as support workers for the effort already underway there.

Among the immediate needs in the devastated areas are bottled drinking water and gallon-sized water for cooking. They are still under a boil order for water.

Mike Penrod, one of our elders, writes:

If anyone wants to help there is a work day planned for this Saturday with people that want to help leaving from the Clinton building at 9 a.m. They expect to be working all day and can use anyone that wants to help. If someone can only work part of the day that’s fine, too, anything would be a help. If anyone can help later in the day they could still go to the church building and someone will likely be there to direct them.

They said if we wanted to get a group together and go again later, like a week from Saturday or really any time, they could also help arrange that. That would give time to organize a group rather than only helping right away. There’s work for anyone that’s willing to help whether the Youth Group or M&M’s or anyone in between.

There is a lot of cleanup that needs to be done so you don’t have to be able to run a chainsaw though there will be some of that. He said one thing really needed is people and tools to cut limbs up high, like with a pole saw. There also is a need to help with preparing, delivering and serving meals and carrying off trash and debris.

Mike went up Friday to help and there was a workday all day Saturday. But you can still get involved if you want to help in some way. We will likely have a work crew to go up on Saturday, Feb. 16, too.

We will be updating the website frequently with news and information. This cleanup and reconstruction will likely take months. We will have plenty of opportunities to be involved in work relief all over the affected areas. At this point, teams made up of one person operating a chain saw with five others helping manage, move and haul off limbs and wood is most effective. So even if people go to help who are not using tools, they can still be of help in debris removal and cleanup.

If you would like to be involved, check the list of needed items and see what you could donate. Also, there will be ways you can be involved in working with one of the crews.
If you know anyone in affected areas in Atkins, Gassville, Mountain View or anywhere else, let us know what is needed, where and when. Possibly we could help there as well.

CONTACT INFORMATION

CHOCTAW

  • Church office (Karen) 501-745-8264
  • David Cook (Minister) 501-253-1931

CLINTON

  • Church office 501-745-4252
  • John Fields 501-745-6562
  • Stan Smith (Elder) 501-593-2651
  • Chamber of Commerce 501-745-5500

MOUNTAIN VIEW

  • Church office 870-269-3702

SOMERS AVENUE

  • Church office 501-758-5256
  • www.somersavenue.org
  • woburt@somersavenue.org
  • seanashberry@somersavenue.org
  • Alex@somersavenue.org

TOOLS NEEDED FOR RELIEF WORK

  • Rakes , shovels, wheelbarrows, gloves, hand tools, pole saws, chain saws, gas-powered portable electric generators
  • Ear protection (for people using chain saws)
  • Hard boots/shoes
  • Snacks you like (lunch will be provided)
  • Soft drinks/water to have all day
  • Gasoline in containers and oil to mix with gasoline
  • Pet food
  • Clothes (there is a distribution center set up)
  • Gallon jugs of water to hand out to people under the boil order
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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