Do You Have
The Family of God
by Mike Wade
For years, I have enjoyed singing, “I’m So Glad I’m a Part of the Family of God,” but recent weeks in Moore, Oklahoma, have brought new and vibrant meaning to the words of this old song.
By the time you receive this edition of ONE Magazine, three months will have passed since an F-5 tornado ripped through our community. It is impossible for me to describe the destruction accurately. Even pictures and video cannot capture the enormity of the losses.
While my heart grieves for those displaced by the loss of homes, I am especially grieved for those who lost loved ones in this catastrophic event. Seeing the devastation firsthand, I praise God that hundreds did not perish.
Storms are a part of our world. These storms are not the first and certainly won’t be the last. I am reminded of the storm recorded in Matthew 14. The disciples were terrified by high winds and rough waters as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. Jesus came to them, walking upon the water through the storm. It is interesting to note Jesus did not prevent the storm. Instead, He came to them while the storm raged.
It has been my experience that Jesus rarely removes the storm, but in one way or another, He always shows up during the storm. Sometimes, He provides peace that passes all understanding. Other times, He sends help and hope through other believers.
Free Will Baptists have been greatly used by the Lord to provide help and hope during the months following the tornado. Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College has become a hub for a number of relief ministries responding to the devastation. (Read Help and Hope at Hillsdale) They provided, and continue to provide, lodging for volunteers. They prepared thousands of meals on the campus to be distributed to victims and volunteer workers. The gymnasium has been transformed into a distribution center for goods needed by those displaced.
Arms of Compassion, Oklahoma disaster relief ministry, was on the scene immediately, distributing generators to those without power. They, along with Step Into the Water and Bridge Builders for the Cross, have done a wonderful job reaching out to those in need.
During these difficult weeks, I have made a startling observation. Volunteers from across the state and nation have poured into this area to help in this crisis. While I am sure that not every volunteer is a believer in Christ, I can say with complete confidence that the vast majority of volunteers came with Christian ministries.
As I have traveled through the devastated areas, I have seen group after group of volunteers. Their buses, trailers, and T-shirts make it clear that nearly all of them are associated with churches and Christian ministries. Praise God for His people!
Our Lord has not forsaken the victims of this tragedy. He has sent His people, the Family of God, to reach out with His love in a time of need. Thanks to all who responded—and continue to respond—in Christ’s love. Trust me when I say the Lord made His presence felt…even in the midst of the storm.
About the Author: Mike Wade is Executive
Director for Oklahoma Free Will Baptists.