News>Sheppard Chapel provides disaster relief aid for the first time
June 8, Airmen 1st Class Lisa Uku, 364th Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Texas, enjoys the company of “Twister” the dog found wandering among the rubble of what used to be a thriving neighborhood before the EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado tore through Moore, Okla. May 20. The tornado gained EF-4 intensity within 10 minutes of touching down north of Newtown Okla. Uku, in training for Hydraulics, is from Haledon, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
Through a destroyed window is the image a home untouched by the EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., May 20. The tornado was 1.3 miles wide with winds speeds estimated at 210 mph. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
Airmen from Sheppard hold hands as they pray for those affected by the May 20 EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that cut a swath through the neighborhoods of Moore, Okla., before they begin to help clean the debris caused by the 210 mph winds June 8. The tornado killed 23, including 7 children, and injured 377 people. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
A group of airmen volunteers from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, work with Samaritan’s Purse to clear the rubble from the foundation of what used to be house June 8, 2013. The foundation is all that remains after an EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado tore through Moore, Okla., May 20. The tornado destroyed Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
An American flag flies proudly despite the carnage that lies behind it. A house destroyed by the EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., May 20.The tornado caused more than $2 billion in damages. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
Airman Basic Brittany Orellana, 363rd Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, carries debris June 8, 2013, from the ravaged houses caused by the EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that violently blew through Moore, Okla. May 20 towards the ever growing pile. More than 100 people were rescued from the rubble caused by the twister May 20. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
June 8, several airmen work hard to lift debris onto the ever growing pile caused by the destructive winds of the EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., May 20. More than 1,150 homes were destroyed by the tornado. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
Airman Basic Brittany Orellan, 363rd Training Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, gives “Twister” water out of a makeshift bowl created from a plastic bag. The dog was found wandering among the remains of houses torn apart by the EF-5(Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., May 20. The tornado was reportedly on the ground for 39 minutes and carved a path through neighborhoods for more than 17 miles. Orellana is an Airman in Training in ammunition and is from Mukilteo, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kimberly Goff /Released)
by Kimberly Goff
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
6/11/2013 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Remembering what it felt like to experience a natural disaster in New Orleans, a Sheppard chaplain led airmen to lend a hand in Oklahoma.
Capt. Chaplain Shane Moore, 82nd Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, led a team June 8 to Moore, Okla., to lend a helping hand to victims of an EF-5 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado that ripped through neighborhoods May 20.
This is the first disaster relief effort the Sheppard Chapel has volunteered for. While a seminary student at Baptist Theological Seminary, Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans, and the chaplain remembers it well.
"I saw Samaritan's Purse and Southern Baptist Church do so much there," Moore said. "Southern Baptist had chainsaw units cutting through the debris and were feeding people," He said. "Samaritans Purse was also helping clean up the debris," Moore said.
This was not Moore's first time volunteering as he has helped with disaster relief efforts during Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Katrina and several floods.
During Hurricane Hugo, Moore was actually living in South Caroline when the hurricane hit, and he helped cut wood from the roads while suffering long days without electricity.
During Hurricane Katrina, Moore's church became the distributor of food to people in the area.
So when he was watching the destruction caused by the tornado on the television, members of the chapel servant leadership program got the idea to help out those affected, Moore jumped on board with the plan.
"The proximity was close, enough people were willing, and it's great to help out" Moore said. "When people are hurting, we're hurting, there no reason we shouldn't help out," he said.
Moore contacted Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to those who have become victims of natural disasters, war, poverty, disease and famine in countries all around the world in the name of Jesus Christ since 1970.
More than seventy Airmen volunteers signed up to help.
When the volunteers arrived, they encountered a disaster zone. Houses were torn down to the foundation, debris and stone scattered among the remnants of what used to be an average American neighborhood.
Airman 1st Class Wendy Ozburn, 361st Training Squadron and one of the volunteers, said she has become more appreciative of her family and friends after witnessing the destruction and helping clean the rubble still housing the memories of the ones who used to live there.
"Seeing the small things in the rubble, there are memories here," Ozburn said. "It doesn't seem that bad when you're looking down at a small area," she said. "When you stop and look out, the totality of it is overwhelming," Ozburn said.
Ozburn felt great about helping with the effort, which to her meant she can do something good.
"Christ said that when you're going through the valley, he would be there with you and you could do things through him," Ozburn said. "You pray that God puts the right people in your life to help you."
One-hundred-forty hands were present to help clear the debris of the ravaged houses of a neighborhood that only made up a fraction of the destruction caused by the tornado. Moore said that due to his faith, providing help to those in need gives him an internal hope, while giving others internal security.
"It's an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and to share the love of Christ in someone's hardship," he said.