Editor’s note: This is a first-person account by Cabot resident Brandon Boatright on a trip to help storm victims in Oklahoma.
On June 2, I, along with a handful of seniors and two adults, left for Oklahoma that Sunday afternoon, June 2. We didn’t really know what to think besides what we read, saw or heard on the news, but regardless we felt God calling us as Christian young men to go out and help those families that lost everything they once had.
We arrived at Hilltop Baptist church in Norman, Okla., late Sunday night. The next day we were given addresses to people’s houses in which they needed our help cleaning up. Our first couple jobs were just simple yard work cut down trees, pick up limbs, and rack leaves, then that afternoon we all got a reality check.
We were given instructions to go to a house out in Moore. Everybody knows about Moore. They’ve seen pictures of the aftermath, the video of the twister and the interview of people who lost everything, but I tell you what, unless you’re there in person, it doesn’t really hit home.
As we slowly and carefully drove the van through what used to be a neighborhood and what now looks like a war zone there was debris on both sides of the road and we saw several driveways with debris on both sides of the yard. But there was no house, not even foundation, just a concrete slab that went along with the driveway.
When we arrived to our destination we helped a couple tear down sheet rock and insulation. I was so thankful for the homes we went to. Because even though they had just lost everything in a blink of an eye, they welcomed all of us with open arms, wanting not only our help, but too actually talk to us. We spent the rest of the afternoon at that house before heading back to the church to rest for the night. The next morning we went back out to Moore to help another family clean out their house and transport it to a storage.
This trip is such a life changer. People believe their invincible until it happens to them. I was blessed with such a great group of guys to go with, and thank you all for your support and prayers. I thank God for putting this burden on not only my heart but these incredible eight other guys to go and help his people. I encourage all of you if you ever get a chance to go do something like this don’t second guess yourself, and don’t worry about all the little things, put your faith in God and he will lead you and protect you.
Helping on the trip were: Talan Evans, Michael Calhoun, Tommy Calhoun, Sam Shull, Andrew Billingsley, Chris Lyons, John Lyons and Greg Hale.