Amy Janzen Shares OC Volunteer Story Alumni Testimonials from Tornado Victims, Volunteers
On May 19, our house was in the path of the Edmond tornado and we experienced some damage. But our perspective completely changed less than 24 hours later as we watched in horror the destruction and loss in Moore.
Not to downplay the tragedy of this event, but the weeks that followed the May tornadoes brought out the best in so many Oklahomans.
Our pride in OC has never been as high as it was this summer. With people everywhere looking for ways to serve, OC facilitated volunteer opportunities for students and employees.
The university also opened housing to displaced storm victims. We will never forget the experience of helping meet the needs of the families that made OC their temporary home.
On the Saturday evening after an OC volunteering day, our family took the leftover food to the OC apartments to share with the displaced tornado victims.
We ran into E.J., a lady that had just moved into the OC apartments earlier that afternoon. (The tornado in Moore had left her husband unemployed and they lost their home as a result of the flooding a week and a half later in the El Reno storm). She was happy to receive this food, but the story she shared will be etched in our memories for a lifetime.
She’d grown up with Catholic ties, but hadn’t been active with any denomination for years. Earlier that day, she’d run into a Catholic priest and had asked him to pray for a rainbow. After all she’d experienced, E.J. was looking for this simple reminder of a promise from God years ago.
This story of E.J.’s prayer reminds us of why we are so proud to be part of the OC community. While we couldn’t produce the rainbow on command, OC (the university and the community) have hopefully been able to make a difference and reflect a Christlike compassion!
View more stories from the Fall 2013 issue of Vision magazine.