- Posted October 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
Fall Break Flood Relief
A group of students from OC will be traveling to Greeley, Colo., to help flood victims Oct. 9-13. OC has teamed up with Westview Church of Christ and the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team to help with everything from building houses to giving Bible studies.
Initially, the Westview Church of Christ spearheaded the churches of Christ relief effort in Colorado. “We established a distribution site and ‘ground zero’ location on the edge of the flood zone on Monday the 16th. We began serving meals and organizing relief supplies at that time,” said Terry Newton, the minister at Westview who has been involved with the work there.
The idea for a college missions trip to assist in the relief effort started when the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team contacted Marcus Kehn, a freshman at OC, about working with them in Colorado. The DRT sends out emails to whoever has worked with them before. They sent Kehn an email because he had been active in the organization before, both in Harrisburg, Ill., and Moore, Okla. When they contacted him, “Hey, we should bring a group down,” was Kehn’s initial thought in response.
Kehn immediately contacted his friend Megan Newkirk, also a freshman at OC, because of her passion for Colorado. She was born and raised in Aurora, Colo. and has always viewed it as her home. “The opportunity to go to Greeley and aid in some of the recovery is a total blessing because my heart is in and with Colorado,” said Newkirk.
With Newkirk’s heart for Colorado and Kehn’s experience, they started to organize the trip. In the process of Kehn talking with Amy Roberts, director of freshman experience at OC, Neil Arter, Dean of Students at OC, overheard them. He told Kehn that the school had issued a missions fund that he didn’t know what to do with. He suggested that the money go to the fall break missions trip. So Dean Arter initiated the funding of the mission trip by the school.
In addition to the school’s donation, the DRT and Westview Church of Christ are going to provide meals and showers for the students while they are there. Because all the expenses are paid, more students will have the opportunity to serve.
Kehn and Newkirk hope that the students involved can be of assistance in any way. They also hope that everyone can learn from the experience of service, get out of their comfort zones and really grow.
“Serving others is an amazing way to grow stronger in faith,” said Newkirk. Of course, the students can benefit the flood victims just by showing support and by reaching out to them. Showing love and sympathy can be just as encouraging as building a house.
“The one thing that really helped me when I was struggling with coming to terms with the Aurora theatre shooting was the outreach and warmth from other people, “ said Newkirk. “I’ll never be able to pass a chance to give that to another person or community because I know what it’s like to have the ground pulled out from underneath you and to wake up to devastation.”
That is what the mission trip is ultimately about: showing love and support to fellow human beings in need.