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Church to send ‘Buckets of Compassion’ to OK

Pastor Lonnie Grant and members of Barnesville Church of the Nazarene remember all too well the chaos caused by the deadly 2011 tornadoes that swept through the area. They were a drop point for donations and worked with FEMA, GEMA and Red Cross in the aftermath of the storms. To help in areas affected by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, they have started the Buckets of Compassion ministry and will send 150 buckets to equip volunteers there Saturday, May 25. The church is asking for members of the community to donate cases of water and gatorade to take to the storm-ravished areas. ”All of the items in the buckets are designed to equip a volunteer workforce so they will be prepared to go help those in need,” said Barnesville Church of the Nazarene pastor Lonnie Grant. “When the tornado hit here two years ago, we noticed that we had a lot of people willing to help, but they were not equipped with the right tools to help. A lot of people would show up with brown cloth garden gloves which are not sufficient for handling twisted metal, concrete blocks and other heavy debris. In local stores there, these supplies aren’t available. Everything in our buckets has multiple uses. We still need cases of water and gatorades and donations made out to Barnesville Church of the Nazarene with tornado relief on the memo line.” The 150 five-gallon buckets will be packed and shipped out Saturday, May 25 to Oklahoma City Trinity Church of the Nazarene which has been designated as the relief resource center for both the Southwest Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Districts. The buckets will contain gloves, industrial strength garbage bags, bandannas, earplugs, safety glasses, sunscreen, dust masks, ice packs, large gauge pads, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, hand towels, eye drops, paper towels, tissue, toilet tissue and a ziplock bag in which to store the items. ”When we put these buckets together, we will put a card in them that is going to let the volunteers know how much we appreciate them,” said pastor Grant. “We will pray over the contents, the delivery and the safety of all volunteers who receive the buckets. We will say a prayer for each bucket before it hits the trailer.” Pastor Grant said God has already answered the prayer of how to fund the project and deliver all of the buckets and materials to Moore, Oklahoma – which is around 890 miles from Barnesville. He had planned to use the church van and a trailer but a friend called to volunteer his diesel truck for the trip. A church member donated $500 to pay for the truck’s fuel there and back, about 26 hours of travel. The cost of the initial 150 buckets was around $1,500 and as pastor Grant spoke of the plan, his prayers were answered. ”Last night at Bible study, I put my neck out and was telling everyone how we would be packing the buckets and leaving Saturday,” he said. “Someone had given me a check and I didn’t even look at it until later but it was for enough to cover the fuel for the trip. During the Bible study, nobody had said anything about taking up an offering and I looked up and a plate was being passed around and we collected $1,600, so God provided all we needed for this trip.” The Buckets of Compassion will be delivered to a Nazarene Church in Oklahoma near where the tornado destroyed thousands of homes, injured hundreds and took around 24 lives. According to FEMA, debris removal is the top priority at this point and Buckets of Compassion will help volunteers complete the task. Pastor Grant is already planning more trips to the area to help in other ways as well. ”We plan to send work-and-witness type teams to go again and do manual labor and deliver more goods,” he said. For more, go to barnesvillenazarene.com or find the Barnesville Church of the Nazarene on facebook page.

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