Oak Park Church helps ease the burden on those recovering from Selma tornado

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:41 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - For the last several years, Oak Park Church has been helping those affected by severe weather including the floods in Kentucky and in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. No matter how many times they go, it never gets easier.

“Actually, it gets harder because now you kind of know what to expect,” said Executive Pastor Shane Jones.” You know it but there’s different damage there’s different circumstances.”

Last Tuesday, Jones and 14 volunteers from their serve team went to Selma to do what they could to help those in need. Jones says seeing the damage firsthand hit hard.

“I think you’re in awe. It just doesn’t get any easier because you sit there and you see a couple standing outside their home that used to be their home that’s not their home,” said Jones.

The volunteers spent four days at Restoration Place Church handing out supplies and serving 3,000 meals to ease the burden on those who lost so much.

“Most of them have lost everything. Just the smile on someone’s face, just the appreciation. To be over there for four days and just kind of smile and share a little bit of hope and just pray with people and let everyone know everything’s going to be ok,” added Jones.

Through all of the devastation, volunteers say there were still signs of hope. Even in a nursery that took a direct hit from the tornado.

“The building was absolutely destroyed and the only room that was not destroyed was where the kids were in the daycare,” said Jones. “I get cold chills thinking about it just how God protected those people and especially those kids in that room.”

Jones says it was hard for the team to leave last Friday but they’re thankful for the connections they made and the people they were able to help.

“You love going but you hate leaving. There was a lot of tears being shed,” said Jones. “There are people I met this week that won’t back down they will continue moving forward, they will continue making Selma better.”

Oak Park Church says they plan to send more donations to Selma if needed. If you want to know more, you can contact the church at 251-633-6110 or go to their website opcmobile.org.


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