World Renew responds to Oklahoma tornadoes

World Renew, in partnership with Refomed Church World Service, sends early response coordinators

May 21, 2013

Dazed and grief-stricken. That’s how many in Moore, Oklahoma and the surrounding region are feeling today after a two mile-wide (3.2 km) tornado with winds of up to 200 miles per hour tore through the city on May 20, killing more than 20 people and injuring at least 230. World Renew, an organization with more than 40 years of experience responding to horrific tornadoes and disasters in North America, is responding in partnership with Reformed Church World Service.

The terrible storm struck Moore, a suburban area outside Oklahoma City, on Monday afternoon at the peak of the day when everyone was at work and school. Among its other feats of destruction, the storm tore up at least two schools, a hospital, and numerous other buildings. Today, families await additional news as rescue workers continue to look for survivors beneath the rubble.

“Our hearts break with all those who have experienced such painful loss. Every severe storm is hurtful to those who experience it, but this one is especially tragic because of the magnitude of the destruction and the number of lives lost especially those of school children,” said Bill Adams, World Renew Director of Disaster Response Services. “Yet, we know that our God is bigger than even this storm. We want to bring some of His hope to the people in Oklahoma.”

And that’s just what they are doing. World Renew Regional Managers, Don and Ardy Pranger were already hard at work responding to the tornadoes that struck Texas last week, when they heard about the Oklahoma City tornado. They got in touch with government officials and others in Oklahoma to evaluate how they could best respond.

Based on those conversations, World Renew is sending Early Response Coordinators, Rich and Pat Grasman, to Moore this week to help with Spiritual Care and Early Assessment, and to plan for clean-up and long term recovery efforts.

World Renew and Reformed Church World Service also expect to stand by disaster survivors for the long-term, repairing and rebuilding homes for the elderly, the disabled, and those who lack insurance or ability to do repairs on their own.

This will be carried out by some of the more than 3,000 short- and long-term volunteers from the Christian Reformed Church, the Reformed Church of America, and other denominations that World Renew has on its roster who are trained and ready to respond quickly when disasters strike.

“Amidst sometimes tumultuous weather, we can always count on the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening even if it’s hidden by cloud cover! This disaster has been horrific, but God is faithful. He will give us the strength that we need for the task at hand,” said Adams.

Financial donations are urgently needed to support this effort. Donate online at or by calling 1-800-552-7972 (US) or 1-800-730-3490 (Canada).

Checks marked “Tornadoes 2013” can also be sent to:

World Renew US

2850 Kalamazoo Ave SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49560

World Renew Canada

3475 Mainway

P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD

Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8

For more information, an annual financial report, or to donate online, go to

World Renew is a Christian non-profit agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America that ministers in development, disaster response, and justice education with people in need around the world, since 1962.Member of InterAction, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and the Canadian Council for Christian Charities. Give with confidence.

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