Will and I got in late last night after an adventure-filled, body-aching, “volles Programm!” weekend trip in the Austrian Alps with our language partner and friend, Thomas. It wasn’t until we finally got into bed and checked Twitter one last time that we found out about the tornado that ravaged a part of our home state. We checked-in in the midst of the tornado’s destructive rampage through Moore, Oklahoma and watched tweet after tweet after tweet from friends and family posting pictures and alerting everyone to each other’s whereabouts and safety. Will and I stayed up far past the storm’s activity just to be part of and clued in on all of the relief efforts as best we could. As 1:00am drew closer, we reluctantly turned off Twitter and Facebook and gave in to sleep knowing that the truths of the tragedy would be what we’d wake up to this morning. All of our family and personal friends are safe and okay, but many of our brothers and sisters in Oklahoma aren’t able to write the same sentence.
Though “Culture Shock: The Worst of” is reserved for humorous purposes only, things like this – like tragedy in one’s home country – is probably the worst culture shock we’ve encountered since our time here in Austria. In this last year alone, we’ve watched multiple horrific events unfold in different parts of the United States from the screens of our phones and laptops, and now it is particularly surreal to see our home make national and international news. I won’t dwell on it, but I will say it’s hard. It’s hard to go to sleep while rescue efforts or squadrons of police are being sent out to handle a traumatic emergency. It’s hard to see what’s happened on the front page of every newspaper in Vienna. It’s hard feeling useless an ocean away. But thankfully God is bigger than the difficulties of culture shock. Thankfully God is bigger than me, He is bigger than my husband, He is bigger than all of the other international American families and individuals who wish more than anything to be able to give hugs and pass out water. It is in God’s incomprehensible size and boundless love that we can take hope and comfort, and have peace in knowing that He is giving hugs, He is passing out water, He is doing more than any of us could ever do if we were in the United States at this moment. And while we can’t do any hands-on work from here, we can certainly pray, and pray we will.
For those living or traveling abroad who would like to help the victims affected by last night’s (May 20) tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, you can help in the following ways:
- American Red Cross: Donate online
- Salvation Army: Donate online
- Operation USA: Donate online
- Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief: Donate online
Of course those living within the U.S. can do the same. More information on how to help out in Oklahoma can be found here.
To Oklahoma: We LOVE you. We are here for you. We are praying for you.
#okwx #okc #prayforoklahoma #moore