BY STEVE DUNN
I am back from my blogcation. It was a good time of rest and reflection and I was able to get much of the writing completed that I was on the hook for. I had intended to wait one more week before relaunching into the blogosphere. Then I went to Findlay OH to attend my denomination’s triennial General Conference and I met the folks of the Firehouse Community Outreach. Well, actually I met young lady currently living in Chicago, who was in the process of moving to Moore OK via a wedding in a couple of months in Yipsilanti MI. Her name was Heather Dabrowski.
Heather was an energetic young lady who was part of a service team I was heading that took one afternoon off from denominational business to provide various acts of service to our host community. I was responsible for three teams that would be working in nursing homes. She worked with myself and three men to bring a little encouragement to residents, many of whom were suffering from dementia and psychological issues. Heather painted nails and led an amazing Bible study for a small group of residents of St, Catherine’s Nursing Home.
|Heather at St. Catherine’s Home in Findlay OH|
Back to Moore OK. The Churches of God have had two churches in this southwest Oklahoma City suburb, both of which are now closed. Heather’s Dad, Daren Dabrowski, had been agreed to leave a lucrative job in maufacturing to help my denomination plant a new church in Moore. The new church is called The Gate Church. Heather and her fiancee were in the process of marrying, then moving to Moore to join the church planting effort.
Are you letting the name Moore OK sink in? On Monday, May 20, 2013 a massive, howling tornado pulverized a vast swath of this Oklahoma City suburb, chewing up homes and businesses and severely damaging a hospital and two elementary schools. The storm, rated an EF5* on the Enhanced Fujita scale, carved a trail as much as 1.3 miles wide and 17 miles long. The new church building that will house this new congregation was directly in the path of the monster but emerged unscathed. That’s when Daren decided it was time to close up shop up north and head to Oklahoma and Firehouse Community Outreach was born. The church became the focal point of the nongovernmental relief efforts for Moore’s tornado victims and now the rebuilding efforts of the residents.
That’s where Heather comes in. From her home in Chicago she manages the phone calls, emails, correspondence, negotiations and arrangements with officialdom in Moore and the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers from around the nation who have sent money, supplies, and themselves to Moore to help the new Church of God currently known as Firehouse Community Outreach become a force for healing and hope in the place where they plan on building redemptive relationships with Jesus Christ.
|Daren Dabrowski (right) and one of the many “friends” of Moore OK|
There’s a whole lot more to be told about this story unfolding in Moore. And I hope to tell it.If you’d like to be a part of it, go to the web at: www.facebook.com.firehousecommunityoutreach Or you can call its office at 405-759-0778. Heather will answer the phone.
(C) 2013 by Stephen L Dunn
|photos courtesy of FIREHOUSE COMMUNITY OUTREACH and THE GATE CHURCH|