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May 21, 2013

Oklahoma: Monday Morning Prayer

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Last October when Hurricane Sandy barreled on shore here in New Jersey, most of us were without power. We couldn’t watch television news coverage of the destruction. Those of us with battery-powered radios could hear about the incredible destruction that wiped out towns and communities up and down the Jersey Shore. It would take days to see the destructive path Sandy took here in the Garden State with our own eyes.

But our fellow countrymen were able to see the waves pounding on shore. They watched as homes were washed out to sea, the Seaside boardwalk torn apart by ferocious waves pounding the planks into toothpicks. They saw the flooding that filled so many streets and communities. During the storm I received a text message from a friend out west who said that he was in awe of the power of nature and was crying along with us here in Jersey as he watched the storm ruin so many lives. It was the only text I received during the storm; with the power lines out to cell towers, it was virtually impossible to communicate.

Yesterday, as I watched the special news report on CNN on the tornado ripping through Moore, Oklahoma, I couldn’t help think about that lone text message I received during Sandy and how the people of Moore were dealing with the massive destruction that was befallen them. I know that people in areas were tornados are common are generally prepared with emergency plans when the sirens sound. But none of them could have been ready for the miles of destruction as they came out of their bunkers and cellars. So many people, dead. So many homes and schools and businesses, destroyed. As the local reporter told the story about the path the tornado was ripping through his hometown, I couldn’t help but thing of New Jersey.

Before Sandy, no one could believe that such a massive amount of destruction was possible. But when the sun came out, when the waters receded, we started to take stock of our lives and started to rebuild.

Even to this day and will for many days and months to come, rebuilding communities and lives is our main focus here in the Garden State. We’ve had incredible support from so many our fellow countrymen and women, all of whom donated millions of dollars in aid and materials. But I am most especially happy of the prayers New Jersey received from all around the globe. Prayers of God’s faithful crying out for mercy and grace sang to the heavens from here in New Jersey and all over, pleading with our Lord to help the people so hurt by nature’s wrath.

As we here in New Jersey continue to pick up hammers to rebuild, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the people of Oklahoma, especially the people of Moore. We, too, will join with our fellow Lutherans and Christians and Americans to show love and support to help them begin to rebuild their lives. Just as we here in New Jersey are eternally grateful for all the love and support we received the days following Sandy, we will return this love and support.

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Oklahoma: Monday Morning Prayer

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Last October when Hurricane Sandy barreled on shore here in New Jersey, most of us were without power. We couldn’t watch television news coverage of the destruction. Those of us with battery-powered radios could hear about the incredible destruction that wiped out towns and communities up and down the Jersey Shore. It would take days to see the destructive path Sandy took here in the Garden State with our own eyes.

But our fellow countrymen were able to see the waves pounding on shore. They watched as homes were washed out to sea, the Seaside boardwalk torn apart by ferocious waves pounding the planks into toothpicks. They saw the flooding that filled so many streets and communities. During the storm I received a text message from a friend out west who said that he was in awe of the power of nature and was crying along with us here in Jersey as he watched the storm ruin so many lives. It was the only text I received during the storm; with the power lines out to cell towers, it was virtually impossible to communicate.

Yesterday, as I watched the special news report on CNN on the tornado ripping through Moore, Oklahoma, I couldn’t help think about that lone text message I received during Sandy and how the people of Moore were dealing with the massive destruction that was befallen them. I know that people in areas were tornados are common are generally prepared with emergency plans when the sirens sound. But none of them could have been ready for the miles of destruction as they came out of their bunkers and cellars. So many people, dead. So many homes and schools and businesses, destroyed. As the local reporter told the story about the path the tornado was ripping through his hometown, I couldn’t help but thing of New Jersey.

Before Sandy, no one could believe that such a massive amount of destruction was possible. But when the sun came out, when the waters receded, we started to take stock of our lives and started to rebuild.

Even to this day and will for many days and months to come, rebuilding communities and lives is our main focus here in the Garden State. We’ve had incredible support from so many our fellow countrymen and women, all of whom donated millions of dollars in aid and materials. But I am most especially happy of the prayers New Jersey received from all around the globe. Prayers of God’s faithful crying out for mercy and grace sang to the heavens from here in New Jersey and all over, pleading with our Lord to help the people so hurt by nature’s wrath.

As we here in New Jersey continue to pick up hammers to rebuild, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the people of Oklahoma, especially the people of Moore. We, too, will join with our fellow Lutherans and Christians and Americans to show love and support to help them begin to rebuild their lives. Just as we here in New Jersey are eternally grateful for all the love and support we received the days following Sandy, we will return this love and support.

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