OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Kentucky residents continue to pick up the pieces after the destructive tornados earlier this month, one Oklahoma pastor traveled to some of the hardest hit areas to help the recovery effort and show Oklahomans the extent of the damage.
The ongoing destruction caused by the tornados that swept through the eastern part of the country is heartbreaking.
“This is horrendous to see the total devastation,” said Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Derrick Scobey. “It looks like a cinematographer from a movie set designed this to have it as a landscape for a disaster movie.”
Pastor Scobey traveled to Kentucky this past week, making stops in Mayfield and Bowling Green, showing KFOR via Zoom the extent of the damage.
“I am actually standing [here] right behind me is where the family of seven and then right down there, the family of five were both killed,” he said, adding one of the deceased has yet to be located.
He is now working with the organization World Vision and others to distribute items like heaters, blankets, clothes and food, and the one positive that he’s seen is how others, including Oklahomans, have reached out to help.
“Pastor Josh Curry, the lead pastor at Frontline Church reached out and wanted to send a sizable donation,” he said. “You’re seeing the Oklahoma standard. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
David Vontungeln from Oklahoma Farm Bureau has been a farmer for over 40 years, and he says he has seen the same generosity, specifically from the state’s agriculture community.
“Those are truly blessings,” he said. “We’ve been through this before and know how difficult it is, so we’re always eager to reach out and lend a hand. Disasters like these really bring the farming community together.”
Pastor Scobey says he’s spoken with multiple families who have been impacted, and the one thing that has stood out to him is their resilience.
“I’ve seen broken pieces all around me; broken commodes broken sinks, everything is broken, every thing is shattered,” he said. “But the people are not broken…that’s what I’m seeing. Kentucky strong.”
Both Vantungeln and Scobey are encouraging Oklahomans to help, whether it be through their organizations ― Oklahoma Farm Bureau and World Vision ― or others.
Additionally, KFOR’s parent company, Nexstar, has partnered with the Red Cross and is taking donations. For that link, click here.