Visitors encourage peace and joy after Oklahoma storms

Two recent projects, a “Peace Camp” for youths and a benefit concert featuring contemporary Christian recording artist Matthew West, were held to encourage Oklahomans in the aftermath of the May tornadoes.
by Carla Hinton Modified: July 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm •  Published: July 13, 2013
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Let's talk about peace and joy.

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion toward victims of the May tornadoes — and by proxy all of us who have grieved with them their losses and shared their pain.

We at The Oklahoman could write reams about the many acts of kindness as well as the short-term and long-term projects designed to help in the aftermath of the deadly storms. Two projects surfaced in recent weeks that touched the lives of many Oklahomans.

One was a “Peace Camp” for youths, presented by a church mission team from Cleveland, Ohio, and the other was a benefit concert featuring contemporary Christian recording artist Matthew West.

Debbie Fedrico, a coordinator of the camp, said the Ohio mission team connected with a North Carolina-based Christian humanitarian organization called CitiImpact (the nonprofit has been in the metro area helping to coordinate a variety of disaster relief efforts) to host the event for children at Shekinah Fellowship Church, 412 SW 104. (The CitiImpact nonprofit has been in the metro area helping to coordinate a variety of disaster relief efforts.)

Fedrico said the camp's goal was to aid the children who may feel traumatized by the natural disaster that literally swooped down into their communities.

She said the four-day camp drew about a half-dozen children ages 3 to 10 during the week of the Fourth of July holiday. She said the team, which included a clinical counselor, ran the event like a vacation Bible school, using the biblical story of Joseph to discuss the importance of trusting in God through troubled times. Therapy dogs also were brought in to help the children open up about their feelings.

“These kids have been through so much, and they have been traumatized. We told the kids that he (Joseph) went through all these trials and how God was faithful to him,” she said. “We drew on regular clinical counseling techniques to teach them coping skills.”

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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