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STEPPING IN TO SERVE: Church group helps with storm clean-up

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Iowans helping Iowans.

It's something we've seen a lot of over the past two weeks, and we have yet another example of kindness on full display in the wake of devastation.

Oasis Church is new to the Cedar Rapids and Marion community. They have not yet held their first service, however, that did not stop parishioners from gathering together to serve others in need.

On Saturday, Oasis joined forces with Lutheran Church of the Cross from Altoona.

In total, there were about 50 volunteers. They made 10 different stops at homes in Cedar Rapids, Marion and Shellsburg.

Many of the neighborhoods they visited were completely ravaged by the storm. Almost two weeks later, and yards are still filled with tree limbs, branches and debris.

Oasis pastor, Jody Skogen, said the goal was to help others understand they are not alone along their road to recovery.

She told KWWL that if we can support just one fellow neighbor or even a stranger, we can get through this together.

"Doing something for one that you wish you can do for everyone, and if many people contribute that way, and I think that's what's happening, we're becoming stronger as a community, as neighbors, as a city, and as a state," Skogen said.

While many people have physical needs right now, including the need for food, water, shelter and electricity, Skogen said we should never underestimate the power of providing emotional support.

"I think one need that we need to be careful not to miss is the need for connection. An opportunity to look someone in the eye and to share how they're doing and how they're feeling and how they're discouraged, how they're hurting. Just having someone listen, I feel like is an important piece."

Jody Skogen, Oasis pastor

Oasis Church hoped to begin services on September 13. However, the place where they planned on gathering saw significant storm damage.

Skogen said they will keep their original start date and meet outside while they look for a new location.

In the meantime, the church will continue to help their community in any way they can.

"Oasis Church is about experiencing abundant life," Skogen said. "I think that abundant life can be experienced as we serve, as we help other people, even in a small way, no matter how old or how young we are. There is a way that we can encourage and bless and come alongside someone else."

For more information about Oasis Church, you can visit their website or their Facebook page.

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Olivia Schmitt

Morning Anchor

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