Members of God's Pit Crew
Cheers and tears again greeted God’s Pit Crew on Friday as they packed up and headed back to Virginia after three weeks of nonstop work helping Moffett Public School recover from floods in May.
Teachers and students alike, several of them wearing shirts reading “Moffett Strong,” attended the raucous event in the school’s gymnasium. Cheerleaders and the school’s Wildcat mascot led the red-shirted back-to-school saviors into the gym, where they received a standing ovation amid chants of “GPC! GPC!”
When asked what she was feeling saying goodbye to the team, Moffett pre-Kindergarten teacher Rita Stuart said she was “sad to see them go. We are going to miss them terribly.”
“Without them, we wouldn’t be here having school. They have been a saving grace,” she added. Fighting tears, Stuart said it was “like part of us is leaving.”
When GPC arrived in Moffett three weeks ago there was a lot of work to do because the school had been so heavily damaged, but the team came ready to get to work and they hit the ground running.
Stuart said there is still some work to do on the school buildings, but pointed out that they would have been forced to delay the first day of school had it not been for GPC. Work on the school is about 90 percent completed, she said.
Several GPC team members will return to Moffett in about two weeks to continue work at the school, Stuart said.
District 2 State Rep. Jim Olsen was also at the event, where he praised GPC’s endeavors. “On behalf of Sequoyah County and Moffett, thank you for all that you have done. Thank you for your selfless act of kindness,” he said.
Randy Johnson, president and founder of God’s Pit Crew, thanked the town of Moffett for supporting their efforts and for making the team feel so welcome the moment they arrived. “This is a big day!” he said.
“I’ve heard so many comments praising us (GPC), but this group right here (meaning the pit crew) is going to be more blessed” than the people in Moffett are because of the love and support they received during their time here," Johnson said. “This is the greatest opportunity we have had in our 20-year history.”
Moffett Principal Lance Stuart told students and teachers “Don’t ever forget: This isn’t something WE’VE done, it’s what God has done. The Lord has been good to us, and good for Moffett,” he said.
Tracy Stone, GPC’s vice chairman and pastor of Praise Community Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., told students, “Every screw that went into these walls is a blessing,” and said it was up to Moffett’s students to keep the blessings going.
Stone also reminded educators that “the next leader is sitting among us. The future is bright for these kids.”
Moffett teachers presented GPC with a chair they found during the cleanup. They wrote “Moffett Wildcats” on it and signed it. They presented the chair, along with a handmade wooden sign in the shape of Oklahoma adorned with the teachers’ signatures as well.
The students had their own gift, thank-you notes to GPC work crews. Moffett has about 380 students ranging in age from 3 years old to eighth grade, and there were so many notes teachers had to put them in two three-ring binders.
The crews also received Moffett hats, “Moffett Strong” T-shirts, and teacher Shawn Weatherton made blue and gold (Moffett’s school colors) bracelets for all the women in the GPC.
“You guys have truly shown us the love of God,” Weatherton said. “You were sent from Heaven.”
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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