Selma, Alabama Tornado Response
Situation Report #1 - Selma
Each disaster brings with it the struggle to make sense of things. Survivors reeling with grief. Responders finding the resolve to bring hope in the midst of disaster. Nevertheless, there are always stories from survivors that cause us to see the good despite the tragic. Gratitude is the answer to bitterness and discontentment. It is even sweeter when it is used as the means to recover from disaster. Mr. and Mrs. T demonstrate that gratitude….
Mrs. T is the principal of the local middle school, who led her teachers and students to safety out of the classrooms and windows into the hallways that lined the school. Amidst lockers and chaos, with a powerful EF3 tornado bearing down on the city, she provided direction and leadership that kept the entire faculty and students safe -- all while the school's roof was being peeled off.
While this was taking place, Mr. T hurried home from work, turning onto his street only to see the tornado up ahead. He pulled into his driveway and opened his door to rush inside to safety. The winds were too strong and shut his door, trapping him inside as a large oak tree came crashing down onto the cab of the truck, limbs and debris reigning down upon him. When the winds died down, Mr. T emerged from the heavily damaged truck without a single injury, only to find his home took significant roof damage from that fallen tree.
As Hope Force Reservists tarped 75% of their roof -- removing tree limbs and patching holes -- it was the gratitude of Mr. and Mrs. T that began their healing process. Despite losing so much, their response was that of thanksgiving for being alive, and their daughter being safe. It was a gratefulness that the children were unharmed. Though their lives were completely turned upside down, their attention was not on the disaster...but rather on gratitude for what they still had. Thanksgiving for life and appreciation for our assistance was their posture. It will be a process of grieving, but gratitude has the power to allow people to grieve well. We saw that today in this beautiful couple. We saw the hope of the gospel in the midst of the storm.
As more Reservists continue to arrive, Hope Force is set up in a particular neighborhood that took significant damage to roofs. We will seek to provide the most good for the most people, as we take the lessen from Mr. and Mrs. T in offering gratitude to our loving God for the terrible privilege of serving our neighbors well.
TO VOLUNTEER IF YOU ARE NOT TRAINED, please click this link, https://hopeforce.org/volunteer/
FOR OUR TRAINED HOPE FORCE RESERVISTS, please use this link: https://form.jotform.com/220817367880160
Would you also consider a financial donation in support of our response efforts? Your gift will help enable our teams to effectively serve those impacted by this historic event.