Far across the ocean in East Africa and without Internet for a week, I got the news about the terrible tragedies in Alabama second-hand. My husband had gone out to send some email Thursday at a local cafe’ and called me with the news he’d just received. I gathered our children around to tell them that our precious friend and former neighbor, Tom Lee, had died saving his family as their home collapsed and that they and the Crawfords (also dear friends) had lost everything. The home we had once lived in next door was completely gone. It was hard for all of us to take it in. We immediately sat down together in tears and prayed for those so far away, wishing we could be there to reach out.
Here in Africa, dire need is all around us. We see it daily. We feel compassion and love for the people we are here to serve. But hearing what had happened to our own home folks cut so deeply that we have spent the past three days mourning and praying. We thank God for all the hands and feet of the saints who have descended on the South–not just in Alabama, but in other tornado-devastated places like Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia. My husband is there in Shoal Creek Valley with our friends, and we are with him in spirit. I am so encouraged by all the others who are holding up these families in prayer and even making the long trek south to lend a hand with all the clean-up and recovery. The response has been so overwhelming that local coordinators don’t even know where to put all the supplies and have set up a special warehouse in downtown Ashville. This is exactly how the Body of Christ should work, overflowing from homes and churches into the broader community. Thank you, thank you.
Lora Fanning has posted an update on her blog about how to help, and I wanted to pass it along, as so many have left comments here asking how they can help:
People from all over the country have filled the warehouse with donations to meet the physical needs of the families. The families are overwhelmed and so blessed by your generosity. The reality is, however, that these families have no homes to put these items in. For now, storage pods have been obtained to hold the donations, ready to fill their new homes.
But first, they have to rebuild.
Please click here to read the rest and give as you are led. God bless.
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” ~ Matthew 25:40