Mark Lewis is director of EFCA Crisis Response. He and his family live in New Orleans, from which he travels to Haiti or Japan or wherever needed, to make disciples and multiply transformational churches in the wake of crises.
Servants Now Victims
Ken realized his nearest neighbor’s home most likely was not equipped with a storm shelter, so he ran to their house and invited them to the safety of his storm shelter and some of the family accepted his offer. Then not one, but two funnel clouds were spotted looming in the distance. The sky turned greenish in color and the falling rain blew horizontally. Ken felt the storm door glass begin to rattle and David saw the funnel cloud begin bearing down on the house and yelled “Tornado!!”
Ken and David ran down the stairs into the basement and closed the door to the storm shelter.
When they emerged, to their joy the house was still intact, their family was safe and the neighbors that joined them were thankful, but their community had changed. Forty eight trees were blown down on their property. Where shingles were torn off the roof, rain poured in. The ceiling and soaked insulation collapsed in wet clumpy heaps in the dining and living room.
ReachGlobal Crisis Response and Hope EFC are again partnering in response to tornadoes impacting the region served by the church.
Three years ago, when tornadoes ravaged the region around Hope EFC, (Madison, AL), the Schrock family was a part of Hope’s outreach to the community. They engaged with neighbors, helped serve, and prayer walked many neighborhoods that had been affected.
But this time, they found themselves playing the role of victim. The family was watching the sky grow darker and more threatening with each passing minute and the ladies, feeling it would be safest to move to the basement, which is an equipped storm shelter. David watched out the south windows and Ken stood watch on the north front porch attentively waiting, watching and listening all the while hoping that they would not hear the dreaded train noise or see the swirling funnel cloud that had been spotted in the area.
Roofs across the street were torn off, massive trees that had survived decades of previous storms were either uprooted or snapped off leaving jagged stumps sticking up out of the ground. Nearby, two trailer parks were leveled, leaving four dead and twisted hulks of metal twisted like pretzels and debris strewn across fields for miles. A subdivision was barely recognizable as house roofs were torn off, walls crumbled and piles of debris, littered the ground. Smashed cars, snapped trees, downed power lines blocked the road.
The family, still suffering from the effects of the trauma, were encouraged today by several friends from church. Meanwhile, the massive, overwhelming burden of clean up has begun for them, their neighbors and community.
Pray: For the Schrocks and their neighbors, who have been affected by this traumatic event and for Hope Church to be a light to their community.
Equip: We are in need of Stihl MS461 Chain saws and replacement chains for 16″, 18″ and 20″ bars.