I live in Alabama. April 27, 2011 is a day that we will never forget and never want to repeat. Our town was devastated by an EF-4 tornado... possibly more than one. The downtown area of our little town was devastated. Many 100+ year old trees were literally ripped up by the roots. Many homes have been completely destroyed. Many business now lay in a rubble heap. The landscape was changed forever.
My family was blessed. We suffered no physical injury and only minor damage to our home. We watched the TV weather until our power went out. I knew that the tornado was close. I saw the swirling debris cloud right before we took shelter in our linen closet. I heard sounds of things breaking, trees coming down & wind blowing, but most the sound of my own voice praying. I was afraid of what I would see when we emerged. Praise God! Our house was still standing. The damage was minor. Our neighbors down the street weren't so lucky. There are probably 3 houses on our street that will have to be torn down. They had multiple trees fall on them.
At my home, we still have no power or internet connection...and we don't have smartphones. We were able to get a generator a few days ago, which has made things easier. Luckily, Sew Daddy likes to grill so he's been able to cook much of our frozen food before it spoiled. Frozen pizzas & homemade lasagna are very good when cooked on a Big Green Egg.
Last Thursday, we drove a 2 hour round trip to find gasoline and a wifi connection. At that time, I put my Etsy shop in vacation mode. It will remain that way until power & internet are available again. Today, I'm at a family member's house to check email for the first time since the storm.
I will be checking into FB later today. Given the number of emails I was finally able to read today, lots of you have posted on my personal wall and also the SG wall. I haven't read them yet; still trying to get through about 300 emails. :) Your ourpouring of support, concern, offers to bring us supplies , etc is overwhelming. I can never thank you all enough; especially because there are only a few of you that I've ever met face to face. I don't want to call it "the kindness of strangers" because I feel like I know so many of you even though we've never met.
I have lots of pictures that I would like to share but that will have to wait a few more days. Today when I came to a family member's house to get internet access, I brought my camera but forgot to bring my camera cable. I grabbed my cell phone charger instead. However, I'm sure you've seen pictures on the news. I heard that Diane Sawyer opened one of her broadcasts over the weekend with a picture of our church sanctuary. I can only image the other images you've seen. I have to say, seeing it on TV is nothing like living it. Many times, I've just been overcome with tears when I see our town...landmarks gone forever. I heard that Diane Sawyer said that our church would not be worshipping this past Sunday. I'm happy to say that she was mistaken. Our church did meet on Sunday, with no power, in the fellowship hall. It was standing room only! God's people came together and it was wonderful.
That brings to mind another point. This little town has united to help each other. Even with the devastation, all area churches and other organizations are working together to doing outreach during this difficult time. It's a true test of God's people. It is up to US to help our neighbors and not wait for the government to do so. Of course state and federal aid is here, needed and will be needed for months to come, but the Church is doing what God expects us to do. I'm thankful for the service of our first responders, police force, state troopers and national guard soldiers whose presence is so reassuring.
There was a community faith service on Sunday night. It was a time for people to gather, pray and just take a break from reality for a couple of hours. We were treated to a free concert by Casting Crowns and it was incredible! Many, Many thanks to Mark Hall, the members of the group and the local officials who were able to provide that for our community.
Ok, I've gotten a bit long winded here. Just know that I appreciate you all and ask that you continue to pray for our community!