WE STAND READY 2SERVE!
The above picture is of the actual approaching tornado caught during a lightening flash. The destruction it caused at Mayfield was so complete and devastating that experienced responders were shocked. The slide show of pictures below will tell the story. However, unless you are there seeing a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding destruction you cannot grasp it.
Upon hearing of the destruction 2Serve began determining where to go Sabbath morning and settled upon Mayfield, KY. Contact was made with Mike Burks, pastor of the Paducah, KY SDA Church 30 minutes from Mayfield to have our group come and stay in their activity center that had a kitchen and two showers. After receiving confirmation from the Pastor and KY/TN Conference administration that they would support our response efforts to Mayfield we left at noon Sunday to make our way there. At the time of departure we knew we had 25 responders from Heritage Academy , Gideon Rescue Company and AWA (Adventist World Aviation). On the way up we gained a food truck operated by Hans and Amy Groschel and Beacon Academy adding another 14 responders.
Work was started the next morning with Gideon Rescue Company using their five search dogs to help with the searching in Dawson Springs, KY and along with AWA did debris removal and helped people find things of importance in the wreckage of their homes. The remainder of our responders helped set up and structure the flow of distribution for people needing supplies from the POD (Point Of Distribution) for food, water and other necessities at the Mayfield Fairgrounds. At least thirteen 18 wheelers were unloaded by the National Guard and other volunteers along with dozens of other smaller trucks with trailers, Uhaul type trucks and cars. We helped get the items out to the distribution tables so people could select the things they needed while going through the distribution site. Some of 2Serve partnered with Gideon Rescue Company to meet the cars and trucks as the victims left the POD to pray with them and give them a book or piece of literature that would help encourage them through their ordeal.
Harbert Hills Academy came with 20 students and staff and overlapped with Heritage Academy so they could learn the ropes of helping man the POD. The food truck was a huge blessing by providing hot meals and distributed them throughout the day to hundreds of victims and volunteers and also provided us a hot breakfast to start our day and a hot dinner at night. WHAT A BLESSING! In addition, 2Serve helped 26 church members from Pastor Harmon’s three church district of the KY/TN Conference come and work all day Sunday at the Fairground POD and blessed many people through their efforts. Marty Resz, owner and operator of a professional tree cutting company came from Missouri with 8 responders and two skid steers along with 13 others from Ohio. They helped at the POD and removed debris from a number of homes with huge jobs.
We had morning and evening worships for the 10 days we were there. The evening worships included an opportunity for people share their experiences of the day. Incredibly inspiring stories were shared each evening! After seeing the complete devastation of the homes and businesses of so many people it was a small inconvenience to sleep on a gym floor and share two showers among 50 people. When you help people retrieve a few things salvageable from the wreckage of their homes you realize how truly blessed you are to be of help to them and hear their stories, to pray with them and encourage them and leave a book or pamphlet that can change their lives for eternity.
Southern Adventist University has requested 2Serve to coordinate a recovery response by their students the weeks of January 16-21 and 23-28 with Sunday and Friday being travel days. An update will be given after their trips. Please pray that a lot of good will be done for a lot of people and all responders will be kept safe.
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