The mind of Christ in action
Charlie Butts (AFN)
Jim Yates, associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in nearby Tupelo, visited Amory, Mississippi, and talked with some of the residents. They did not see the storm as "tragedy," he reports.
"As a matter of fact, what they saw it as was an act of God's grace – and a lot of that was due to so many lives being saved through such unspeakable tragedy," Yates tells AFN. "That was such an encouragement to us."
The pastor shares that in spite of the destruction, local people were doing what they could to alleviate the pain – ranging from handing out water and ice and setting up grills to cook food.
"It's just the Church descending on places where there's pain," he adds. "It's such a Christ picture that I think we sometimes lose sight of sometimes, how the Lord just uses his people in times like this."
Other Christian relief organizations such as Samaritan's Purse and Convoy of Hope joined Eight Days of Hope in the tornado-stricken areas in and around Amory.
An Eight Days of Hope Rapid Response team was hard at work with backhoes, chainsaws, and Cat-dozers just hours after the tornado hit the small town in Monroe County.
Ministry spokesperson Reagan Ayers says the volunteer leaders and missionaries are skilled workers who have been trained to operate in chaos.
"They'll come and help us to assess the homes when we begin to do the work," she tells AFN.
With hundreds of homes in the affected vicinity, she says they may choose which houses to fix either through a partnership with a church or just by walking into a neighborhood and knocking on doors.
For example, a tree blew over and caved in part of the home of 83-year-old Miss Anita; wind damaged other parts of it. Still a little shellshocked from riding out the twister, she could hardly believe it when Eight Days of Hope knocked on her door and said they were going to help – for free.
"I've never had anybody tell me 'free' on anything," she shares. "I was just stunned."
25 were killed across The Magnolia State, with another death reported in Alabama.
The Rapid Response team will be in Amory tomorrow (March 28th) through April 8th.
"We get to come along with these people and really just tend their hearts … and just be the hands and feet of Jesus in whatever we can do while we're with them," says Ayers.
Volunteers are still needed.
3/28/2023 - Sidebar added/