Update: The RRT deployment in Vale, NC concluded last Friday as recovery work continued. Two RRT chaplains prayed with 26 people during the deployment, offering words of encouragement and God’s love to those who lost belongings and housing due to the tornado.
Original Report: Multiple fixed structure homes were damaged, including a ranch-style residence that had its roof ripped completely away. The family and friends who were in that home (ten in total) were thankfully unharmed. The destruction from the tornado was shocking. Trees everywhere were snapped in two or, in some case, completely uprooted and up-ended. Debris from the homes that were destroyed has been strewn everywhere.
The hardest hit families were those in three mobile homes that literally exploded from the damage and changes in air pressure from the tornado. Chaplains Barb Stiles and Mennie Morrison spoke with one of the families and shared their traumatic but miraculous experience. Mrs. Gonzales and her five children were in their home when the tornado began tossing it around. As one of the Gonzales children shared, “The house was on its roof. We were rolling and rolling.”
Devin, their next door neighbor (whose house also suffered damage) said that when he saw the mobile home he thought, “There’s no way anyone made it.” The home was ultimately torn apart and flung into the middle of the road. Devin went to look through the rubble and was shocked to discover each member of the family alive. Everyone was quiet from the shock until they were all gathered together again and the tears began to flow.
Mr. Gonzalez was not at home at the time of the twister, but was simultaneously shocked to see his home destroyed and overjoyed to find his family safe. While they all suffered various minor injuries, Mrs. Gonzales, who is also pregnant, said that, “I knew it was the hand of God that kept us safe and alive.” She and her oldest daughter held hands and prayed in the midst of the turmoil.
The RRT deployment in Vale will likely continue for the next 2-3 days. Please lift up each of these families as they recover from this tragedy. Pray as well for the chaplains as they minister to and pray for each life that’s been touched by this situation.
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