Brethren Disaster Ministries Responds to Tornado Damage

North Carolina tornado damage.
Photo courtesy of the NC Governor’s office.

A prayer for all tornado survivors

This prayer was written by Glenn Kinsel, a long time volunteer for Brethren Disaster Ministries, in response to the devastation created by the recent tornados:

Dear God and Father of all,
help us to fully understand that the struggles of one person become the pain of all, especially for those of us who follow Jesus Christ.
Please, God, work in us and through us so that we indeed sense the pain and suffering of all those caught in storms and struggles of this time in our nation and on this planet.
In it all, help us to feel pain even as it exists in those whom we know only as storm survivors. May the peace and care of Jesus Christ be felt and shared in the minds and hearts of our great human family everywhere.
In the name of the living Christ whom we worship this Easter Season, Amen.

Twin tornados tore through Pulaski County, Virginia, on April 8, 2011 destroying approximately 69 residences, causing major damage to 183 homes and minor damage to another 171, primarily in the county seat town of Pulaski.

A crew of 10 Brethren volunteers from Virlina District worked with chainsaws on Tuesday, April 12, cutting up fallen trees and clearing debris. The crew was organized by Jim Kropff, disaster coordinator for the district.

Kropff has been in contact with the Southwest Virginia VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and offered the services of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Any future need for volunteers for cleanup or rebuilding will be made known as the response and recovery progresses.  No members of the Pulaski First Church of the Brethren were harmed.

A deadly tornado outbreak on Saturday, April 16, wreaked havoc in seven states and claimed more than 40 lives. North Carolina was the most heavily impacted, with 62 tornadoes destroying 500 homes and damaging more than 1,000 across 15 counties. The American Red Cross reports that some of the hardest hit areas of the Tar Heel state are still inaccessible, and officials say that many more than 1,000 families will be homeless.

Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor reports and potential needs, maintaining close contact with impacted Church of the Brethren districts. The Virlina District, encompassing parts of Virginia and North Carolina, has borne the majority of the serious damage from storms two weekends in a row. Damaging tornadoes this weekend also struck Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, and Maryland.

– Jane Yount, coordinator for BDM and Glenn Kinsel, administrative volunteer


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