Smithville Tornado: Friday Recap

Today, we had a chance to get into town and take some pictures.  We spent more time, however, working hard cleaning and packing up several houses of SBC church members.  In the morning, Carmen and I worked in an old lady’s house packing up salvageable and/or sentimental items that she could take to a storage facility.  Around 11 AM, a team from my home church, The Church at Trace Crossing, came down and we got to work in a neighborhood.  Later, we were finally cleared to visit the church, where we set up the tent for Sunday’s service and picked through the rubble for hymnals and other salvageable items.  Below are some select pictures to view of the day’s events.  Thank you all for your prayers!  They are much needed.  Any donations of money and/or items can be sent to Smithville Baptist Church, 60027 Edgeworth Drive, Smithville, MS 38870.  Money is much needed, along with items like clothing and water.

Thursday Morning's Front Page of the Daily Journal
The only real damage done at my parents' house, praise God.
Our first stop of the day. I took this picture standing on the house's actual foundation about 20 yards away!
We went through this house packing up things worth keeping.
Marcel's son said this: "My grandfather planted this tree in 1964."
One of the houses Trace Crossing helped clean up
House with a perfectly staged living room on Hwy 25
This was the church sanctuary. Impossible to pick through.
This is my Dad's office. Mud everywhere.
This is SBC's church bus, carried into a nearby ditch by the storm.
This was the church basement my Dad and Todd survived in.
This is the bookshelt Todd held on to for dear life during the storm. It's amazing that it stayed standing.
One of the only things that survived in the church were the choir robes, which somehow remained spotless!
This is where the church service will be held Sunday morning. Right in front of the destroyed building.
"If our God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31

Interesting notes: 1) The first service held in the (new) sanctuary (shown destroyed above) was on Easter Sunday, 2001. The last service held there was Easter Sunday, 2011.  The building stood for exactly ten years.  2) These pictures aren’t even the tip of the iceberg of the destruction in town.  I chose pictures of buildings today.  You will see pictures tomorrow of places where houses were that show no trace of them now, along with many more.  3) My Dad was in the Clarion Ledger and the Washington Post today.  4) The attitudes here are amazing.  More on that tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and praying.  Allow these photos to spur you on to pray for Smithville, worship our exceedingly gracious God, and propel you to action for His name and glory.

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