Thursday, May 23, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXIV

"Hear my cry, O G-d, attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." -- Psalm 61:1,2

In the aftermath of terrible tornadoes ripping through Texas and Oklahoma there come forth stories of great heroism and faith. Teachers in an elementary school devastated in Moore Oklahoma admitted to praying in school as they moved students to the safest place they could find. People who's worldly possessions lie splintered across the landscape give gratitude to G-d for spared loved ones. A tornado is a powerful force, not only to destroy, but to bring out what a person is made of. Person after person told reporters what their faith meant to them in the storm.

A tornado may strike in sixteen minutes, but it changes things forever for those who experience it. Houses can be rebuilt and refurnished, but the memories framed in family photos may never be recovered. One Oklahoma resident, cleaning debris from her own yard, realized that someone's soggy memories from miles away were part of the litter in her own yard. She started a Website on Facebook [click to read] for people to scan and post any photos they found and that act of kindness has already resulted in some happy recoveries.

Samaritan's Purse [click to read], founded by Billy Graham's son Franklin, has sent trained volunteers who help with physical needs such as cleanup and repair. Their training also allows them focus on emotional and spiritual healing. In the overwhelming destruction of these storms, Samaritan's Purse chaplains are bringing hope and caring to the victims.

A host of church response teams are on their way as well. Spirit FM Radio sponsor's G-d's Pit Crew [click to read], a team that collects essential supplies and trucks them in to devastated areas. The day they announced a trailer collection point for relief supplies it was practically filled with donations. They mentioned a collection point in Staunton; Victory Worship Center on Hammond Road (just off of Christian's Creek Road past the Coca-Cola Plant) [1.]. The site has two small trailers and already they have received a great deal of bottled water.

The volunteers manning the collection stations have listed essential supplies that people should bring. Bottled water is on everyone's list, as are basic toiletries and items such as hand sanitizer. Food that can be eaten directly from the package without heating or other preparation is requested as well. These initial deliveries will go into areas where utilities are disrupted and residents will most likely lack electricity and water.

Collection points will be receiving donations for the next few days. A more complete list of items needed may be found at Spirit FM's website or Here [click to read].

As we pray for those affected by the storms, let us pick up an extra item or two at the grocer's to travel with our prayers to Texas and Oklahoma.

Sky over Staunton as a storm rolls through.

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