“Where do I start,” said Amy when asked what she needed.
The Salvation Army team carefully made their way to a severely damaged home sitting atop a small hill to offer meals, water, and prayer when they met Amy.
Amy has been married for 37 years, and in under 30 seconds, her wedding ring was sucked off her finger.
They have two grown sons and a daughter; it was her daughter who called in an alarm to say the tornado was headed their way. Amy and her husband ran and lay in the hallway in the center of their home, a home Amy said was solidly built in 2000 using 2 x 8s for extra durable construction.
Amy and her husband braced themselves between the hallway walls. “I was trying to hold myself down, and even then, I was sucked three feet off the floor,” said Amy. “The tornado was pulling me out.”
The air was sucked out of the room, leaving them breathless. It was in the aftermath that they realized they were showered with insulation, drywall, broken glass, and shards of frames that, just minutes before, had held a lifetime of memories. “We finally stood up; there were no lights, no electricity…nothing.”
The adjacent kitchen appeared as if all the appliances and furniture had been shaken like dice and haphazardly thrown. The granite countertops were missing, as was the entire second story of their home, save a small inside wall, now exposed to the elements, holding a small bookcase still lined with a few disordered books.
“It was pitched black, and we smelled gas,” said Amy, “It was just all awful.”
“I just lost my mom in January, and you really want your mom in a situation like this,” whispered Amy. Among all the loss and destruction, losing pictures of her mom was particularly difficult. “I just wish I could find my pictures of her.”
The Salvation Army team felt compelled to help her find at least one picture of her mother and combed the surrounding area with Amy, searching and listening as she talked through her traumatic experience. They found a few pictures of family, but regrettably, none of her mom.
“Until you’ve experienced something like this, you just don’t know,” said Amy. “I remember asking the Lord what my testimony was; now I know.”
“The Salvation Army’s mission is to meet human need however and wherever they exist,” said Salvation Army volunteer Johnny Cline. “That means physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.”
The team prayed with Amy, left her family shelf-stable food, and with a promise to see her soon.
“We go through hills and valleys, and I can say I’m tired of this valley,” said Amy. “But the good Lord is still good.”