• Cindy Fuller

Servants Amidst the Storm: A Tale of Compassion

Oklahoma City, OK (May 16, 2024) – In the early hours of Wednesday, May 8, an EF2 tornado swept through a peninsula near Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, causing damage to homes and businesses and leaving a trail of fallen trees. One of those homes belonged to the Commanding Officers of the Hot Springs Salvation Army. Auxiliary Captains Bryan and Tracy Brinlee were at home when the tornado struck, causing damage to the roof and other parts of their home.


Standing firm on The Salvation Army’s mission, they set aside their own personal crisis to reach out and serve their neighbors in need. They immediately sent out The Hot Springs Salvation Army’s mobile feeding unit to provide snacks and hydration to the side of the lake that was immediately accessible. On the second day, the canteen was able to get into the most affected neighborhood (where the Brinlees live). However, the canteen couldn’t drive around due to downed trees and power lines. Unfortunately, after the officers arranged for staff to bring additional supplies for snacks and hydration, the staff were told they could not enter the neighborhood. Working with emergency management, The Salvation Army was able to coordinate with them, and emergency management used four-wheelers to bring in the supplies from the staff.


With the help of the neighbors, sandwiches were prepared, and The Salvation Army, alongside volunteers, began going door to door to provide snacks, hydration, and prayers as soon as conditions permitted.


Auxiliary Captain Tracy Brinlee reflected, "Responding to disasters is always challenging, but when your own home becomes the 'command post,' it adds a different dimension. The neighborhood recognized where The Salvation Army officers lived and sought our assistance, knowing it was within our realm of expertise."