Christ In Action provides assistance in tornado-damaged Kentucky
Wed, 09 May 2012 - 3:41 PM CST
On March 2, an EF-3 tornado swept through the town of Salyersville, Kentucky, leaving behind a 49-mile path of destruction through the state. Officials say the 160 mph winds caused extensive damage to the business center and more than 300 homes in the area. According to Mayor Pete Shepherd, $50 million worth of damage was reported.
Since then, Christ In Action has partnered with Pastor J.M. Sloce and Praise Assembly in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, and joined with city and county road crews to assist with clean up in Salyersville.
Groups of volunteers picked up trash, sawed trees, cut up trailer frames, sorted through debris and completed other tasks as needed. According to Assemblies of God Chaplain Denny Nissley, executive director of Christ In Action, more than 300 volunteers came from Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, Texas, Maryland and Kentucky to help.
"My home church, Manassas (Virginia) Assembly of God, rallied behind us while we organized and performed cleanup in Kentucky," Nissley says. "Our home district helped with funding efforts, and the Kentucky District helped place volunteers."
Nissley says the group was "boots on the ground" for six weeks in Kentucky and is still involved with rebuilding efforts. "Christ In Action is pleased to work alongside the people of Salyersville and do what we can to provide assistance and bring hope to these families and communities," he says.
Once the initial six weeks of cleanup were complete, a celebration was held in the park for community members and volunteers, complete with a barbeque, inflatables for the kids and a stage for presentations. "The mayor spoke," Nissley says, "and he expressed 'If we had a key to the city, we would give it to Christ In Action.'"
Ronald Brown and his wife, Samantha, have lived in Salyersville for the past 15 years. They were out running errands on March 2, 2012, with their three girls - Madison (7), Lindsay (5) and Olivia (2) - when severe weather started rolling in.
"We were on our way home," Ronald says. "My wife was probably a few minutes ahead of me and they had already went in the place. I pulled up in the driveway and said 'I have to get in the house.' So I went in the trailer and shut the door, then the electric goes out."
Ronald found a flashlight and took a few steps further inside, and that's when the tornado started lifting their mobile home from its foundation.
"Just a few seconds later, our trailer started flipping over," Samantha says. "Ronald was in the hallway and me and the three girls were in the living room. As soon as the electric went off, we didn't have time to brace ourselves or anything."
The trailer rolled over three times in their yard before it came to a stop on its side. The family is now recovering despite minor cuts, bruises and injuries, and is thankful that they are all still alive.
Christ In Action is currently raising funds to build a brand new, 1500-square-foot home for the Brown family. While Christ In Action is raising the money to buy equipment, materials and supplies, the work will be completed solely by volunteers.