As you may have already figured out, I'm just returning home from Alabama, visiting a great friend I have there. I'm actually splitting my blog into two parts - one focusing on the tornado damage I witnessed and one on the friend part of my trip, which was 99.9% of it.
In case you didn't know, I am terrified of tornadoes. Where I live, it's not much of an issue, however, we do have an occasional twister blow through with hops and skips across the landscape. Never have I seen anything like I did on the outskirts of Tuscaloosa, where I was departing the train at to meet up with my friend.
As the train came closer to Tuscaloosa, I began to pay attention to the scenery outside my window. At first I just saw houses with blue tarps. Every house, blue tarps. So this wasn't so bad, I'm thinking... then all of the sudden I saw rubble. I was on the phone with my mom and suddenly gasped - "Oh mama, this is horrible," it's all I could say over and over. I just wanted to cry. It was like someone dumped matchsticks all over the ground where houses once were. Destroyed. Devastated.
I can't imagine what it was like for these people who have lost so much. I look at the amount of destruction and have to wonder if someone here lost their life. I just don't know how anyone could survive in the houses I saw. So incredibly sad.
While I was there, the tornado hit Joplin. Being in an area that is still so completely smashed by a tornado, it took on a deeper meaning of what those people were going to be dealing with as the storm passed by. My friends in Alabama were just heartbroken to see another tornado and another town wiped out. It was hard to watch. But, much like in Alabama, immediately the people began coming together to search for survivors and dig out from under the rubble.
I hope you'll pray with me for both communities. They are weary and need strength to see the rebuilding to the end. Please keep them in your thoughts and provide assistance in the way that is best for you. Donations, volunteering, prayers - all are important to seeing these communities come back and overcome the loss they've seen.