I continue to offer words of thanksgiving to each of you – individuals, churches and church agencies – for continuing to reach out to those in the western part of our state who were impacted by last Friday’s tornadoes.
As communities continue to assess the situation and continue the tasks of search and rescue and clean up, we need to remember that our support will be needed for a sustained period of time. Additionally, we should respect the wishes of the impacted communities and provide them with what they are requesting, which in most areas is to:
- Pray for the people and communities whose lives have been overtaken by this storm.
- Give to the Week of Compassion and designate your gift for Kentucky tornado relief: https://www.weekofcompassion.org/donate.html.
- Do not come to help until a request for assistance has been made. Please understand that the need will arise.
- Get Organized – identify who in your congregation wants to help and what skills they have, as well as what other resources (financial, material, and human) you have available. Do you have folks who are able to tarp roofs or help clean up debris? Do you have the ability to transport goods? Do you have gifts and skills in communication? The more prepared you are, the more quickly you will be able to mobilize when needs arise.
Here are the most recent situation updates I have received. Please know that conditions are changing and my attempt is to provide information to you as quickly as possible.
Dawson Springs continues to be in a Search and Rescue phase. There are 12-15 families who are known to have had damage to their homes. Dawson Springs continues to allow only residents in to the city. There will soon be room for surrounding communities to assist.
Princeton is continuing to salvage what is left from damaged homes, with assistance from youth groups and members. They are providing meals at the church, and cleaning clothes. They have requested in addition to the above listed items – laundry detergent and Murphy’s Furniture soap (for cleaning salvaged furniture).
Mayfield is continuing to salvage what is left from damaged homes.
First Christian Church – continues to access and salvage important items from the church.
Second Christian Church – Pastor Sherrill is looking to provide meals and items as electricity becomes available. WOC is sending a couple of generators to help provide electricity.
Bowling Green continues to provide for the community.
Pembroke & Benton continue to assess and salvage damaged homes.
Other areas in Western Kentucky are still being affected by the lack of electricity.
I will continue to provide updates on the regional website, as they become available, so that we may all stay on top of this situation.
Let us pray. Lord we thank you for your presence, seen and experienced through the community. We thank you for the resilience of the community. We ask that you would continue to provide guidance and wisdom, shelter and comfort and strength and peace, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Donald K. Gillett, II
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) In Kentucky