Residents Affected by Tornado in Good Spirits
I have such a busy schedule that I hadn't been able to get to Aliceville before dark all week. So, I decided to make the trip Sunday to deliver the donations that we'd collected. Upon arrival, I wasn't really prepared for the devastation I saw.
It's one thing to see pictures online or to catch a glimpse on tv. It's something totally different to look at a home and say, "That's where 'so-and-so' lived." It was truly heartbreaking.
Never the less, my sister, my mom, and my aunt followed me down to help unload their donations as well as sort the goods I'd brought.
There was a lot to sort, too. Other groups had brought items to my uncle's church (Spirit and Truth Pentecostal Church) to benefit those in need. My cousin Patricia and her catering business 3S hand-delivered meals and other necessities to those who were working to recover their belongings that could be salvaged.
When we left, we stopped to visit my 101-year-old aunt Louise Phillips (with her JUNK-talking self) before stopping to talk with Rose Hughes, whose home was completely destroyed, along with a number of others in the area. Pastor Hughes expressed sincere joy in seeing us, and she said that she can't wait to have allow anyone who wants to stand on the platform where her home once was and give thanks to God.
I didn't travel down the dirt road where the most destruction is said to have occurred, but what I saw was enough.
Unfortunately, during this trip, I also discovered that many of the homeowners didn't have insurance. They'd simply purchased some property, bought homes or had them built, and settled in. So, their rebuilding process is going to be a long, costly one without a miracle.
After returning home, I realized I'd left behind a few things I'd intended to take with me. So, I'll be headed back down that way in a few days. But it was good to see the church filled with people who were grateful and smiling, even amid their surroundings.