The numbers are still staggering.
62 tornadoes across Alabama in one day, an amount usually equal to an entire year. 238 deaths directly attributed to the tornadoes in our state. A tornado damage path 691 miles long. 23,500 homes and 47 Alabama Baptist church buildings severely damaged or destoryed.
But just as amazing was the response. Neighbors helping neighbors. Strangers becoming friends. Homes, churches, entire towns being rebuilt. And Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers were at the heart of that response.
There were numbers that didn’t make the news. Thousands of Disaster Relief volunteers deployed, collectively logging 11,540 days of ministry. 256,147 meals prepared from 9 mass feeding unites. Volunteers from 12 state conventions joining Alabama in the recovery effort. 365 trained chaplains at work, who spent time with 5,946 people and recorded at least 53 professions of faith. Churches across the state serving as shelters and distribution centers.
Ten years later, there is still pain, there is still loss. But there is also healing, and hope, and restoration. God used Alabama Baptists then, and He continues to use them now, as the hands and feet of Christ in times of crisis.
Know that your giving makes a difference. Your prayers make a difference. Your going makes a difference.
We pray we won’t see the likes of April 27, 2011, again in our lifetime. But when the storms do come, Alabama Baptists stand ready to respond, to give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.