‘I Thank God for You, From the Bottom of My Heart’

March 23, 2021 • United States
Samaritan's Purse volunteer teams are working at two locations in Alabama after tornadoes swept through the state.
Samaritan's Purse volunteer teams are working at two locations in Alabama after tornadoes swept through the state.

Alabama homeowners reeling in the wake of tornadoes are finding hope as God’s people come alongside them to serve. Samaritan’s Purse volunteers are working from Tuscaloosa and Selma, helping storm victims in Jesus’ Name.

U.S. Disaster Relief
013622
$
Give

Danisha Jackson’s screen door flew open, and the sound of cracking trees and flying debris filled the air. She ran outside without thinking. It all happened so quickly. She wanted to make sure her brothers, who lived next door, were safe in their Selma, Alabama, home.

Danisha Jackson praises God for her family's safety and for Samaritan's Purse volunteers showing up to help.

Danisha Jackson praises God for her family’s safety and for Samaritan’s Purse volunteers showing up to help.

“It was an adrenaline rush. I had to be strong and do what I needed to do. I wasn’t thinking,” Danisha recalled. “It was survival mode.”

Fallen trees filled her yard, three of which hit the roof above her daughter’s bedroom. Car windows were shattered. Trees were snapped at the trunk. Powerlines and satellite dishes were destroyed. It was a miracle no one was hurt.

VOLUNTEER IN ALABAMA TUSCALOOSA | DALLAS COUNTY

“We’ve never experienced anything like this,” Danisha said.

What they experienced was one of a series of tornadoes spawned by a large storm system that swept through the Southeast last week.

Samaritan’s Purse volunteers began work on Danisha’s house over the weekend, arriving on her property just days after the storm hit. Volunteers helped cut up downed trees, clear debris, and tarp her tree-damaged roof—all while reminding the struggling family that God loves them and they are not alone.

Danisha meets with a volunteer in the shadow of a twisted pine that damaged her Selma, Alabama, home.

Danisha meets with a volunteer in the shadow of a twisted pine that damaged her Selma, Alabama, home.

“It makes me smile inside knowing that we have so much love and compassion from people amongst us,” Danisha said. “I am very grateful to them.”

Our teams have been hard at work, helping in Jesus’ Name to ease the burden on homeowners like Danisha—cleaning up the mess and offering prayer and encouragement as families process the traumatic experiences of such a sudden disaster.

Danisha’s home was damaged in the storm, but she said her faith was strengthened. She praised God that He protected her and her family.

“Without the volunteers it would’ve taken a long time; months or possibly a year. I am very grateful,” Danisha said. “They came along and a weight came up off my heart. I can see the light of day now.”

Helping Alabama Homeowners from Two Locations

Less than 90 miles from Selma, Jennifer Patterson, like Danisha, also had a terrifying experience. When her son called to warn her of approaching tornadoes, she ran to her car to flee, only to realize her keys were still in the house and the front door had locked behind her.

Volunteers help clear out downed hardwoods at the home of Jennifer Patterson.

She even tried prying it open with a screwdriver before fleeing to a ravine and holding on to whatever she could as a tornado passed through.

“I didn’t open my eyes. I had my phone on my neck talking to my son, I had my hands on the tree, I didn’t look up,” Jennifer said.

In those horrifying few moments, Jennifer held onto a tree stump no bigger than her leg while the tornado ripped through her property. The noise the twister made was deafening as it twisted and snapped trees, launching one of the large timbers onto her mobile home. The structure was cut in half.

“I hold onto the fact that I’m still alive.” Jennifer said. “I set out to safety, the devil tried to screw that up, but our big mighty God intervened.”

Just three days after the storm struck, a team of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers arrived at Jennifer’s house to help clean up the property and salvage any personal belongings that may have survived the storm.

“Thank you, guys, so much. I thank God for you from the bottom of my heart.”

These volunteers, working from Valley View Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa County, were able to bless Jennifer by completing work in hours that could have taken weeks without the volunteers who showed up that day.

Jennifer was grateful for the work of Samaritan's Purse volunteers. She was also grateful for the Bible signed by each volunteer.

Jennifer was grateful for the work of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers. She was also grateful for the Bible signed by each volunteer.

“We’re here to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to come in and love our neighbors,” said Paul Hoffman, site team lead for Samaritan’s Purse. “That’s the story of the Good Samaritan. Even though I live a few hundred miles from here, they are still my neighbors. We are here to help homeowners recover in whatever way we can.”

Jennifer said the teams who came to her house have been an answer to many prayers in the long days since her life was upturned. When our teams completed the work on her property, they presented Jennifer with a Bible, signed with encouraging messages and prayers from the volunteers who worked on her home.

Jennifer shared her own words of encouragement with the team.

“It’s been a rough week but I’m going to pick the pieces up and move forward,” Jennifer said. “Thank you, guys, so much. I thank God for you from the bottom of my heart.”

We praise God that there were no lives lost from this powerful string of tornadoes. Please pray for the teams of volunteers serving in Tuscaloosa County and Dallas County as they bring emergency relief to overwhelmed homeowners. Please also pray for the families impacted by this storm, that they would find peace in Christ as they continue to recover from this storm.

SUPPORT
U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

U.S. Disaster Relief 013622
$

More

Quantcast