Praising God Through the Storm

May 24, 2013 • United States

A woman helped by Samaritan's Purse in the aftermath of a tornado that hit Texas finds the good amid tragedy

It was a typical night for Linda Lou Wilson. Except, instead of going to bed at her normal bedtime, she decided to stay up and finish watching American Idol on her television.

That’s when a storm warning came across the TV screen. It was moments before an EF-4 tornado would devastate her neighborhood in Granbury, Texas, on May 15.

“Usually, I just sit there and start claiming my faith in God whenever the alarm system comes across the TV,” Wilson said. “But this time, I knew the Lord told me to get in the bathtub.”

Wilson threw down a quilt in her bathtub and hugged her Yorkie close. She said the Lord’s Prayer, remembering his promises of protection and love. Then the twister hit.

“Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? That’s what it was like,” she said. “I could feel the walls breathing in on me. The sounds it made were unbelievable and unforgettable. That storm was trying to suck me out, and inside I could hear Him say to me, ‘Stay down, baby girl. It’s almost over.’”

Granbury-Texas-tornado-Samaritan's-Purse-response-2When Wilson emerged from the storm, her neighborhood was destroyed and her roof was gone. The storm claimed six lives and injured 100 people. More than 100 homes were damaged or destroyed in Granbury.

Samaritan’s Purse responded to the twister that raked North Texas by sending staff and volunteers to Hood County. A Disaster Relief Unit was based at Stonewater Church in Granbury. Church members worked alongside volunteers from Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and North Carolina.

We helped storm victims like Wilson recover by clearing debris, recovering personal belongings, cutting down trees, and tarping roofs.

Program manager Lloyd Blackwell said that volunteers made a real difference in Texas.

Texas-tornado-response-Smaritan's-Purse-volunteers“Our teams again blanketed the area with a sea of orange that could be seen from any direction,” he said.

During our response, 682 volunteers came out to serve with Samaritan’s Purse, working on 38 homes. Our teams wrapped up the work on May 25, but Christians like those from Stonewater Church will still be there in the aftermath of the disaster.

Homeowners like Wilson will still be fighting the storm long after our staff and volunteers have left, but her faith has been keeping her strong.

“I never get mad at God for tragedies,” she said. “I just praise Him because of His promise that He’s always going to be there for me to carry me through.”

Granbury-Texas-tornado-Samaritan's-Purse-responseWilson doesn’t just have scripture written on her heart. Throughout her house, down to the very bones of the structure, the Word of God is written. In the rafters, written on stakes at each point of the foundation—her house was completely dedicated to God and prayed over 13 years ago. She knows it was the Lord who kept her safe.

Despite being a victim of the storm, Wilson even sees a silver lining in losing much of what she has owned during this disaster.

Three years ago, her husband passed away. Since then, she has had trouble letting go of some things that reminded her of him or that belonged to him.

“I couldn’t turn things loose,” she said. “I think this is God saying, ‘This is how you do it.’”

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief 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.

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