On April 27th, 2011 an EF4-EF5 tornado ripped through the South East region of the United States through major cities of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama turning their world upside down.
Communities such as Smithville, MS; Tuscaloosa, Hackleburg, and Pleasant Grove, AL sustained extensive damage and loss of life from EF4 and EF5 tornadoes, with thousands of residents displaced from their homes with their lives turned completely upside down. The recovery effort began almost immediately in most areas, but likely will require years of support for these communities to rebuild. If you are interested in donating to the April 27 tornado outbreak recovery, I’ve listed below some charity websites I was able to find.
Red Cross (search for southern tornadoes): http://redcross.org
We Are Alabama: http://www.wearealabama.org/
Alabama kids affected by tornadoes: http://kids4al.com/
Hackleburg, AL schools: http://www.mcbe.net/
On arriving in Birmingham, AL a month after the tornados had ripped through, I was left with sight of complete hopelessness. To see so many people without homes, friends, and family it made me take a look back onto my own life and realize what life really means. To me that is living in every moment that we can because we never know what is waiting for us even 5min into the future. We will never know why God allows situations like these to pass through our lives, but what I have come to understand is that through times like these he brings people together that would have never been together if it weren’t for something like this event. In this God’s word is spread and shared, love is passed along from one to another, compassion is shared, people are serving one another as Christ said is should be. In times like this we see Christians standing up, picking up their crosses, and serving people in need and through that God is given glory. Praise be to God for everything, even in the worst of times.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.”