After about 3 hours sleep last night we were up at 4:15 am this morning and on the road less than 2 hours later. Headed to Henryville and the surrounding areas to assess the damage, make connections for recovery and find the right location to take in our relief supplies this Thursday. We got answers to each, and then some!
The above photo was such a welcome site as we pulled into Henryville. Once we got past the National Guard and State Police by showing them our Early Response certification we saw these trucks at the Henryville Community Church and knew the city was in good hands. It was so great to see our Convoy of Hope family again. Paul was busy overseeing everything and the drivers weren't just driving -- they get out of their trucks and unload and help stock all the donations they bring. Paul said they would be there throughout the week and hopefully we get to see them all again on Thursday as we are taking our donations to this site.
But, let me back up a bit.
We met Tim, a gentleman with whom I have talked with on the phone for hours. He does what we do, packs up and relocates into disaster areas, sets up volunteer camps at local churches, gathers information from the homeowners and sends teams of volunteers out to rebuild lives by rebuilding homes. Although we told him we have many responsibilities right here at home and will not be relocating at this moment, I did assure him that I would be happy to make one and two day trips to help out as much as possible. He took me up on the offer. He was in New Albany, a city about 15 minutes south of Henryville and although the church welcomed him and incoming volunteers he was going into the city of Henryville to see if it was possible to find a still in tack church that would do the same. It's always best to keep the volunteers as close to their rebuilding projects as possible, if that is possible.
After meeting with Tim we then headed back north to Henryville. We knew we could not use the exit for the city due to damage. It is closed. The picture below says why . . .
Yes, this is the exit. The tornado went right across Interstate 65 and into the exit lanes on both sides!
This is the inside of the relief area -- rather sparse today and the people were lined up looking for help.
And this is the reason we don't ask for donations of water!!! Over the past 2 days there have been 6 semi loads of water delivered! The city will be under a boil water order for atleast through this week and will need the water but this is why we don't waste valuable room in our trucks bringing what is already plentiful.
You've probably seen this photo many times on the news. Seeing it in person was mind blowing!
This is just one of the homes in the city. Another one shown below -- I could keep going but you get the picture.
The streets are filled with scene after scene like the ones above -- and much worse.
We didn't get to Marysville but will be doing so on Thursday.
If you have watched Indianapolis TV channel 13 (NBC) you have seen that they are collecting donations in many different ways. They are doing what they can to keep the awareness level out there and we are so thankful to them for doing so.
This rebuilding will take a very long time -- and alot of money. Everyone of these survivors needs our help. If you are able to go and volunteer --- PLEASE WAIT for a few days. Right now the search and rescue workers need to finish their jobs. The power companies need to be able to move freely to restore power. The tree companies need to be able to cut down and remove all the debris. THEN it will be time to have volunteers come pouring in.
If you would like a contact for volunteering please leave a comment here and I will let you know.
This has been another day of seeing the devastation left behind from large natural disasters. But it's also been a day to see the best in people -- those wanting to donate items -- those wanting to donate their time -- those who are opening their hearts to reach out and help a complete stranger. A day to see the hands and feet and heart of Jesus in action!
"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Until next time . . . I go to work on getting our emergency disaster supply warehouse up and running so next time . . . we are rolling before the disaster is even over.
And I wait to hear from the Amish as to when they are coming to start on Don's house!
We thank you for your support and beg of you to keep it coming!!!!!
Blessings, Susan and Monty