Religion

‘My God is awesome!!!’: Tornadoes killed 23, but family and its prayer closet survived

Facebook screen grab

Deadly tornadoes swept across the southeast in early March, leaving a trail of wreckage in their wake.

Much of the devastation was in Alabama, where 23 people were killed, making the storm “the deadliest tornado to hit the United States in six years,” The New York Times reported.

In the midst of all that destruction a family in Lee County survived the tornado, according to WXIA.

And one room in their home was spared — a prayer closet, according to a Facebook post from a member of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.

Photos included with the post from Jason N Christa Smith show a barren slab, save for one small brick wall with some pieces of wall frame attached.

That was “the grandmother’s prayer closet,” Smith said.

“I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet. It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived,” Smith said in the post.

The member of the famed televangelist’s grief ministry added, “Are you kiddin me!!! My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody!”

His Facebook post has been shared nearly 100,000 times as of Monday night.

Smith is a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, WTHR reported. The members of that team “provide emotional and spiritual care to those affected by man-made or natural disasters,” according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

The team was created following 9/11, and its volunteers “trained to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ and appropriately share God’s hope,” the website said.

In addition to Lee County, members of the rapid response team are currently deployed in Panama City, Florida (which is recovering from Hurricane Michael); Dodge County, Nebraska (which has been hit by destructive flooding); and Charlotte, where the chaplains are “offering ministry” at Graham’s gravesite for those who “come to pay respects and mourn Billy’s passing,” according to the website.

Graham was 99 when he died in his sleep at his Montreat home in February 2018, the Charlotte Observer reported.

VIDEO: If your area is under a tornado warning, then you may only have a few minutes to get to safety. Here are the actions you should take during a tornado.

Dignitaries including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were among the many who paid their respects to the family after Graham's passing in February 2018.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


  Comments