I am enjoying the Orange Conference beyond words. I want to share some of this experience with you but before I do….
The tornadoes that ripped through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia have caused destruction reminiscent of a war zone. Not just to people’s homes, but to people’s lives. Yesterday relatives were going to check on family members who had failed to return phone calls after Wednesday night’s bad weather. Caring friends and family walked into gruesome scenes they will never forget. The final moments of college students, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and children will live with the survivors forever. My Birmingham family was spared from the heartbreak. But we are hearing from our friends who have witnessed horrifying scenes. Many people’s loved ones will be buried in the coming days. The loss of life is massive.
Cass Brannan is one of the bloggers I’ve been working alongside at the Orange Conference here in Atlanta, GA. Cass is the Preschool minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, AL. I have posted pictures from Cass here. Cass was sharing this morning that he and his wife are in the process of preparing their children to return to Tuscaloosa, explaining that the city they will go back home to is different than the one they left earlier this week. Preparing young children for change and especially bad change, is so difficult! In the meantime, Cass’ church, Calvary Baptist, is in the midst of working through details of how they can serve their city. The church does not anticipate receiving power any time soon. While they may not hold church in the traditional sense on Sunday, they know they are called to be the church and minister to their community this weekend and beyond. Please join me in praying for the lay ministers and church staff who will work through indescribable grief with countless families!
P.S. This morning (Saturday 4/30/11) Jenny Funderburke posted an excellent piece she wrote coaching parents on how to talk to their children about the sad events of this past week. My Thoughts on How to Talk to Kids About Tornadoes is a “must read”.