Tennessee continues to recover from devastating tornadoes
A series of tornadoes left extensive damage and killed at least 24 people in middle Tennessee, USA, in early March. More than 140 buildings were destroyed, and the trail of destruction spanned several counties.
Response from the Church of the Nazarene has been focused in two districts that were hit the hardest, MidSouth and East Tennessee. While no Nazarene churches were harmed directly, Pastor Stephen Morrison lost his home in Cookeville, Tennessee, an area that sustained much of the damage.
Nazarene Disaster Response coordinators are partnering to coordinate a continued response, and local volunteers in each district are preparing to act once they are cleared for access and the first wave of volunteers has dissipated.
Teams from Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan are making plans to assist with recovery by removing debris, setting up tarps, and helping homeowners. Crisis care kits have also been mobilized and distributed, and more than six Nazarene churches in nearby states are organizing donations or volunteers.
Nashville First Church of the Nazarene is serving as a staging area for Nazarene Disaster Relief and Convoy of Hope, a Nazarene partner organization coordinating an immediate response. Hundreds of meals have already been served in the church’s parking lot, and volunteers are giving out food staples and necessities to those impacted by the tornadoes.
As is true in many disasters, recovery from these tornadoes will be a long process said Joe Drake, MidSouth District director of Nazarene Disaster Relief.
“We’re looking at six to 12 months of a recovery effort here,” Drake said.
While the recovery will be hard and long, local churches have all the resources they need at the moment, including crisis care kits.
How You Can Help
Pray for those who have lost loved ones and those who are facing the loss or damage of their homes and livelihoods. Pray for the swift delivery of supplies and for those giving their time to respond. Pray for those who are the most vulnerable, especially senior adults, individuals with disabilities, and people living in poverty. Pray for the churches and leaders helping care for their communities. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.
If you would like to respond to the tornadoes by giving financially, the MidSouth District of the Church of the Nazarene has asked for donations through Rebuilding Tennessee.