Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Feeding of the Two-Thousand . . .

This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to witness God at work in the small county of DeKalb in northern Alabama.  Chalk it up to ignorance, but I hadn't seen the news reports of DeKalb County (Ft Payne, etc), so I honestly thought I was driving down to help a friend feed a few people out of a small Christian Day-Care called The Purpose Center.  I knew tornados had touched down, but I was not prepared for the devestation. 

I quickly discovered that an EF-4 or 5 tornado rolled through the county with winds between 200 & 300 miles per hour.  I'll share a few stories later on (for those who care to keep reading that far; some I can't even bring myself to talk about on here) . . . however, that isn't what I'll remember. 

What forever be etched in my mind is my friend Paige and her friends at The Purpose Center humbly serving Christ and just letting Him work.  Saturday, they sent out approximately 2,000 meals into the community.  They are supplying local churches, fire halls, delivering to homes or empty lots as an arm of the EMA, and taking food wherever it is needed.  I walked in to see this tiny kitchen (yes, it looks a little bigger with my ultra-wide angle lens).  Did I mention there is no electricity, so they are cooking all this off of a generator??

. . . and the "pantry" . . .

I saw this and the truck / van loads of food they were sending out, and I was certain God was performing a miracle!!!

But then I woke up this morning to help put together breakfasts.  One (of the two) toaster broke, so they were trying to figure out if they could do the toast on the electric griddle.  When I suggested they just put it in the oven (because certainly you can fit more toast in the big oven), I got blank stares.  It was at this point that I discovered that I was incorrect.  These guys and gals were NOT actually generating 2000 meals per day out of that little kitchen!!!! 

They were getting out 2000 meals per day with a generator, an electric griddle, a toaster, and some grills out back.  I was . . . well, I still am . . . in absolute awe!!!  I uttered something later (when I regained my senses) that they couldn't put out 2000 hot meals a day with an electric griddle and grills . . . someone reminded me, "No, but God can!" 

If you are interested . . . The Purpose Center and DeKalb County could definitely use your help!!!!  Their current needs include:  Sunscreen & Hats (especially for those working out in the hot sun clearning debris, doing search and rescue, etc); Disinfectants; Toilet Paper; Toiletries; Baby Stuff (food, diapers, formula; wipies; etc); New Underwear (preferably packaged); Gift Cards (Wal-Mart or Visa).  These can be sent to:

The Purpose Center
c/o Paige Wright
4050 Williams Ave
Fort Payne, AL 35967

They are in the process of re-organizing the operation, mobilizing other groups and hopefully getting a bigger kitchen, but Paige and The Purpose Center are doing most of the organizing and are great at taking stuff in and getting it out to the people who need it in super short amount of time!!! 

Now . . . I am going to include some photos of my time there.  Please keep all of the victims of this crazy stream of tornados in the southeastern US in your prayers.  Also, please continue to pray for those who are serving -- donating, cooking, delivering, sorting, removing debris, cleaning through the rubble, offering medical treatments, trying to find homes for the orphans, search and rescue, and some things I can't fathom!!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!

 The Purpose Center

The van ready to distribute some stuff - there was more stuff in the seat with me =)

About 1/2 of the Sorting Room . . . this is where all of the donations go to be sorted and immediately sent back out to wherever they are needed.  There was double to triple the amount of stuff in here before it ended up looking like this that afternoon.  I have to thank my family and friends for donating sooo much stuff for me to take with me down there!!!  You are amazing!!!!

On the left side of the street (not a dent) . . . and then . . .

. . . the house on the right side of the street . . . not even exaggerating.  They were directly across the street from each other.

Keeping away looters!!!

You know those huge electric towers (if you've done mini-sessions with me, you've seen the big one where I shoot . . . I call it my Eiffel Tower) . . . yep, that is one.

Seriously, I thought it was a jungle gym . . . I didn't know that could happen to a giant electric tower.

Yes, the 2nd story of the house was lifted off and laid back down beside the rest of the house . . .

Tuesday, this was a nice paved road through a nice happy subdivision . . . not only is the bridge gone, but where is the road!?!?

I am still struggling to find any form of logic . . . a brick home is mostly gone, but the scrubs are still neatly hung in the closet =/


This is all that was left standing of one of their friend's house . . .

The entire house is gone; the fridge is a block away, but the pint of ice cream is still standing on the front steps!!!!  WOW!!!!  Ok, so that is what I really thought, and I did find out it was from a delivery made on Thursday after the storms, but I can pretend . . . Ice Cream is super strong!!!

Half of a Big Screen TV

Me & Paige's Mom looking for pictures inside the house to take to the family (they are all alive . . . the mom flat-lined twice at the hospital after being airlifted out; the dad has broken bones; the kids are okay from what I understand -- crazy story how they protected their kids while being thrown in the air by the tornado; an absolutely miracle!!!)

Paige looking for family photos around the yard

Dish-Washer Rack

This whole area was a subdivision with side-by-side houses . . . you can only see two even partially standing in this photo =(

The inside of the house

GOING BANANAS!!!!  Ending on a fun note . . . someone was kind enough to donate more bananas than I can count (way more than are in the laundry basket), so everyone in DeKalb County is eating bananas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks . . . they are super tasty (yes, I had a few), but it was a little funny when everytime you turn around, there is a BANANA!!!!


Leverton Photography said...

Please add insect repellant to that list of needed items . . . unfortunately, tornados don't seem to take out mosquitos.

Ken Morrow said...

You are an amazing young lady. I am not surprised knowing your genes. Ron is smilIng on you today!! PTL

Leverton Photography said...

Thank you sooo much Ken!!! That means the world to me!!! I miss him so much, and this past weekend (when I went to Alabama) was the last time last year that I got to go out with him before he ended up in the hospital, so I needed some cheering up. Thank you again!!!