After I had the joy of training a group from Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, the newly trained team began building two sheds for Albany, Georgia which had just suffered severe storm damage. This Community Spotlight Radio Interview with the leader of the Lake Oconee team, Dick Forrester, was recorded the week after the shed-build.
Blue skies and a beautiful day greeted Rowlett residents who came out of their homes on December 26 this year. Quite a change from last year, when they came out to a scene of destruction on all sides after a F4 tornado ripped through their community. This tornado damaged 6,000 homes and injured 23 people in Rowlett, one fatally.
After the tornado, the long process of cleanup began. The storm debris removed was enough to fill 3 football fields to a height of 30 feet. This is the height of the commemorative sculpture that will grace a reflection area in Schrade Bluebonnet Park in Rowlett. A model of the sculpture was unveiled at the Tornado Anniversary Remembrance this past Monday. It depicts a phoenix rising from a tornado, and materials will incorporate parts of the Rowlett water tower that was damaged beyond repair during the tornado.
No more worries about the weather while we have the use of a 10,000 square foot warehouse in a great location – just a 15-minute drive to the disaster area. We look forward to seeing how quickly we can get more sheds delivered now that we have an indoor facility to pre-build sheds and load trailers, ready for deployment to families in need. See the schedule and get involved! More information is available on our new brochure.
What follows an F4 tornado? Opportunities! Open doors! Rowlett, Texas was devastated by an F4 tornado on Boxing Day (December 26th), and an immediate curfew was put in place to protect against looting. But Sheds of Hope was springing into action. Ready for deployment, two sheds were already being readied for transport. Back in September, Bethel Church of Dallas had built two sheds and stored them in anticipation of the next disaster. Little did they know that a lady who had grown up in their church would be a tornado victim in December. Because of their preparations, as soon as the Rowlett curfew was lifted, Bethel was able to set up a shed on her property so that she could store her salvaged belongings. As of today, Sheds of Hope has identified nine families in the disaster area that are connected to PCA churches. We have set up three sheds on site. Park Cities Presbyterian Church of Dallas has set up one of the sheds that was pre-built by John Browne and Rick Lenz; Bethel Church set up the other pre-built shed and has two more in the pipeline. Christ Community Church of Frisco pre-built two sheds last weekend and will set them up soon. Volunteers are coming out to help with pre-building and set up. Why not get involved? You can pray, you can build, you can give. Whatever God puts on your heart, we can use! Please pray that as Sheds of Hope start rising in Rowlett, we will be able to talk to other families in the devastated area and be able to give them hope, and maybe a shed.
Seventeen sheds have been built in Van, TX, and one in Dallas, TX. A shout-out to Bethel Church – Dallas, and to Christ Community – Frisco who now holds the record for setting up a prebuilt shed in 1 hour and 28 minutes. Also, to Park Cities – Dallas, Grace Covenant – Dallas, GA, Redeemer Church – Waco, and to Brian Sterenberg from Denton Presbyterian who help build the one in Dallas. The final shed was finished in Van on September 23rd.
A Second Career Volunteer, Craig Gibson from Kingsport, TN, joined me on site in September. During the two weeks Craig spent in Van with me, we helped set up two pre-built sheds and built two sheds from scratch. We cut and built these sheds on the newly designed Sheds of Hope Workbench .
My support was at 31% at the end of March, 50% at the end of June, and is now 59% at the end of September. Thanks to all who are helping me minister to families and churches through Sheds of Hope.
Pray that I will be able to schedule more Sheds of Hope training workshops around the country.
Pray for South Carolina as they work through the recovery efforts after all of the flooding. Also for Corsicana and other areas of Texas after flash floods.
Pray that my support would be at 75% by the end of December.
Texas is the land of the “Big Sky” and that is one of the things I love about living in Texas. Over the last 12 days premature darkness covers the landscape and waterlogged streams, rivers and reservoirs are at their max. Along with the rain, has come damaging hail and powerful winds.
The statistics are in, and over the last 2 weeks in North Texas, we have had 64 homes destroyed, 307 homes with major damage, 135 with minor damage, and another 184 homes categorized as affected, for a total of 780 families impacted by the storms. The hardest hit area was Van, Texas, where an EF3 tornado destroyed 44 homes, and left an additional 30 with major damage, 64 with minor damage, and 33 affected, for a total of 171. The tornado left two people dead and many hospitalized.
Sheds of Hope is developing a two-phase approach to help the residents of Van, Texas, and to bring ongoing relief to those who have lost homes. In Phase 1, our goal is to pre-build and set up 30 Sheds of Hope in Van. If we are able to complete this phase, we will proceed with Phase 2, by seeking to provide an additional 20 Sheds, for a total of 50.
The EF3 Tornado hit Van on Sunday night at about 8:45 pm. It is estimated that about 50 homes were destroyed and about another 50 were damaged. The tornado came up quickly, giving residents only minutes to find cover. The impact of the tornado was felt over an area about 1/4 mile wide and about 1 mile in length.
Pray for the ongoing rescue effort and the many people that are still in the hospital.