I live about an hour from Cookeville, Tennessee, a wonderful small city that just experienced an EF-4 tornado. (As if you’ve not heard 😉 ) EF-5 is the worst you can get, and the damage was huge. 500 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
Eighteen beautiful people died, including 4 year old Hattie Collins, one of 5 children to die on the early morning of Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The Collins family attend the same Church that I go to every Tuesday night to attend Celebrate Recovery meeting. I had been in a class taught by Mr. Collins this January.
A lady named Amanda Cole passed away. She was a nanny for a little boy named Dawson, who also died, along with his father. Amanda was a friend of one of my friends. Another friend’s daughter went missing, but was found safe. And yet another friend’s brother lost his house. So this tornado kinda hits close to home for my family and I.
Although I don’t literally live in Cookeville, it is a little like my backyard. It’s a really wonderful town. Which is why Cookeville is going to rise up beautifully from the rubble, clinging to the skies. Beauty from ashes. #CookevilleStrong.
Currently, Nashville has the below mural. Cookeville is going to get a “Cookeville strong” one shortly.
The devastation and grief is real in Nashville, Cookeville, Mt. Juliet, and everywhere affected by the tornadoes. The property and life lost is horendous. But the outpouring of love from people – TN residents, and truly people from across the country- to the victims is also very real. Thousands of volunteers gathered early Wednesday morning to show support, clean the rubble, give out supplies, and generally comfort the hurting.
Interesting tidbit: I saw on Cookeville Strong’s new FB page (which already has over 22,000 members by the way), a meme that said that March 4th is the only day that tells you to do something, and indeed we did. So many volunteers marched forth.
My Dad and brother were able to do this as well. They have such wonderful hearts, along with evidently so many others. If you are/were a volunteer/medic/government official reading this, thank you very much for everything you have done to assist Cookeville, Nashville, and elswhere. Thank you.
Below are pictures taken at/near the site where my Dad, brother, and 250+/- other volunteers gathered.
People are really coming together. If you have ever doubted humanity, you can stop now!! So many prayers have gone up. People are thinking outside the box, doing anything in their power to help. Bracelets are being sold that say CKVL STRONG, with all the profits going to the tornado fund. People are coming from all over to volunteer, donate items, and give support.
And God is with us. One news report states that ‘Everyone single person mentioned God’.
Something really touching to me is this; Visiting a friend’s church last Sunday, the closing song was “Raise a Hallelujah”. It’s nice song, and I’d say I liked it, but it has since gotten much more special… Someone posted it on FB in regards to the tornadoes, and quoted this phrase from it;
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive! “