Monday, December 5, 2011

Wind Storm

The area in which I live recently experienced some serious wind storms (gusts up to 100 miles an hour) which created over $8 million worth of damages to properties in one day. Looking out of my window it was in surreal to see shingles flying, fences smashed, and many, many huge trees toppled over. We were only without power for one day (I feel like a little bit of my sanity was restored when it went back on - blackouts with small children = no fun at all) and luckily there was very little damage to our property. Miraculously, there were no injuries during these storms and it is truly humbling to see damage all around and realize that amidst the chaos people were safe. However, when the winds stopped and our neighborhood began assessing damages it was evident that there was a LOT of cleanup to be done.

What I have seen over the past three days has truly made me realize the power and amazing organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. Volunteer crews were mobilized and every able-body person was put to work. Neighbors helped neighbors and all served alongside one another. Personally, I was able to make a connection with an older neighbor who has been distant as we raked and cleaned-up beside one another for hours. In a Saturday we were able to get almost all of the waste piled high in our church parking lot (which had brought in several dumpsters that were filled to overflowing). On Sunday another storm was predicted that night and the National Guard was mobilized to help with the cleanup. When they called leaders in our area it was reported that we had been able to clean up the day before, but the piles around the community needed to be secured as to not cause further damage in high winds. Churches all over the area shortened or cancelled their normal three hour time frame and all worked again to prepare for the storm.

I have often read about similar volunteer efforts happening in other places in the world, but I have never witnessed it firsthand. It was indescribably touching to watch old and young (my four year old worked so hard!) from all backgrounds working together under the church and municipal leadership in our area. LDS churches all over our communities had parking lots full of debris as a testament to the hard work and dedication of volunteers. Last night we weathered the second round of the storm and it seems that our preparation made a huge difference. I am grateful to belong to a church that teaches true doctrine and when it is time to work, lays aside church clothes for work gloves and rakes. I truly witnessed the gospel in action this weekend and am changed for the better.

Picture: My husband standing in front of the piles of debris at our church after a weekend of hard and amazing work.


Emily said...

It surely was awesome to see everyone working! Loved it. Our old ward even organized food it looked liked at people's houses! How cool is that?!

Tera said...