Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by. Psalm 57:1
The Psalmist’s words are particularly poignant, not only as we move into Holy Week, but as we survey the damage brought by severe storms this weekend.
More than 240 tornadoes were reported from the storm system, including 62 in North Carolina, and at least three have been confirmed to have hit counties in Virginia. The National Weather Service's final numbers could be lower because some tornadoes may have been reported more than once.
Although the storm has affected areas as far west as Arkansas and Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia have sustained serious damage. 21 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the storms, and countless families have been displaced.
Phillipi Christian Church in Deltaville, Virginia, was damaged in the storm, and several families from Disciples communities in both states have sustained damage to their homes, though thankfully, we have no reports of deaths or injuries from our congregations. We have made an initial response, and we are currently working with our Regional Ministers to assess and respond to the needs of our church members and their wider communities, and we are, of course, keeping all of those affected in our prayers.
We are also monitoring the wildfires that are currently burning in Texas and will respond as needed.
If you would like to contribute to the relief effort, please visit here.
We have received a number of calls and emails from folks concerned for friends in the North Carolina and Virginia areas. Your concern is a cornerstone of God’s refuge for those suffering in the wake of these terrible storms. Thank you for reaching out in prayer and Courageous Compassion. May we now act in the mercy and hope that can rebuild what has been broken.
Thanks to the Regional Ministries of North Carolina and Virginia, NPR.org, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for details in this update.