A Dallas-area church has received a sign of hope following a destructive tornado that caused extensive damage through the town Sunday evening.
On Monday morning, a National Weather Service survey team determined the damage to be consistent with an EF3 tornado.
2:48 PM – An NWS survey team has determined that the estimated maximum winds for the tornado in North Dallas is 140 mph, consistent with an EF-3 rating. We will share more information later this afternoon/evening with additional details. #dfwwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/raQOxD2f9A
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) October 21, 2019
According to the city of Dallas, no lives were lost as a result of the storm, but the financial and emotional impact will be high.
Among the structures damaged in the storm was Northway Church in the northwestern part of the city.
Even though the church building’s roof was ripped off by the tornado, the members of the church say they received a sign of hope from a wooden cross that withstood the destructive storm.
“For me and for our church, it’s a symbolic source of encouragement,” lead pastor Shea Sumlin told Fox News. “Christ and His cross is what still stands for us.”
The pastor posted pictures of the miraculous sign and shared how the scene reminded him of Matthew 16.
“As I sat today in the chaos of what used to be our worship center, I took comfort in the symbolic reminder that the cross of Jesus still stands,” he wrote on Facebook.
“The church is not a building, but a people who stand on the confession that Jesus is the Christ, and against which, not even the gates of hell (nor an EF3 Tornado!) will prevail!”
For many who were so closely affected by the tornado, the undamaged cross — which was made by a member when the church started 10 years ago — is serving as a reminder that Christ is present with them even through suffering and chaos.
“Our building may be broken, but our church is as whole & alive as it has ever been,” the pastor continued. “To God be the glory!”
A similar scene was found in the aftermath of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire earlier this year.
Although the damage to the church building is devastating, Sumlin said he and the other members of Northway Church are more concerned with how they can serve the community.
“Church, there are many ways to pray, and many opportunities to serve,” Sumlin wrote in an open letter to the members of Northway Church. “Let’s continue to be the hands and feet of Christ in the days to come, as we seek to show our city the truth, beauty, and goodness of Jesus.”
The church planned a “community dinner” Wednesday night to provide thousands of free meals, donated by local food vendors, to members of the community.
They have also organized a prayer night at another church that has offered them their building on Thursday. It will be the first time the congregation will meet together since the Sunday storm.
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