Tornadoes are truly terrifying natural disasters. Hurricanes may affect a wider area, but they’re kind of like big, loud bullies.
They announce their arrival days ahead of time and give everyone time to prepare. Tornadoes, though, can pop up seemingly out of nowhere.
And when they hit, they can do incalculable damage in an instant. But as several families throughout the American South know, their destructive power sometimes provides a testimony to God’s grace.
According to WSFA, Crawford Tatum and his loved ones are some of those people. On March 4, a tornado ripped its way into their 200-acre farm.
Tatum was actually in his truck at the time the twister struck. His son, who had holed up in a barn with Tatum’s grandchildren, urged him not to come nearer.
His daughter-in-law, Payton Tatum, said, “By God’s grace they survived. What we lost is just stuff, it can all be replaced, and it doesn’t really matter in the end.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported how a group of schoolchildren had an even closer brush with death in McCracken County, Kentucky. On the week of March 17, a tornado struck Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Some 40 preschool-aged children were in the facility when the windstorm struck. The adults quickly hustled them into an innermost room as the twister began to tear the roof from the concrete building.
Preschool director Michelle Rushing explained that the little ones began singing “Jesus Loves Me,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and other children’s songs as the tornado hit. When they exited the room, they had a shock waiting for them.
The storm had flattened the nursery. What’s more, it had ripped the roof from the sanctuary.
According to WJZY, a family in Alabama experienced something even more dramatic in early March. An E4 tornado (one of the strongest types of tornadoes) had hit their house.
Chaplain Jason Smith with Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team had discovered the building afterward. What he learned utterly shocked him.
The family had taken shelter in their grandmother’s prayer closet, a small section of the home she’d reserved solely for praying to the Almighty. They rode out the storm just fine — but their house didn’t.
When Smith saw the structure, he beheld only a concrete slab swept clean of everything except one small room. That room happened to be the prayer closet.
“Listen to me please,” Smith wrote on Facebook. “I just left a family who survived the tornado in this house and the only left standing is this closet. It’s the grandmother’s prayer closet, and the whole family survived.
“Are you kiddin’ me!!!” Smith continued. “My God is awesome!!! Shout somebody!”
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