Alabama Missions Trip - 2011
In June of this year, the Lord planted a burden for those in need and He has fulfilled what He started, as He always does! In April, Alabama was hit by a record breaking number of tornadoes which ravaged through the state causing destruction in town after town. Phil Campbell received a hard hit from an F-5 tornado. Many families lost their homes and their livelihood. One of those families was the Rupley family.
Jennifer, Justice, and Skylar Rupley had lost their husband and father, Jamie Rupley, just weeks before to a sudden stroke. They were still mourning their loss when the tornado destroyed their home and vehicle. The Rupley family were left with just the clothes on their backs and each other. Though they were extremely grateful to have each other, they had lost everything else.
The Lord heard their cry for help and answered. After reading the book "Soul Surfer", I was inspired to do something significant. God spoke to me about going to Alabama to help in the relief effort. After thinking and praying over it for a couple of days, I went to our Pastor and shared with him that I wanted to put a group together to go help. Pastor Gary Pearson contacted the Assemblies of God in southern Alabama who connected us to pastor Brian Scott in Phil Campbell who knew the Rupley family.
In my conversation with Pastor Brian, he shared that he wanted to get a house built for the family. He stated that there was another group willing to come from Florida to lay the foundation and that, if we were willing, would come and build the frame for the house. Over the next three weeks, I spent most of my time on the phone ordering the materials, alligning all of the details, and lining up a group to go and build. Seventeen people responded to the call and went. Each one served a unique roll on the trip and were invaluable in the family's needs. We finished the framing and installation of the doors and windows in five days. We worked in 100+ degree heat most of the time from sun up to sundown.
I am elated to report that since we left Alabama, several other groups have aided in the finishing of the house. The family moved in two weeks ago and are extremely thankful to God for a space of their own. It is so wonderful to watch God's providence in action, to see how in so many ways He has provided for the Rupleys. As a group, we have been blessed to be a part of meeting a need, but I think I could safely say that we have taken away as much as we have given including a new family of friends.