Devastating Tornados in East Texas

Lainey West

Can you imagine losing everything you own in less than 10 minutes? That’s exactly what happened to many in East Texas on April 29 as a tornado ravaged much of the area near the World Challenge Texas offices. The tornado was on the ground for 51 minutes with eight smaller tornados touching down as well.

The devastation was heart wrenching with trees snapped in half, telephone poles broken like chopsticks, a truck wrapped in debris with a huge tree on top of it, a mangled tractor and trailer, mobile homes totally destroyed as if they exploded, and houses lifted off their foundations.

At World Challenge, our immediate reaction was to determine how we could help. Contact was made with a local church, which served as the command center for disaster relief in the area. World Challenge was able to provide groceries and deliver sack lunches for the disaster team and victims.

World Challenge also made a list of partners residing in the affected areas. A strategy was developed to divide up the county in quadrants, drive to the locations of our affected partners, and help where we could with the damage.

One of our partners was an 83-year-old disabled lady. Her son held her and covered her during the tornado as they sought shelter. Even though they lost all their material possessions, they were thankful they didn’t lose their lives. World Challenge and others are helping clean the debris-riddled property and provide funds for food to these partners and the clean up crew.

Just as we did in East Texas, World Challenge locates the counties/states affected when a disaster strikes in the United States. We then send a letter to all our partners in the affected areas offering help with any pressing needs. Because of your care and support, we are able to extend Compassionate Care to those in need here in the U.S. Your gifts are what make it possible for World Challenge to provide assistance to those hit by unexpected devastation. Thank you for caring.