As most of you know, last Wednesday’s storms hit very close to home for us. Much of Hamilton, Pine Mountain Valley and Lagrange were pretty severely damaged. Houses were destroyed and hundreds of were trees thrown around and uprooted. As a class, we all really wanted to do something to help, I mean that’s what being a Christ-centered servant leader is all about. Finally today we had the opportunity to go into Lagrange and help out. Our group consisted ofBill Bain, Lorrie Anne White, Abby Gifford, Torey Mayfield, Lindsey Tisdale, Hannah Terry, Serenity Richardson, Katelyn Meeks, Hannah Grace Anderson, Brittany Dempsay, Hannah Salters and myself. That’s right, a group of college girls getting their hands dirty doing some hard labor for the Lord! As we drove up this morning around 10 o’clock we were amazed by the amount of destruction we saw.

What looked like blankets in the trees were actually the roofs of nearby houses, massive trees were uprooted and snapped in half and one house was actually picked up and moved about 20-30 feet off of its foundation, completely wrecked. The house we worked at today had an 800 foot driveway that had been covered completely with trees that were, at some points, stacked up to 25 feet high. The house had pretty bad roof damage but luckily no trees had fallen it. However, there was major destruction of the woods around the house. We worked all morning cutting up and clearing trees from the front yard. Bill taught a few of us girls how to use a chainsaw and didn’t hesitate to let us put it to work on a couple trees. After lunch we used an extension cord and all our strength to pull a leaning tree down away from the house. This was a really nerve wracking moment because the tree was leaning towards the house and like I said all we had was a chainsaw and about five girls pulling on two extension cords that were tied together. We did it though! The couple that lived in the house were very appreciative and told us that thankfully they weren’t in the house during the storm. At the end of the day we talked about how difficult it is to really capture how bad the damage is in pictures and it’s even harder to try and explain it in words.

Another really cool thing that us at IMPACT are very excited about is that our kitchen trailer that Bill cooks our meals out of is being deployed to the Tuscaloosa area for disaster relief. We all could not be happier! I think that it’s very important that we don’t forget to thank God for his protection over us last week and more importantly we can’t forget to pray for these people whose lives won’t return to normal for months, if that. Praise God that he was able to use Bill and this group of girls to care for these people today!

Nikki Gentry

class of 2011