Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Tornado Story

We were on our way home on Friday, and we stopped in Vicksburg, Mississippi to take a look at the great Mississippi River. The students were all taking pictures of the river with the bridge in the background, flying the American flag proudly. Across the river we could see storm clouds, and the news inside was that there was a terrible storm both North and South of Vicksburg, but not going to hit directly. We decided it would be a rainy trip, but that we would press on ahead. The students loaded in the vans and an elderly couple stopped Greg and I to ask who we were and what we were doing. Greg briefly explained our mission, and the couple asked if they could pray with us before we hit the road. We had a nice two minute prayer as the students sat in the vans. It was a sweet time with this couple, who just love Jesus so much. It ministered to both Greg and I - the kind of people I would like to be when I am older.

Just as we hugged them goodbye, the rain let loose and the winds started whipping around. We ran to our vans to get out of the rain. When I closed my van door, I was surprised by the strength of the winds sweeping up from the river. The clouds were black, the rain was hard, and the van was rocking so much that I thought my ten year old was bouncing around in the back. We decided we should probably go into the visitor's center in case of tornadoes. It definitely felt like a possibility! We signaled to Greg, who was feeling the same way, and rushed our guys into the center. We were able to explain the procedure to them quickly and they knew what to do it the sirens sounded.

Fortunately for us, the tornadoes that day skipped over us. I do believe that it was forming as it passed over us, tearing down stop signs, streetlights, and trees at the visitor's center. Vicksburg had quite a bit of damage that day. I am so thankful that we stopped to pray with that couple, or we would have been on the road during that storm!

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