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Rev. Gary Gibson, Senior Pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Louisville, shared these stories of how the church is responding to the recent tornadoes that struck Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Feeding storm victims at U of L Hospital
After realizing the most seriously injured victims of the Indiana tornadoes would be brought to University of Louisville Hospital, a St. Paul member called the Chaplain's office who identified the most pressing need was food for the patients' family members. They were running out of money and had limited options to get meals. St. Paul used Facebook and emails to get the word to those in the St. Paul community who wanted to help. The House Supervisor at the hospital advised that due to the severity of injuries, family members wanted to stay close, so food brought in to take up to the units would best serve them and protect their privacy.
Since then, St Paul members have collaborated with the Chaplain and House Supervisor to provide meals, notes, and toiletries, and will continue at least through the week to help approximately 50 people. Due to social networking and email communication, other area churches are also helping.
The Chaplain reported that the first night the families found great solace in meeting each other and sharing their stories over their meal. The second night we delivered notes from our youth which she said touched the families greatly. Other small groups, including MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), study groups, and the Children's Ministry, are participating with notes and/or food. The Chaplain said, “There is so much more happening in healing beyond the meals. We are so grateful.” We hope to continue to be Christ's hands and feet and are amazed at all the ways God has made a way for us to serve.
Hosting volunteers from Joplin, MO
St. Paul UMC, Louisville, KY, is honored to be hosting and assisting with supplies for volunteers from St. Paul’s UMC, Joplin, MO. They heard the news of the devastation in Indiana (and parts of Kentucky) and wanted to come “pay it forward.” Jack Wisener, Dave Tresemer, and others from St. Paul’s in Joplin drove ten hours hoping to cook, clean up debris and help people in Indiana get back on their feet. Some of the Joplin volunteers lost their homes when the deadly tornado struck Joplin last May. They came with food, grills, toiletries, and a team of folks to help the storm victims.
You can read more about Wisener and Tresemer in this story from WDRB.