A Lubbock church group is home after helping tornado victims in Alabama. In April, a massive tornado tore through the college town and the clean-up is still underway.
More than 50 members of the South Plains Church of Christ packed their West Texas work ethics and made the drive to Tuscaloosa to make a difference. The trip was open to the entire congregation and members ages 7 to 77 signed up.
"Everyone had a story," said Garret Killough. He's 11-years-old and at such a young age he's seen the worst of what Mother Nature is capable of. "Parts are demolished, some untouched, and others are completely destroyed."
He worked alongside 53 other members of the South Plains Church of Christ to help Tuscaloosa families. "I'd seen pictures of it and seen video, but those couldn't start to tell the story of what we saw," explained the church's youth minister, Trent Roberson. The disaster happened and within weeks the church put the trip together.
"It was overwhelming to see the disaster and destruction and to see the group working," said Preaching Minister Jim Brewer.
It took two days to get to Alabama from Lubbock. They wasted no time getting to work. They cleared debris, handed out supplies, and lifted spirits.
"Cleaning out yards- that's a help, but they really wanted to talk to someone about the storm and about how it had changed their lives," said Madison Wheeler, who at 13 signed up for the trip. Wheeler said she would go back tomorrow if she could.
"We live in a community that was changed by a tornado and by the response to it 40 years ago. I think Lubbock community knows that," said Roberson.
Generations of church members made a difference, one prayer at a time, thousands of miles away."We can definitely say we helped some folks but there is a lot to still be done," said Killough.
Church members raised about $14,000. The majority of that is going to help tornado victims.
The members we spoke to say they will probably never look at another natural disaster the same.
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