I am so thankful that all the quilts are safely up in Alabama. It is hard to put into words what we saw on our quick trip up to the Shoal Creek Valley in Alabama. We had made contact with Brother Melvin up in Alabama who had been in contact with the people in this area since the day of the tornadoes. We took some pictures, but they could not show the sadness of the area landscape. Our family went through Hurricane Ivan here on the Gulf Coast and I can say that even after 6+ months, this area is still worse than we saw at home. My heart was/and still is heavy with their loss. But in the midst, homes are being rebuilt, new memories formed and friendship made that would never had been except for this storm.
We were able to make contact with several families and hand deliver the quilts to them. It was wonderful seeing them look through the quilts and find one that was perfect for them. My favorite was a 10 year old boy, who after looking through one box of quilts did not see one that truly interested him. My husband went and got the other box and when I lifted the lid, he saw the quilt he wanted. The quilt had fabric that matched a quilt he had lost in the tornadoes. He was thrilled – and did not even want to finish looking through the second box.
The stories were miraculous, truly. A family of 18, grandparents, parents and children, were all in one house went the storm hit. The house was completely destroyed and all 18 people were thrown from the house – all survived. They moved into their new house just weeks before Christmas. Another family had all huddled in one small enclosed area of a basement, after the storm only that area of the house remained.
How wonderful it was to see the provision of the Lord and to be able to talk with these families. It was amazing to me that each of the families that we were able to give quilts to, all had a link to family quilts before the storms – many were lost.
We were able to hand-out 14 of the quilts and we left the rest to be given out as Brother Melvin and others meet the needs of people in this community.
The weather for the trip was wet and rainy – except for the hours that we were handing out the quilts. It started raining as we said good-bye to the last young man and thanked our host Brother Melvin.