By Jasmine Haynes
|Jeff West, Asury UMC Youth Pastor|
Several church members and friends were removing shingles from the house. Those working inside were pulling nails out of studs as small wood chips froma blaring saw fell from the roof. Parker Estes, a high school senior, pitched in to help his pastor with the house for a second time. "My friends and I helped him move in and paint the house so it is kind of surreal coming in and helping tear everything down," said Estes.
Church members were not the only helping hands at the Petal home. Brook
|Brook Goree, Petal native and volunteer|
Goree, a Petal native and Mississippi State University student left Starkville as soon as she could to check on her home town. "I sent some friends who attend Asbury a facebook message and asked how I could help and they bought me here," stated Goree.
West shared that he had nothing but gratitude for his church family, his neighbors and all other volunteers helping with the cleanup. He is waiting for his insurance company to decide if the house is structurally sound or if what's left of the dwelling must be demolished. No matter the outcome, West said he is not relocating because he loves his neighborhood and feels that God led him and his wife to the house. When asked about the source of his optimism, West referred to Jeremiah 29:11 and responded, "Where God tells us that He knows the plans He has for us,
a lot of people focus on the 'the plans to prosper you' but I just take comfort in the fact that He knows what's going on and He's in control."
At least six United Methodist structures in the Hattiesburg area were damaged in the February 10 tornado. To make a financial gift towards the Mississippi Committee on Relief (MSCOR) send checks to the MS Annual Conference office. Indicate Mississippi Disaster Relief in the memo line. The address is 320-A Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39206.