The Bates Family


by Kelly on May 3, 2011


Our heart felt prayers go out to all those who have suffered during the recent tornado tragedies. We were travelling to Big Sandy, TX for a homeschool conference and sought shelter in several motels during the trip (One tornado hit 5 miles from the hotel we sought refuge in at Hot Springs, AR.) During the conference, the families were advised to move to a safer room where we all begin to sing “Amazing Grace” together. Shortly after, we learned the tornado hit 10 minutes away. On the way back home, we stopped to eat in Tuscaloosa, AL where so much devastation was done earlier that week.(A mile wide tornado left an unbelievable path of massive destruction.) Our hearts were broken after hearing testimonies from local residents. Local hotels are allowing the homeless families to lodge for free. Churches are gathering groceries, diapers, and supplies for these families who have lost so much. There seemed to be an incredible spirit of wanting to share one another’s burdens! We were encouraged and are asking all to join us in prayer for these families during this great time of need! If your local church is interested in doing more to help, the needs are vast!! May our Lord draw these residents closer to Himself and grant grace and strength through this trial.


{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Linda May 3, 2011 at 10:24 am

My heart has been utterly broken for so much devastation and loss of life. It is unfathomable. I am *so thankful* that you are all well and suffered no property damage. The day after the tornadoes, when we learned of how much devastation there had been, our local IFB church loaded three pickup trucks with supplies (water, soap, food, etc.) and drove them north (we’re in Texas) to Alabama. The men who drove the trucks said the devastation was unimaginable. This past Sunday we put together a special offering for the Lee family in Alabama. Tom Lee was a father of 13, and literally protected his children with his own body and lost his life in that heroic act. (If anyone is interested in learning more about his story, his son Jordan Lee is interviewed here: (

Thank you for letting us know of your welfare. I am so sorry that you passed through those storms during your travels (that must have been frightening) but I am very grateful that you are all well.

“For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)


Casey May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thanking God for your safety! And thank you for the reminder that there are still needs to be met.


Reva May 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I’m so thankful that your family made it through ok! Our family has been much in prayer for all of those affected by these horrific storms. We’re in central NC, and luckily we have escaped most of the damage, though we were hit pretty hard a month or so back. This spring has certainly turned out to be a scary one! Miss Linda, thank you for that story about Tom Lee-I had not heard of his story before now. So much heartbreak.


T. Gates May 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Words cannont express how thankful we all are for the prayers that have gone up for our residents in Alabama that have lost so much. We have been so blessed through it all to not be directly affected by any of the storms, and we are so happy to be able to bless those that have. Please continue to pray for our state as we recover from the devastion and pray that God’s Glory will be shown through it all and that there will be a mass revival for our state! Thanks again for caring so much for us!


Lisa May 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Glad you are all safe. My Church is sending aid and I am praying and praying. One friend in Sunday School’s family was ‘just missed’ in Tuscaloosa, but all their friends were wiped out. No deaths–just houses. Praying and praying.


The Jordan family May 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

We Live in Alabama and so do my parents. we went down there to help out the church I use to pastor at give food and water to people and bibles. I was shocked to see my familys home town gone. my girls where on there knees praying the second we got to the church. Thank you for praying for the state of Alabama.

In Christ
The Jordan Family


Denise May 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Thank you for praying for my State. I live in Tuscaloosa Alabama and the people here have lost so much,it is over whelming,but they have come together to help each other in this time of great needs. So many people all over have come in or sent help to us and I just want to say may God bless you all. Keep us in your prays that we may rebuild and make this a better place then before. I will continue to praise God in the good times and bad for without him we are all lost.


Krista May 4, 2011 at 12:17 am

I live in Georgia and by the grace of God a tiny portion of my county got no more than a little bit of rain, but other parts of the county got hit hard by these tornados. Keep the prayer chains going, because faith is all some of these people have left. God Bless.


Kristi May 4, 2011 at 3:34 am

That cloud picture is so scary looking! I’m so glad you were kept safe. God is good!
It is very heartbreaking to see and hear of the devestation. Praying for these poor people that are hurting and needing a touch from God, Himself.



Missy May 4, 2011 at 3:51 am

We too have seen the devastation in communities around us (thankfully our community did not suffer from these storms). I’ve been so thankful to see churches in our community come together regardless of the denomination and go to the aide of those in need. For those who are not close enough to be the feet on the ground in these areas of damage I would like to suggest that in addition to your prayers there is a way to help. The damage is so severe in some areas that it will take months for these people to get to the point that they can begin to rebuild their lives. In many areas almost entire communities were destroyed. Financial support is going to be a desperate need as time goes on. The American Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Salvation Army are all on the ground in these areas trying to help and I’m certain they could use an additional influx of funds right now to help provide even the most basic necessities for these people. Just think about losing everything….no toothbrush, no change of clothes, no food/water, etc. If you can please consider a donation to one of these ministries.



sara( italy) May 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Thak GOD you are all save.I´m praying and donating money for this poor families,who lost their houses and even worse family members.


aria May 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Thank G-d you and your amazing family are safe. Thank you for reminding us to keep those who are hurting in our thoughts and prayers.


Meaghen May 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I live in northeast Mississippi, in a small town called Pontotoc, which was thankfully spared from most of the damage from the tornados. However, our neighbors in Lafayette, Wren, and Smithville MS were truly devastated by the storms. Thank you very much for all your prayers.


Susan May 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I live in Elmore County, AL, and the tornado that hit the northern part of our county started as a wall cloud down the street form me. I am thankful for God’s mercy, but sorrowed for other who lost loved ones. We thank you for your prayers! My biggest concern now is the church group from Kansas who has recently been protesting military funerals have said they will be coming down here to protest funerals of victims from the storms. Please pray that we can show these people that they are not bringing people to God, but pushing them away. Thank you again for your prayers!


Gil May 8, 2011 at 3:06 am

Susan, We will continue to pray and may God touch the hearts of these people who are desiring to discourage! God bless, Kelly


Renee May 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

My heart goes to the victims, and Praise God for His protection over you all!


Stephanie May 9, 2011 at 5:39 am

Thank you for your prayers for the victims of the recent tornadoes!I live just north of Cordova, AL which was struck hard during the outbreak. I would also like to ask that you keep the relief workers in your prayers, too. My husband is an utility employee working in Tuscaloosa on the clean up effort and comes home every day drained emotionally and physically from what he has to see and do. Also, thank you for having your website up, I enjoy reading your uplifting updates and scriptures posted!


Kelly Black May 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Thank you for the continued prayers for all of our cities hit by the tornados. No one I know lost their life but many lost their homes. I am a Military Spouse (husband currently deployed) and one of our spouses was buried under 20 ft of debris for 5 hrs. After surgery last week was able to go home this weekend! God is so Good! Sending prayers back to you & your sweet family!
Huntsville, AL


Gil May 10, 2011 at 1:50 am

Dear Kelly Black,
I am rejoicing with all of you over the protection of this spouse’s life! We so often forget to pray for our military, but we owe so much to them! We forget that they place their lives in jeopardy for the sake of others! May God bless you and this family! Love, Kelly


Becky May 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Oh, Praise God you all were ok! :) Those storms were terrible! But God is good! We are amazed to here the stories that are coming from that area!!!

On a side note, I read when the Paines were visiting you all! And we love, I mean Love Rook! Blessings!!!!

Becky Trowbridge


Jan May 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thank you so much for your prayers. I live in the very northeast tip of GA where GA, TN and AL all come together, and we were struck on every side. A 1/4 mile and one road over from our home, 6 people were killed and it is total devastation. We weren’t home at the time, as we were all huddled in my daughter’s bathroom while the tornado roared all around us. After leaving her home to go check on ours, we found her neighborhood totally destroyed and 2 men dead. We all broke down sobbing and thanking the Lord for His great hand of protection. At both our home and hers, the tornadoes (yes, I believe there were about 5 that day, and twice we really thought we were going to die) completely circled around us.

As we are so grateful to our Lord for His love and care, we are extending this to our neighbors all around. There are many, many remote places in AL which aren’t receiving the help the larger towns are. We are now helping our friend rebuild his furniture business so he can get back to earning a living. He had his business destroyed as well as his home, and all had been hand built by himself. He also lost 2 neighbors across the street from him. I think there were 31 people who lost their lives just the next county over from us. So many in this area didn’t have a lot to begin with, and it is so sad to see them living in tents protecting what little they have left from looters! Can you believe?

Your continued prayers would greatly be appreciated. It will take a very, very long time for cleanup, build back and recovery just from the shock and stress from it all. We know God is in control of all things and see His hand working everyday!


Gil May 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Dear Jan,
We will continue to pray and we also rejoice over God’s protection of your lives, but grieve with the many who are still suffering. Can you post info. on how people can better help in your county?? Love, Kelly


Jan May 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm


Physical man power is actually the best way to help at this time. We have spent weeks now going from place to place cutting trees, picking up and hauling debris (and sometimes this requires sifting through rubble with a garden rake~most are very protective and appreciative of finding any lost belongings), and just helping them get some sort of saneness back into their lives. Even if there is nothing left of their home, to just get their property cleaned up gives an unbelievable boost in their spirits. It also gives a great opportunity to witness. When they say how much they appreciate our time and efforts, we always ask them not to thank us, but to thank and praise the Lord. It will take a huge amount of time to get these areas cleaned up and like I said before, so much of this is widespread and remote. The best thing to do is to get in the car and drive. When you see a place that looks wrecked, stop and ask them if they would like help. Bring gloves, chain saws, garden rakes and a willingness to serve and help others. It is dirty, hot and tiring, but the rewards are oh so great!

Secondly, I have also noticed that the supplies at the fire stations and relief centers are really dwindling. Monetary gifts or everyday necessities would also be helpful. I usually advocate giving to your own local church (I have a huge problem with some organizations misusing money or giving it where I don’t think it should be given~you don’t work, you don’t eat!), but the Red Cross is really out there in these communities. I have also seen the Southern Baptist Organization out there with mobile bathrooms and supplying food, water and clothing.

Thank you so much for your prayers and caring~ In Christ’s love~Jan


Susan May 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Thank you for your prayers. We live about a mile away from where an EF 4 tornado went through (around 5:30 CST that evening). My husband and our two small boys were huddled in the floor of a closet. We were overly thrilled and very thankful that God allowed us to walk out of that closet with the two most precious parts of our lives we have. We are all ok. We received no damage from the evening tornadoes in our area, but we did from the bow echo winds that woke us up that morning.
Glad ya’lls travels were safe.


Tammy June 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

praying for all of ya, God bless!


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