By Eric Marrapodi and Athena Jones, CNN
Henryville, Indiana (CNN)– Church members held hands as they prayed among the pews at Henryville Community Church on Sunday morning.
"One week ago, we prayed, 'God use us in some way,' " pastor Rich Cheek said as he led the congregation in prayer.
"This morning, so many of you have lost everything," Cheek said, his voice cracking with emotion. "We asked God to use us, and he did."
Outside, a forklift off-loaded pallets of dry goods and bottles of water from a tractor-trailer. The church recreation center and basement have become a clearinghouse for supplies brought in from nearby Louisville, Kentucky, and trucked in by tractor-trailers from Convoys of Hope, a relief agency from Springfield, Missouri.
Henryville Community Church had almost no damage from Friday's violent storms. It sits just north of the path of the deadly storm.
Pallets of water await distribution at Henryville Community Church.
The school next door, which housed preschool through 12th grade, is in ruins. Across the road, the neighborhood is a tangled mess of 2x4s, metal siding and the remains of family homes.
Henryville Community Presbyterian Church, a half mile up the road, lost its roof and stained-glass windows, and pews were upended across the sanctuary.
CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, just east of the school, has also become a staging ground for rescue workers and media briefings.
“Everything I do in my life beyond my family and my church is in that building, and now it’s all gone,” said Vicki Hornine, a St. Francis parishioner and preschool teacher. “That part of me is very broken inside, but I’m not going to let anyone see that. I’m going to fix that broken part, and we’re going to be OK and that starts first right here with my faith. It will pull me together so I have strength to fix that."
Parishioners pray at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
Her church suffered minimal damage.
“We can see only our own anguish and grief– or we can see the opportunity to join hands and hearts with others to uplift and to inspire,” Rev. Steven Schaftlein at St. Francis Catholic Church told his congregants on Sunday morning. “We can choose despair, or we can choose hope. We can choose to do nothing, or we can choose to do everything and live everything and be renewed in everything.”
Before the service at Henryville Community Church began, youth pastor Shawn Kelly directed relief efforts while his 10-year-old tended a small campfire of debris.
"The hand of God was on us. We didn't get any damage," he said.
"We need volunteers to sort," Kelly said, standing in the fluorescent lights of the church recreation center. Bags of clothes were stacked up across the basketball foul line, and a suit rested on a hanger from the rim of one of the basketball hoops.
"We've had tons of donations, tons of volunteers. We just need people to know we're here," Kelly said.
On Saturday, 200 volunteers showed up at Kelly’s church, more than doubling the membership of 80.
"It's starting to get to me," said Robin Hill, a board member at the Henryville Community Church, choking back tears.
The iconic image of this twister - a mangled school bus embedded in the side of a restaurant - has a personal connection for her. Her parents, McKee and "Teenny" Munk, opened the small cafe decades ago. "The ironic thing is, my dad drove a school bus for Henryville for 55 years," Hill said.
Her mother saw her old restaurant on the national news from Florida.
"It's a material thing, as long as no one was hurt," Hill said her mother told her by phone Saturday.
McKee Munk, who passed away two years ago, also held the scoring record for the Henryville Hornets basketball team for years. From the parking lot at Henryville Community Church, you can see into the school gym. The storm sheared off one of the gym's walls.
School officials made the decision to let students out early Friday when the storm warnings came in. Joe Sullivan from the National Weather Service office in Louisville said on Saturday that decision prevented what could have been "scores of fatalities" here.
Henryville Community Presbyterian Church lost its roof in a Friday tornado.
Along the streets near the church, the destruction stretches for blocks and blocks.
At Henryville Community and St. Francis Xavier, the members sang “Amazing Grace,” many wiping tears.
"We have so much to be grateful for," Cheek said during his sermon. “Why did this happen? I don't care. It did, and we have an opportunity to make a difference.”
CNN’s Dana Garrett and Chris Welch contributed to this report
Thatʻs great! Take a picture of you and your flmiay during Earth Hour. Have mom or dad send it to me and Iʻll post it on my blog. Have fun!
DENYING THE WORDS OF GOD THE FATHER!
When men deny the truth found in the Scriptures; they are denying the words of God the Father. When men deny the truth spoken by Jesus; they are denying the words of God the Father. When men deny the doctrine of the apostles; they are denying the words of God the Father.
All Scripture is the word of God the Father.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,(NKJV)
All that Jesus spoke was from God the Father.
John 12:49-50 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."(NKJV)
All of the apostles doctrine was from God the Father. Why was that? Because Jesus taught the apostles and all of the words of Jesus were from God the Father.
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.(NKJV)
John 16:13-14 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
All the teaching from the Holy Spirit came from Jesus and all the words of Jesus came from God the Father.
There are no Scriptures that declare that church creed books, (catechisms) or any other extra-Biblical writings are that of God the Father. Remember; all Scripture is inspired by God. Creed books are not Scripture. No extra-Biblical writing is Scripture.
HOW DO MEN DENY THE WORDS OF GOD THE FATHER?
1. When men claim there is more than one God; they are denying the words of God the Father.
Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.(NKJV)
2. When men declare that Jesus did not say water baptism precedes salvation; they are denying the words of God the Father.
Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)
3. When men say that Christians cannot fall from grace; they denying the words of God the Father.
Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.(NKJV)
All Scripture is inspired by God the Father.
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG: You can can find it by a google search, steve finnell a christian view.
Good to see you here Steve. Just keep pounding away at that keyboard to your heart's delight... it keeps you out of the government, the schools, science and away from my doorstep!
Wot 'n hell are you doing, posting on an article that is over a year old...?
Avoiding evidence and then declaring it to be non-existent is the funniest bit of thinking in the world. I think the best way for us to get you to look at the evidence is when u get to the other side. As they say if u will not listen to advise u end up in unadvisable places.
"As they say if u will not listen to advise u end up in unadvisable places."
There is absolutely no proof of it.
How did u come by this knowledge? Have u been searching for it for the past 40yrs?
You will find out that there is a Heaven when you close your eyes for the last time. Praying for you!
"You will find out that there is a Heaven when you close your eyes for the last time"
You still have NO proof of it's existence except for the excuses you are making in your head.
While earth is a wonderful place, Heaven promises to be perfect. A place with no sadness, pain, suffering or tears. I am glad this earth is not all there is for those who believe. Human minds can not begin to comprehend the mind of a God who created all of the beauty, majesty and wonder of this world.
There is absolutely no proof this heaven exists. There is proof that it's all in your head.
I really wanted to help but I can't untie my shoelaces
I for one feel that God is excited about all the attention he is getting in these posts. Like it or not, God loves everyone of you and in time he hopes that you will love him too. Just that fact that you are willing to put so much energy into this string of posts makes me think you are close to realizing an amazing relationship with Him. Once you do you will never be the same.
I may be cruel, but you shall love me as God. In the word of God. Praise be to God. And all that mumbo jumbo. Thanks be to me for reminding you that even God hates you. So smile and remember, under his tyranny you will never be free! Quote any part of the Bible you like, it will make no difference. If you believe in God then the history of God is your basis for belief. How can one make claims to without full knowledge of? With full knowledge how is it that any believe unless they already harbor hatred for a great many? Answer – most have never read the Bible. Those who have made one of two choices – ratiionalize it and believe based on interpretations or deny it and not believe. What do you get from this?
While those victims are badly in need of help, you extremely need a hug.
Many Christians think like this.
Surely that video is not intended to be a rebuttal?
Somebody should explain logic to that guy!
So they prayed that their god would use them in some way so he sent a tornado to kill and destroy. Wow, what a benevalent god you have there.
Sounds like something that I would worship. NOT!!
I don't get it – what's the point of your post, to tear people down to make yourself feel superior?
jhall, there's a lot that you apparently don't get.
After thoroughly scanning my inborn dictionary using a colonoscope, I'm pretty sure now that "benevalent" is not a dictionary word. Maybe you meant BENEVOLENT, you STEER!
It's not surprising that the foriegn to you anyway, you don't have a drop of it in your veins.
should be read: *not surprising that the word is foreign to you. Sorry pressure and age had its toll.
jdubz and Keith should get together. Two empty skulls without a single thought.
The church(not just this one) would better serve their communities if they were to warn them about God's judgement on nations who turn their back on Him. Not a single country in history has escaped. What makes us so arrogant to believe we're going to be the first?
The church has stood by and let this nation decline morally and spiritually without uttering a peep. Now 8 states legalized gay marriage. The military got sodomized. Bibles removed from schools. Killing babies by the millions. Cursing Israel. Read Romans 1. Read Isaiah 9. The church has dropped the ball bigtime. The church has chosen to "get along" with this sinful world rather than warn it. You think these "storms" are a fluke? You ain't seen nothing yet.
What kind of an idiot are you? Storms have wiped out towns and cities ever since towns and cities were built. It has nothing to do with some divine punishment.
Any dolt that believes some invisible being causes them is too dumb to be real. Get lost.
Sorry Tammy, can't get lost. Can't lose my salvation. You, however, it sadly appears, will remain lost.
Isa 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one [is] an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.
Tammy, Even a bovine has brains enough to avoid an electric fence. I'm not sure where that puts you?
You're a steer, bozo. You wouldn't know what an electric fence was you had your mouth around one.
It's heartening to see crazies like you bray your stupidity on a public forum. No one could read such dreck and not recognize it, or you, as being completely full of dung.
You're nothing but a troll or a psychiatric patient; maybe both.
There is no invisible critter throwing lightning bolts from the sky.
I wonder if eunuchs always have trouble with the rules of capitalization, Keith, or is it just you?
lett Me guess, U R an retyred inglish teachr. Now, U r just old, fat, ugly and mizzerable punktuation and speling nazi?
Good to see I hit a nerve.
Thanks for playing, Keith. Oh, I mean Bessie. Moooooo away!
You think these "storms" are a fluke? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Let's see now...how many thousands of years have people been making statements like this? Okay, okay, so it's the end of the world already. Stop bothering us; we've got sinnin' to do.
It cracks me up to hear the dopes claim that tornadoes are divine retribution–most of them occur in the red states and kill children like that little girl who never did anything to anyone.
It's a sick mind that thinks a being created us just to destroy the lives of the imperfect people it made.
Tommy, It is you who should go buh-bye. While you're gone, maybe you can look up that George Stephanopolous interview of candidate Obama that only exists in my mind. Remember that one you hag? You don't even have the balls to admit you were WRONG. Oh, that's right, you're female? Nevermind.
Gotcha! I love watching you stomp and spew, honey. You're a little like Rumpelstiltskin.
I must have really injured your pride, Keith. I feel just terrible about the scarring.
So, is gay marriage legal in Indiana? Couldn't your sky-daddy have managed to punish the right state, Keithie?
Do you think your big imaginary pal killed a whole family that was praying to him?
This nation is sick from the head down. Has been for a long time. But it's getting sicker.
People like you are the sick ones, Steer.
Why don't you answer my question? Did your Michelin Man in the Sky kill that family that held hands and prayed to him?
Why is your Sky Daddy smiting Indiana and not Washington, DC? Maybe he needs a map and a flashlight.
Just relax, Steer. The nice men are coming with your Thorazine any minute now.
Your very screen name ttps and your use of Rumplestilskin is disturbing. You seem to be living in a bizzare world of nursery rhymes. And judging from your 10:24 am comment, you seem to be so upset that you have a problem forming a sentence? Fingers faster than your brain? I'm done with you, timmy.
You were beaten months ago, loser. You lost this argument before I even showed up by responding to your own lame-o post.
Get a clue, Cletus. You're nuts. You need help. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.
I'm otherwise proud to have it.
Prayer changes things .
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~
The studies mentioned have been proven false for successful studies, study God.
Oh, stick it, captain liar.
Prayer changes things
One more thing on that note. Again that is a very good statement. This country claims the Bible. Which many of them know is a fairy tale. They use it quite handly as a "tool" of pacification or to incite people. The United States is a very bad invader of other countries on the earth. We have always been an invader of other countries. Right now after invading Iraq. The Iranians have a pipleline straight from Iraq into the Iranian refinery. Nothing every comes with our "squabble" with Iran and in fact is used as a "straw man" to stablized a country we have invaded. Not to mention the 2 other countries we have invaded. Afganistan and Libya. They use things such as the horrors of war which of course they never do. It would come as a suprise to find out there are "mass graves" ini Iraq. Being told that we are good and "Democratic". While in the same vain installing "puppet" governments in places like Iraq and Afganistan just isn't working for them. The Chinese and the Russians are both pumping oil in Iraq also. Once you figure out its about business. Then you understand the fraud that is being perpetrated on you. You won't find the "mass graves" in Iraq on the internet. But can sure find out about whos drilling in Iraq. Including the Iranians. Which makes no damn sense compared with what they are telling you every single day.
This post is so off topic!! A useful response to this tragedy in your own country is to do what the people in the article are doing – don't analyze church and state, or foreign relations, or bash religion – get off your duff and donate to help those people in KY! That is what is needed and appropriate now.
Churches and other religious structures are usually not destroyed during natural disasters because they are inherently constructed as strong, big buildings. It isn't because God doesn't like destroying places of worship. Attributing lesser destruction of churches while the rest of the town is destroyed doesn't mean that God is there to save religious people. Start constructing churches for home and see the destruction go down to a minimum during tornadoes.
Good point and totally agree. Perhaps not so much the bible belt churches where a solid stone structure would cut into the evangelical profit margin but definitely the churches of old.
"The hand of God was on us. We didn't get any damage," spoken by youth pastor, Shawn Kelly.
Shawn, I suspect you're too busy with relief efforts to read this comment (good for you). However, if by chance you do happen upon this, I would respectfully suggest that the tragic events of that past few days present an important opportunity for you come to a more mature faith. When you make a comment like "The hand of God was on us. We didn't get any damage," thinking people cringe, others get confused, and the benefit of your testimony is greatly compromised. God didn't choose to put his hand of protection on you and yours, and then willfully choose to not protect the little baby who was tossed by the twister (receiving massive head wounds) to ultimately join the rest of her family in death. Such thinking (or lack of) and testimonies by professing Christians does a great disservice to the faith. Please read "Dissapointment with God," by Philip Yancey." Doing so may give you some needed wisdom and a "reality check" on the subject of what God does and doesn't do. It may also strengthen your ministry for the benefit of many.
Well said Ron!
I would suggest to many mentioned in this article who believe there exists a supernatural force (aka make-believe force) which has a hobby in global meteorology and applying invisible forces to protect select groups of individuals do in fact live in a realm of total self-delusion.
Kebos and Ron, great posts! You are absolutely right, Ron. It just horrifies me when I see someone interviewed about such events and he/she credits prayer and 'god's mercy' for sparing his/her family. As if any sort of merciful, just, loving being would bring death and destruction to OTHERS because THEY didn't 'pray' enough or weren't 'worthy' of saving.
What a crock.
I guess God must have hated that family that was killed by the tornado while holding hands and praying to be kept safe.
Still, good for him lending a hand.
Seems to be Keith the Steer's reasoning.
I was located just south of Louisville and watching the storms closely on radar. One tornado passed a few miles south of me, the rest to the north. Just as this line of dangerous storms reached my house, the storms on the radar split up and my house hardly even got any rain. I happen to be an atheist who's luck in life amazingly follows the statistical curves of math and science. Those who believe in god think it was a miracle of god that they survived. I would be wondering why god tried to kill me and missed. I guess my point is that being atheist saves you the emotional wreckage of have to reconciled the unpredictable actions of a magical mystery being instead of simply understanding what nature is. As a man of science, I know the randomness of events is always just statistical reality.
Regardless, we do have some good clothes we are donating to the unfortunate. It is always good to help those in need. Many lost everything.
As a man of science n minister of religion I wud like 2 apologise if u've been made 2 think that Christians don't believe in Math and Science. There r events which God declares special interest otherwise most follow de natural laws. In all things however de ultimate divine purpose is de good of Man.
Yeah, Nii, love those friendly tornados that your nasty sky fairy sent. You're no scientist, liar.
"We asked God to use us, and he did."
Attempts to apply meaning to a meaningless and senseless event are only going to warp our moral minds.
To see the hand of god (the supposed penultimate moral arbiter) in the randomness of a tornado is demeaning to both the dead and the survivors.
For future reference, though, you might want to know that 'penultimate' does not mean the ultimate ultimate, or something like that. It means next to the last (it comes from meter counting in poetry).
One swell hell of a God. I suppose you'd like to go out and celebrate how God 'used you' now? I feel miserable for the little toddler who didn't make it but one thing that makes perfect sense to me in this world is no God had anything to do with it. The culprit is far far more likely to be cheap affordable housing, no basement, no preparation, and bad luck.
If the Almighty is to get credit for saving a few individuals after a natural disaster that claims the lives of ten times that many or in some cases hundreds or thousands of lives, he must be held responsible for the dead or there is no credibility to be had. Whether or not one is a believer or non-believer doesn't matter. If a bus is travelling too fast and the driver loses control and kills folks in the bus and folks the bus hits, the driver is liable for all of the deaths because he was not obeying the legal speed limit. You cannot pick and choose what part of the bible you want to believe or disbelieve. If it is the word of God like the bible scholars say it is, you have to believe in its entirety or none at all.
ur bible must be telling u things about your God that the Holy Bible does not tell Christians about their God. Our God is not a bus driver. Nor is the earth a bus. We believe in the long run our God will let good triumph over evil. We don't believe in a God who is a spiritual driver-mechanic.
The Knight of Nii craps again.
..blah,blah,blah....god is based on faith...keep the fairy tale alive...!!!
I hate God! God doesn't exist! How dare those Christians! They believe in God! Those idiots!
Pejorative after pejorative is poured forth, and CNN loves it.
America will be left as a smoking ruin in a few short years.
good to know, take a pill buddy. BTW change your name, it's a biblical name, and if God don't exist like you said, that means that you don't exist either. So you think human race was created from nowhere? don't tell me, you believe in the big bang theory, and from from the fish evolution walking out of the sea and walking, and then it evolved into Joshua who don't believe and hate God. Only cause you say that God don't exist doesn't mean that He stop being God. God is going to be God no matter what the human race thinks about Him. He doesn't even need you or me, but He is still mercyful, and loves us.
@world. Joshua can reply for himself. But as I read, he is only summarizing the general tenor and tone of other postings, I don't think he hates God or denies His existence.
We are here because of the *real* creator, fh!dslk#j&6dls, NOT the drama queen dreamed up by the primitive Hebrews. Get over it.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.