(NewsNation) — The people of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, are clinging to their community and faith while they try to recover from the devastating tornado that tore through the state on Friday.
Deer Creek Baptist Church’s Pastor Bob Gilliland had his home swept away in the tornado after a previous tornado destroyed his home in December.
“We survived two tornados in three months and we have not a scratch from either of them. My god is good. He has something left for me to do,” Gilliland said.
Deer Creek Baptist Church is now a refuge in a neighborhood where nearly every house is leveled. Everyone is welcome to come for food, water, clothes and comfort.
As people seek out Gilliland in their grief, he tells them. “this too shall pass.”
Mary Womble is part of the church’s congregation. She told NewsNation that as the tornado barreled toward her home, all she could do was pray.
Womble hid with her daughter in the bathroom, one of the only rooms left standing in her home. Her neighbors did not survive.
“It’s hard it’s hard, you just can’t make sense of it,” Womble told NewsNation
Hundreds of volunteers are working to help with the laborious cleanup process and handing out essential supplies. One group generously offered Womble a free generator.
“Tight-knit community, big-time tight-knit, and even the out-of-town support is awesome,” Womble said. “They will just do anything for you.”
President Biden issued a disaster declaration for the storm Sunday, opening up federal relief funding for the recovery efforts.
Gilliland told NewsNation, “In spite of all the damage and all the destruction, God has still been a blessing to a lot of people through this.”