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From the War Zone of the Dayton Tornado

Field Report by Justin Jenkins

From Operation Blessing’s U.S. Disaster Relief National Media Liaison, Justin Jenkins, in Ohio

“It looks like someone dropped a bomb in our city,” said Drew Pinson, Worship Pastor of Dayton Vineyard Church, as we met with him early Wednesday morning. “There was a specific neighborhood we drove through,” Drew continued, “and I just started crying. I thought to myself, ‘This is my city.’” Just a few moments later, we braced ourselves to enter what many at Dayton Vineyard Church described as a “war zone.”

Operation Blessing disaster relief workers walk with police through the "war zone" of Dayton, Ohio after a tornado.

As we slowly approached Troy Street, the flashing lights of police cars were shining off the vehicles in front of us. We drove past houses where the roofs were ripped off and debris was strewn across the road. Then we came to a stop in front of something that let me know we were exactly where we were supposed to be. There was a sign – a piece of mangled tin ripped off someone’s roof, cast among a pile of shattered tree branches – with these words scrawled across the surface in purple and blue marker, “Pray For Us All!”

Today, that is exactly what Operation Blessing is here to do. We are here to assess the situation and figure out how we can best meet people’s needs. We are here to meet with local pastors and local emergency management officials. We are here to learn how we can best partner with the local community and bring in resources to help these families in their most desperate times of need. Later, we will bring in supplies to meet physical needs. But today, we are here to meet families devastated by this disaster, pray for them, and show them the love of Christ.

Praying with Dayton Tornado victim.

We got to pray for Patricia and her family. Patricia is a 43-year-old mother. She suffers from Type 1 diabetes and her son watches out for her while his dad is working. They lived in their home for 26 years, and now it’s severely damaged. But Operation Blessing was there to encourage Patricia, lift her up in prayer, and help get her connected with Pastor Drew so she can get plugged-in to a local church family. There are so many more families like Patricia’s in this area, and we are here to help!

Thank you for praying for these communities and our team as we prepare to deploy volunteers to the hard hit areas.
Please consider sending a special gift to bless disaster victims today. And check out all the latest info on this war zone and the Dayton Tornado relief efforts.

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