Gateway people rally to help with tornado relief.
On December 26, 2015, as Christmas festivities wound down, a series of horrific tornadoes barreled through the Dallas area. Eleven people lost their lives, many were injured, and entire neighborhoods were destroyed. It will be a day not easily forgotten—especially by those who are rebuilding. In the days after the storms, nonprofits rushed in to offer relief, and Gateway rallied with our local ministry partners to help.
Here's How Gateway Is Helping
- Gateway donated to Mercy Chefs, a nonprofit organization committed to serving high quality, professionally prepared meals during local, state, and national disasters and emergencies. In the days after the storms, Mercy Chefs spent about $3,000 per day to help feed hot meals to victims, volunteers, and first responders. mercychefs.com
- Gateway provided gift cards to AHEM, which is a coalition of local Hispanic churches. AHEM distributed the gift cards to tornado victims in Rowlett and Garland and is also ministering the gospel to those in need. ahemdfw.org
- Gateway members (ranging from 14 to over 60 years old) are volunteering through Mission Possible, a nonprofit organization led by Gateway member, Michele Bailey Christensen. In partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, Mission Possible has been removing debris, cutting trees off homes and vehicles, packing personal belongings, cleaning, and praying for victims. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gateway provided gift cards for Lake Pointe Church. Lake Pointe is a church in Rockwall that was not damaged by the tornadoes. Together with Samaritan’s Purse, they have opened their doors to those who have been displaced. They opened a food pantry (grocery store–style), a clothing bank, and a gift card donation center. Lake Pointe is also helping people by providing counseling and praying with them. lakepointe.org/disasterrelief samaritanspurse.org
What Can You Do?
The devastation is still so widespread. Hundreds of people are trying to rebuild their lives, homes, and businesses. You can continue to help by praying, giving, and volunteering. For updates on relief efforts, visit bless.gatewaypeople.com. To volunteer, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Today I shared lunch with a man named Richard. He lived in a fifth-wheel trailer, and when the tornado came through, it blew his uninsured home into a million pieces into the nearby lake. He was able to swim to safety and also to save a neighbor from drowning. He has multiple cuts all over his body but has been unable to find the one thing he longs for—his chihuahua. He must figure out what to do about housing as well. Please keep him in your prayers. He is the reason why we come out and feed people.” Taken from testimony on Mercy Chefs Facebook page.
“The tornado devastation is as bad as you can imagine.” Pastor Kam Hunt, Bless! (Gateway Global)
“My family and I were evacuated from New Orleans, Louisiana, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Therefore, when the tornados occurred in Rowlett and Garland, we were compelled to do something. It was truly a blessing for me, my wife, and my fourteen-year-old daughter to be able to give back. Through serving, we shared the love of Jesus with the people affected by the storms. The love of Christ can truly change a person’s life in tragedy.” Ernest, Annette, and Aaliyah Johnson, Members of Gateway Church North Fort Worth, who volunteered with Mission Possible.
“When the tornado ripped through Rowlett, Lucy learned that her neighbor, Koko, a 73-year-old widow originally from Tokyo, did not have home insurance. So Lucy took Koko to a local ‘market’ where different organizations and services were gathered in a central location to tell homeowners what relief services they could receive. While there, a volunteer met Koko and told her not to worry and that Samaritan’s Purse would be glad to help her with her home. The next day, volunteers showed up at Koko’s house and got right to work. They ripped up flooring and started securing blue tarp across her roof. In a quiet moment, Samaritan’s Purse team leader Marv explained to Koko about God’s unending love and how that love was demonstrated when Jesus Christ died on the cross for her sins and then when God raised Him to life. Marv asked Koko if she would like to receive Christ as her Savior and Lord, and Koko committed her life to Him.” Taken from testimony on samaritanspurse.org.