Volunteer Tornado Cleanup Sioux Falls

It was a dark and stormy night… it seems as if that’s how all horror stories start out. I guess you could say that was true for Sioux Falls the night of September 10th when a few tornadoes touched ground. It wasn’t how I imagined spending one of my last nights in Sioux Falls before moving out to Salt Lake City. But, just like any story with a focus on God, there is always a better ending.

The next morning, I received a text to come help families in the neighborhood that got struck by one of the tornadoes. Not exactly how I imagined spending my last day in town. But, when I heard we were reaching out to those from our mission trip through Gloria Dei in Nashville Tennessee this past summer, I was ecstatic to expand our mission trip to serve others in our own community. Not only were we getting those young adults from the trip to help, but anyone in the community to help those in need. None of us would have imagined that we would be in neighborhoods loading up trailers, picking up branches, and repairing roofs, however, it couldn’t have been any better because it was what the Lord intended. We all had the opportunity to serve others and help those who were in a less fortunate position and needed our help, just as He wants. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV) “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Indeed, everyone there was a cheerful giver. I think if we were in that same position that we would want as many people to help out as well.

Giving to others doesn’t always have to be through money in church, it can be through your time and energy. To go out of your way and be a blessing to others, just as so many of us were doing in Sioux Falls that day. Serving others gives you a sense of deeper purpose and gives you happiness by knowing you are being a disciple and glorifying God. What shocked me the most was the positive attitude that each family effected had. You could see on their faces the impact we as a community had by coming together as a whole to help them. What a great place to live, a place where we all help one another out in a time of struggle. To be able to bring joy to families while doing grueling manual labor was showing God’s presence. That is why I think myself and the others around me enjoyed serving others that day.

I think more people in the community should reach out at any point you feel someone is in need. Although there was an immense amount of help that came together, there is never enough. The day provided laughter, joy, peace, smiles, love, and friendship from everyone, people that I have never met before. Now that is what brings true happiness, putting others first before yourself, treating others how you would want to be treated. Coming together as a community not only showed how much Sioux Falls cares for one another, but also showed how God can turn any horror story into a fairy tale ending.

- by Carter Keller

We were also featured in a KELO story during our cleanup. See the story here:


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