In early February, heavy rains, high winds, and severe flooding hit the Upstate of South Carolina. Many were evacuated from their homes and dozens of families had damage they were forced to deal with.
When John Smith and his wife, Alice, drove to the post office on February 6, 2020 they had no idea that their lives were about to be threatened. They noticed on their return trip that the sky was getting very dark and the rain began to come down so heavy they could no longer see. Immediately upon turning into a parking spot at the Crown Point Apartments in Spartanburg, where they lived, they heard the roar of a train, a sound that could only be a tornado. Six or seven trees fell on top of their truck with them in it. Then another massive tree in front of them fell, missing them by inches and instead crushed a car.
“I saw God’s hand move that tree away from us. He is mighty, powerful and true to his word” said Smith.
The F-1 tornado struck on the eve of their 43rd wedding anniversary. On their 38th wedding anniversary John and Alice suffered a tragedy as well when their home burned down. Most people would feel defeated after such losses but not this couple.
“I trust in the Lord because only he knows the answers and sometimes you have to take a step back and put it in his hands. I’m not lucky, I’m blessed by the power of God,” said Smith as he talked with other residents at the Red Cross Shelter.
Luckily John and Alice had renter’s insurance which was going to help offset their losses, but others were not so fortunate. Without the Red Cross shelter, they wouldn’t have had a safe place to stay right after the storm. John and Alice were calm and relaxed talking about their experience and the Red Cross shelter gave them the opportunity to share their stories with others and share comfort.
After all, “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” said Smith.