Encouragement from Henryville


As people around the country struggle to comprehend this senseless act of violence, one town in our region is all too familiar with tragedy and loss.

We spent the day in Henryville for what was supposed to be a happy occasion. Habitat for Humanity is dedicating ten new homes to deserving families who lost everything in an instant during those March 2nd tornadoes that swept through town.

But, in the midst of their joy, they shared some valuable insight about healing that we could all learn from.

"Through this storm, it appeared to be a devastating tragedy, but yet you have turned it around and made it a triumph," prayed Pastor Toby Jenkins, First Baptist Church of Henryville.

It's a happy day in Henryville as ten families celebrate new homes and new beginnings.

"It's so exciting," said Dustin Hall, a new homeowner.

But, getting to this point involved many tears and heartache that started with a string of tornadoes on March 2nd.

"That we were going to die--for sure," said Michelle Friedly, a new homeowner.

"We were kind of in between all of the tornadoes," said Caisey Overby, a new homeowner.

"It's getting pretty violent," said Dustin Hall.

The community suffered a devastating blow.

"There wasn't nothing left, the whole was destroyed, it was crazy," said Michelle.

That's why this town can so readily identify with the hurt in Newtown, CT.

"It affects all of us because it could have been us is what we think," said Pastor Jenkins.

Pastor Toby Jenkins ushered this town into healing and has a helping word regarding Newtown.

"My message is we look to Christ and pray for that hope and His return and he makes all things new and wipes away all those tears and all the sorrow," said Pastor Jenkins.

"It's a lot easier to replace our stuff and build a house. They lost families," said Michelle.

But, Emily and Dustin Hall did lose family. Shortly after surviving the tornado, their baby girl died from conditions unrelated to the storm.

"Put your trust and hope in God and rest in God and pray because that's the only thing you can do. It's not bad to cry, you just gotta put your faith in God," said Emily.

So, as Michelle and her neighbors hammered through their trials to a solid new future, they hurt for the community just starting the journey.

"It does get better, there is a rainbow at the end of the storm," said Michelle.

From pain to prosperity, this is a community trying to set an example that out of hope can come healing.