On December 10th, 2021 a devastating storm tore through eight states causing 66 confirmed tornadoes and significant damage. One of the hardest hit areas was in Western Kentucky, where the storm carved through over a hundred miles of homes and businesses, resulting in 84 casualties. The staff at CrossRoads knew we had work to do.
Operation Recovery is true to its name. We have made a three year commitment to the recovery stage of Hopkins and Caldwell Counties through four main goals. We aim to assist individuals and families in the physical recovery of their homes, and their economic recovery by using volunteer labor and donated professional labor to rebuild these homes. During this process we also aim to communicate the love of Christ through our actions and connect local church partners to their community. All of this can be summed up in this vision statement: “We want to make the local church the hero in Western Kentucky’s recovery.”
“I grew up in the Princeton, Ky area so I know it and it’s people well,” explains Dylan McGowan the Field Coordinator for Operation Recovery when asked about his community. “They are hardworking and friendly. The area is pretty rural and not very populated. The scenery and views are beautiful. From the hill my grandmother’s house sits on you can see for miles and the sunsets are wonderful. Now from that vantage, you can see the path the tornado took.”
Operation Recovery’s Project Manager Curtis Porch had this to add about the communities in Western Kentucky: “Many of them are frustrated either because they do not have enough resources to rebuild their homes or do not have enough help to get the work done… There are many people here that have lost everything and from what I have seen they have also lost hope that things can be good again. To get things to look like the original town is not possible, but we can help them to have better than they had before and maybe regain hope for the future.”
To best serve these communities, funds continue to be raised for Operation Recovery to run without charging trip fees. Many churches and individuals, mostly in Kentucky, have come together to financially support this effort so that more volunteers will come help this community recover. There is also a need for tools, equipment, vehicles, and staff.
Want to financially support Operation Recovery? Find out more HERE
As with all of our fields, construction is not our only goal. Curtis explains how a group from Owasso, Oklahoma exemplified that goal, “They brought the ability to talk to the people about God and plant the seed.” Dylan shared that he chose to work with CrossRoads “because I’ve been looking for a way to serve and be more kingdom minded and this seemed like a great way to live that out. Also I want to see my community rebuilt.”
We invite you to serve alongside us through Operation Recovery, whether that be through a donation or serving on the field. While our commitment is for three years, Curtis clarifies our larger intention. “I also hope that we can bring a healing and comfort that will last for decades or even centuries in the hearts of the people and their children and grandchildren.”