ACS Volunteers Finishing the Work

April 26, 2022

JONESBORO, ARK. – On Dec. 9, 2021, five tornadoes hit the Northeast corner of Arkansas, destroying homes in the area, including a nursing home. According to the American Red Cross, there were 509 families affected by the tornadoes.

Arkansas-Louisiana Adventist Community Services (ACS) responded. The Jonesboro AR Seventh-day Adventist Church graciously allowed us to set up a resource staging area where supplies were delivered, sorted and boxed to go on the mobile unit. The mobile unit went out seven times, covering 10 small towns and giving out supplies to 191 families (764 individuals). 

Miracles do happen. We were already working Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, and we did not have items to put on the mobile unit in Arkansas. But the Lord knew, and He provided cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items (toothpaste, towels, bars of soap, combs), blankets, totes and food boxes. Missouri also had a few tornados which were close to where ACS was working in Arkansas. With permission from both the Missouri and Arkansas-Louisiana conferences, we crossed the state line and helped 22 families (88 individuals) with cleaning supplies, blankets, school kits, totes and hygiene items. ACS gives a big thanks to the volunteers who came and helped. 

Thirteen-year-old Robert Linneman said, “I want to take the time to thank Adventist Community Services for allowing me to volunteer after Hurricane Ida. I never expected to see so many people needing help. I begged my parents to let me go. I praise God that I got to be a part of showing the love of God to members of the United Indian Nations. I know that it might not seem like much, but I spent a weekend with a mobile unit handing out supplies. Having people come up to you and asking why you are helping them when no one else would, and thinking to yourself, God shows me how much He loves me every day. Now I get to be a part of showing them how much He loves them. I listened to some of the older people talk about how the town looked before Hurricane Ida and who lived there. It made me sad that things are no longer there. I know that all things are possible with God and can’t wait until I get to go back and see what their nation looks like in the future.”

Have you ever listened to someone talk about their dog saving their life? A survivor shared with me how her dog, Angel, started running around the house whining. Angel kept coming up and barking at her, then running into the bathroom. She decided to follow and, all of a sudden, heard a loud noise. “I have never in my life heard a storm sound like a train!” she said. She put Angel in the bathtub and went in with her. The tub started moving and shaking; when it stopped, she looked around. “We were nowhere near our home,” she shared. “By the time we found our way back, the whole house was gone. Angel had a hard time finding the way home, but she sure did save my life. Guardian angels work through even the cutest dogs to help us.”

“If you ever want to feel humble, try volunteering after a hurricane,” says Robert's father, Robert Linneman, another volunteer. “It may seem strange leaving your home, where you have anything you could ever need, and going to somewhere that doesn’t even have gas to put in your car so you can leave. As I take things out of the back of the truck and hand them to these people, I can’t help but wonder what I would do if I had nothing left. To truly not know where your food is coming from is a scary thing. I see God’s hand in me being able to take the time off work to come and help. As well as, knowing without Him there would be nothing for me to give to these people. If God had not told someone to send money or the things that these people need, they wouldn’t have them. You cannot go to the store and get the items, you can’t get gas to travel to where the items are, and if you did, what little you have left would be gone. God knows our needs before we do and makes them happen.” 

By Lavida Whitson
ACS DR Director