It is such an honor to post concerning the Alabama Tornado Relief Effort on behalf of my dear friend in the Sisterhood of PW’s (preacher’s wives), Mrs. Lisa McKay. I talked to her for a long time this morning, and cannot tell you how the chills ran up and down my spine as she shared. In fact, when I saw her name on my cell phone as a call coming in, my heart began to race. She has not been far from my thoughts or prayers the past 3 days.

First and foremost she wants everyone to know that she and her husband, Rev. Luke McKay and their four children are safe. Their home is uninhabitable at the present, but it can be fixed and will be! They had much devastation up and down their road. Lisa was so thankful and yet grieved, in that place where joy and sorrow meet. Thankful for her own family being spared, and grieved to tears at the pain of others.  In the words of Lisa, “It is like God reached down His Hand and cupped His palm over my home as the tornado jumped and skipped all around…” More chills. More tears. More praise.

She and Luke and the kids were in the crawl space of their home and she said she was praying and crying out to God Psalm 57:1 over and over…

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
She said she was praying, “Lord either take all of us or none of us, don’t leave part of us…” Can you even imagine? The children were telling each other they loved each other. For those of us who have or have raised squabbling siblings – that in itself will make you cry. Let’s all commit to pray that the terror of this will be erased from their memories by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lisa also said that yes – a tornado sounds like a train and she cannot even describe the terror and feeling of doom as they were huddled together waiting…waiting…waiting. And to hear the sound of your man crying out as well…

They had neighbors that were killed (pray as members of the Otts family grieve) and another neighbor where the concrete slab foundation of their home was literally “wiped from the face of the earth,” only 200 yards away.

And now, at Lisa’s request – the purpose of this post is to let you all know that another local church in the area, Chestnut Grove Baptist is the “HUB” of all collections, donations, etc. for the relief effort in their community. They have a fund set up that is ongoing for benevolence called “Chestnut Grove Needy Child Fund” where the tornado efforts will be pooled. This is the address of the bank where the funds may be sent:

Citizens Bank
Attn: Chestnut Grove Needy Child Fund
PO Box 147
Valley Head, AL  35989

The donations are tax deductible and receipts/thank you’s will be mailed!

Following are pictures that Lisa sent me…with her text beneath the pictures:

 More of our road I’m just now seeing.
This is the landscape for miles.
 Behind the house.  My backyard used to be a dense pine thicket.
 The trees miraculously began falling horizontal to the house
where we were hiding underneath.
 We were in this crawlspace…
Front of the house. All trees blowing directly perpendicular to it.
I love you Lisa, and we are praying for you. And you know there’s a guestroom here at the farm with YOUR name on it!
Your friend,



  1. Thank you for this update sweet Jan.
    I am joining you in prayer and appreciate the information of how to send donations.
    Love and Blessings,

  2. Lisa, we are praying God’s grace on you and your family and all those affected by the havoc of that merciless storm. We are lending our faith to you and upholding you with arms of love and support in our daily prayers.
    Your friend, Jennifer

  3. So praying for Lisa, her family, friends and everyone who has been affected by those storms.


  4. Praying for all of Alabama. I have many family members in Tuscaloosa. Thankfully, they are all accounted for and now facing the long journey ahead.

    Praying for you, Lisa, and your family.

  5. oh my!! I am just crying over here at the description of what sweet Lisa and her family went through!!!
    There has been so much devastation!!! We continue to pray for all those affected by the tornado.
    May God draw near and give peace and comfort.

  6. Hopping over from a link at BooMama’s…

    I’m in the Pine Ridge area. I grew up in Henagar and my grandmother lived in Blake, raising my mom and her siblings there.

    I’m so thankful for God’s tender mercies, now more than ever. And, yet, my heart is shattered for all the loss and devastation RIGHT HERE.

    I’m excited Sophie linked to you and that you are in our area, since it seems that we are being forgotten by those outside our area. My husband, who works in insurance claims, said that if this was Hurricane Katrina, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham are the New Orleans and we are the Alabama/Mississippi Coast.

    Yet, we will survive and recover. And we will do so by our own bootstraps, ’cause that’s how we do things here.

    God bless.

  7. Praise God! Thank you for protecting this sweet family. I will keep praying for the many devastated by the horror.
    So very sad!

  8. Gives me chills. But I agree with Lisa. God had her family in the palm of His hand. Definitely. Oh what love He has for us!

  9. What a miracle! I am praying for Lisa and her family as they deal with all the aftermath of this horrible disaster.

    I’m worried about Jennyhope. Anyone heard anything about her?

  10. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around this and it has been a few days since it happened.

    Thank you for all of this information! I continue to pray for the south as well as Lisa.


  11. Like the others have siad, this made me cry & gives me chills.
    I have been praying for Lisa & her family since this happened.

    As a mother of 4, knowing that her children were professing their love for each other is overwhleming.

    Jan, thank you for sharing her story with us.

    Love y’all dearly!

  12. Gran Jan,

    Thankyou for posting this. I will pray for Lisa and other’s affected. The Lord’s calming presence to be felt all around her and her family and others.

  13. So glad you are safe. Thanks for sharing! H

  14. Thank you for posting this!! I live in Birmingham and while our family did not lose our home, Lisa is right, so many did. Thank you, thank you for this post, for the prayers and love that the Body is displaying. It IS making a difference and your prayers ARE holding us all up.
    Thank you!! May He bless you today 🙂

  15. Thank you Jesus for holing this family beneath your wings.

    Thanks so much for posting! If you here of any diaster teams going from Ga, please let us know.

  16. Unimaginable. My heart hurts and praises at the same time. Praying for Lisa’s family and all families impacted by the tornadoes. Thank you for sharing this post and letting us know how we can help.

  17. Praying for you all. Spreading the word any way I can. Thank you for updating Jan.

  18. It made me cry to picture them all huddled together saying I love you. Oh sweet Jesus. I thank Him for sparing this sweet family. Thank you for sharing this.

  19. How heart breaking! Praying for Lisa and her family, their neighbors and community!!

  20. thank you so much for updating from her for Lisa..just so much heartache and sadness. we just cannot understand.

  21. So glad you got to talk to her and post this on her behalf. Praying.

  22. It still gives me chills.

    Going to share this on FB. Thanks for sharing this with us!


  23. My word, it’s just so hard to imagine. Thanks for posting this, Jan. Lisa and her family (and all those affected) are never far from my mind. Continuing to pray!

  24. Praying from Michigan!
    Angie xoxo

  25. It was heartbreaking to read Lisa’s initial tweets as they surveyed the damage. Praying for their entire community… and so many others.

  26. Mercy. I can’t even process it all. That’s my next memory verse, to remind me to continue to pray for all the victims of these storms, especially the children.
    May God turn their memories and fear into a deeper unshakable faith. Thank You Jesus!

  27. When I read Lisa’s tweet that the tornado had hit their home, I was sick, heartbroken and in tears. She and her family and neighbors have not left my thoughts and praying unceasingly.

    Lisa, I can’t even begin to imagine what you and your precious family went through but I am so thankful and praise God for keeping His hand over you and keeping you all safe. I am so sorry for your neighbors and community who lost loved ones. Praying for them.

    I love you Lisa!

    Jan, thank you for sharing this.
    Love you,

  28. Jan,

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve not had a chance to surf the blog world much for the past couple of days so I had no idea Lisa lived in the area that was hit so hard. Praying and praising.

  29. Jan, thanks for sharing this. Cannot even imagine the devastation.

    Lisa, continuing to pray for you, your family and your community. Love to you all.

  30. What an incredible story! I am welling up inside… :'(

  31. Oh, Lisa, dear Lisa, crying for the pain of it…crying out for you still. Thankful for your lives and the way you shine the light of Jesus wherever you go!

    Jan, thank you for sharing this. I love you, my friend.

  32. Oh Jan,

    It’s so hard to imagine the devastation and loss, but I am praising Him for sparing Lisa and her family. And I am praying that the children will be comforted by the Holy Spirit. Praying the He will calm the terror that they must have felt.



  33. Oh, Jan, I love Lisa too and this is killing me.

    Linking to you now.

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