Disaster Response in Amory, MS

May 01, 2023
On the night of March 24, an outbreak of at least 20 tornadoes swept through Mississippi and tragically claimed the lives of 26 people. On the evening of March 30, more tornadoes came through adding to the damage. At last count, over 6,300 homes, farms, and businesses were destroyed. FEMA and MEMA are working hard as we move from immediate relief efforts into a long term recovery that will last several years. Our Southeastern Synod Lutheran Disaster Response always accompanies survivors until the response is complete.

Once we were cleared to come in, Pr. Morgan Gordy, Assistant to the Bishop for Disaster Ministries and Pr. Stacey Parvin, Mississippi Coordinator for Disaster Ministries, were on the ground providing Spiritual and Emotional Care and moving through the impacted community to see how we can partner in the long run with funding for positions, like a Construction Manager, or providing Resiliency Camps for kids in the summer.

Each week, Pr. Stacey provided therapeutic play with the children, and their parents and grandparents, in the American Red Cross Shelter in Amory, Mississippi. Getting survivors to tell their story is such an important part of any recovery that allows the healing to begin. These kids were so brave! Pr. Stacey also checks in with the schools to offer assistance with kids who might need some extra time and care.

Now, Pr. Stacey is set up at the Disaster Recovery Center to provide Spiritual and Emotional Care for survivors as they come to get registered and move through the recovery process. Again, telling their story helps bring healing, and seeing so many people reminds them they are not alone, God is with us. Heroes come from all over, New York, Indiana, Puerto Rico, Florida, New Jersey, & Alabama come as part of the FEMA and Small Business Administration teams here to help. Often, Pr. Stacey listens to these helpers as they process survivors stories, too. God’s providence is seen through this collaboration that carries survivors through this natural disaster and towards new life that includes “a future with hope.”

May the God who walks on wounded feet
walk with you on the road.
May the God who serves with wounded hands
stretch out your hands to serve.
May the God who loves with a wounded heart
open your hearts to love.
May you see the face of God in everyone you meet,
and may everyone you meet
see the face of God in you.


The Rev. Dr. Allison Stacey Parvin
Pastor, BethEden Lutheran Church
Louisville, MS