Tornado Rescue Teams Don't Give Up Hope

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Some have lost homes. Others have lost loved ones. But most of those affected by the recent tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest haven't lost hope, including the rescue teams still sifting through rubble for victims.

The Hamil family lost two sons in the monstrous storms -- 3-year-old Ryan found this week at the edge of a lake and his younger brother Cole.

Despite their intense grief, the Hamils are grateful for the love, support, and prayers of both friends and strangers.

Shalene Douglas is happy to still have her family. She was frantic after one of the deadly tornadoes left her mother's neighborhood looking like a war zone.

"It was like running through hell trying to see if your family is alive, with little babies on the street saying, 'Do you know where my mommy is?'" Douglas recalled.

Her mother Irene Stone says God's grace and her grandson's quick thinking are what kept her alive.

"It was just bad," Stone said. "He saved our lives by yelling at me and yelling at them to get to the back part of the house."

Rescuers continue to search for victims in both Oklahoma and Missouri. Rescue dogs' keen sense of smell can help their human partner save lives.

"It's overwhelming," said Bill Potter of Oklahoma's K-9 Search and Rescue unit. "It's overwhelming mentally, physically, getting through all the debris, and hopefully finding someone and having closure."

With some help, rescuers lifted walls and chopped through rubble to find survivors.

"What I'm thinking is never give up. My dog never gives up," Potter said.

Just days after the tragedy in Joplin, Mo., workmen have started rebuilding some businesses.

Many residents will have to also rebuild their lives as they cope with losses.

At least 11 people died in the local Greenbriar Nursing Home.

"There's people in that nursing home that I go to church with," Stone said.

But for those living in the tornado zones, one standing cross is showing that light can pierce the darkness.

"The cross is definitely a symbol and hope for people," Joplin resident Bill Williams said. "I think it's kind of like... God is in charge."

Williams lost his church in the destruction but says he doesn't feel alone.

"We appreciate your prayers and the support that we've gotten from all over the country," he continued. "It's been phenomenal."

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CBN News
John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.