Below is an email message I received from Ben Dockery, son of President Dockery and Campus Minister at Union University. He gave me permission to share this with you. Please continue to lift up in prayer and refresh the hearts of those involved through words of encouragement and support.

My friends,

“I watched heroes do what heroes do…”

That was the name of one of the best ‘journal’ entries I have ever written. At 3:15 a.m., about 8 hours after we stormed onto campus minutes after the skipping tornado bounced through campus, I sat in bed after visiting recovered students in the hospital and thought with my keyboard. Unfortunately, my computer died forty minutes into the streaming, and I lost the entry.

But here is a brief summary:

We happened to be some of the first to land on campus, and we crashed into a light pole laying across the road as we arrived. Julie and I told each other, “I love you”, kissed, and then dodged overturned cars and splintered power lines until we reached the rubble. As we did, a frightened line of girls fled from their dorm rooms toward a standing structure across campus. Julie pealed off and joined the girls to keep them safe. Immediately, I saw about eight or ten guy students with torn shirts and bleeding faces and a look of determination. They were going to get there friends out from underneath the twisted rebar, crumbled cinder block and soaked splintered wood. For the next four hours, we made instant decisions and somehow, the students all survived. I truly did not believe that we knew where all the students were much less that they would survive.

They did. Two stud fireman, one named John – a guy I knew ten years ago and another stud who was also medically trained named Dallas. They barked out orders and pulled and pushed and cut and slipped on rocks and passed out bodies on stretchers and did not flinch. They were unorganized and acted without having all the floor plans and did
what heroes do – saved lives.

Thank you for your prayers, the clean up process is a beast, and then sometime next week, my real job starts–directing the Ministry to the Campus for the next semester. I have not let myself think about it more than ten seconds, but it looms. God has been good. Grace abounds in our mistakes. Peace rules my heart these days, and I am grateful. The providence of God ignites praise. I am so thankful for all of you, and your support. I really do tear up when I hear or read your messages – prayers. Keep them coming.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ben