Comfort after the storm

Published 8:03 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

When a tornado outbreak in the South late last month killed 19 people, injured dozens and damaged hundreds of properties across several states, one local company stepped up to help.

LandWerks Contracting knew of a connection with a church in Albany, Ga., one of the hardest-hit areas. Stephen and Tiffany Butler, the owners, attend Liberty Spring Christian Church, where the Rev. Chris Surber is pastor. Surber is friends with the pastor of Byne Memorial Baptist Church in Albany.

The Butlers didn’t hesitate when they saw the connection. Less than a week after the devastating storm struck, Stephen Butler and three employees, along with several pieces of equipment from the company, had dropped everything and traveled to Georgia to help clean up debris.

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“It was powerful to have the opportunity to truly show love and support to those that have lost so much,” Butler said. “I felt like the Lord put it upon my heart to go down there and take some equipment that could really make a difference.”

The crew spent most of its time clearing trees from on top of people’s homes and cars. At least one home had so many trees down on and around it that you couldn’t see the home, Butler said.

“Many, many people’s vehicles were smashed by these large oak trees,” Butler said. “It was just unreal, unimaginable destruction. There was a lot of heartache. A lot of folks really lost a lot.”

In this time when the world clamors for people of faith to live out their beliefs rather than just to post about them on social media and to go to church on Sundays, the Butlers were able to show love and compassion to people who needed it.

We are grateful for folks like the Butlers and their employees, Charles Reece, Jason Bradnar and Ralph Gallegos, who traveled with Stephen Butler. They are the kind of business owners — and the kind of Christians — needed by our community and by hurting people in the world.