Teen Leads Community in Worship, Standing in Wreckage of Tornado Destruction

(Leecy Fink)

After an EF-3 tornado tore through their town, many residents of Elon, Virginia, near Lynchburg, are giving thanks and praise to God.

On Sunday, April 15, the storm left a path of destruction destroying between 26 homes on Nottaway Drive.

While many families lost their homes, thankfully, no was killed.

And for that, the people of Elon are grateful.

Gary Fink and his wife and five children hid in the basement of their home during the tornado. Now all that is left of their home is the foundation.

"All I know is while it was happening it seemed like forever," he told WSET.

Fink's wife Leecy shared about the love and faith in their tight-knit neighborhood in a Facebook post.

"The homes on Nottaway, Saponi and Mattoponi drive are filled with the finest people that you can ever know," she said. "These parents and children are good to the core. They love their families; they love their neighbors like family; they love Jesus. Each family, I have heard, gave Him the credit for what we lived through ... Thank you, God, for protecting my family, my people. We will rebuild. We will rebuild stronger. We will rebuild together."

Where the Fink home once stood, neighbors recently gathered to sing praises to God.

In a Facebook LIVE video, 17-year-old Tre Tyree, who lives across the street from the Finks, stands on the bare foundation of the Fink home with guitar in hand, leading a small crowd in the popular worship song, "Praise You in This Storm."

He and several others helped to pull the family from the rubble after the storm.

"I knew we had escaped death and there were angels watching over us," Fink said on Facebook.

"I'll praise you in this storm," Tyree sings in the video while standing next to his girlfriend. "And I will lift my hands. For you are who you are./ No matter where I am. Every tear I've cried./ You hold in your hand. You never left my side./ And though my heart is torn. I will praise you in this storm."

He continues singing the popular Casting Crowns song: "As the thunder rolls, I barely hear You whisper through the rain: 'I'm with you.'/ And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away."

The moving video, taken by Leecy Fink, has been viewed over 13,000 times with dozens of comments.

"What a beautiful testimony the Elon families are to all of us," wrote Dale Martin. "Continued prayers that God will surround you with his love and care."

Madelyn Marks commented, "Praying for you guys! Beautiful playing and voice!"

Meanwhile, there is a lot of work to do in Elon as families start to rebuild their lives and their homes.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Fink family.

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