Kentucky Tornado Survivor Says, 'God's Word Still Stands'

(Courtesy of Leisha Doran)

It was a better-than-average Friday at The Good News Shoppe Christian bookstore in Mayfield, Kentucky. Owner Leisha Doran and her employees had enjoyed a good business day and were looking forward to great weekend.

Little did they know the disaster that would befall them—and the rest of Mayfield—later that evening.

Tornadoes ripping up a trek of more than 200 miles and leaving 80 people dead in their wake did not spare the Good News Shoppe of the devastation that overwhelmed the city. Doran's business was destroyed—thankfully without any casualties—leaving the owner and its employees heartbroken in its wake.

Before bookstoreThat Friday night, Doran had gone to her parents' house in the country, knowing the storms were heading to Mayfield. Her cell phone reception was limited, and so she had no idea of what damage the tornadoes had done to her store. But she eventually found out, and the news wasn't good.

"I randomly got a text, and it said that the courthouse and FNB bank were gone," Doran, who has owned The Good News Shoppe for three years, tells Charisma News. "We're right next to both of them, so I knew that meant we were probably gone, too. I couldn't get on Facebook, and I couldn't send messages. One of my employees was able to get up there, and he sent a picture showing that the store had caved it.

"The next morning, it was so sad," she says. "We lost a business, but we knew that many had lost their lives, and we were grateful that didn't happen to us. It looked like a war zone."

Doran says one employee normally stays late at night to finish up work for the day. Thankfully, that employee had left early to go to watch a play and was not there when the tornadoes struck.

Only a section of the store containing Bibles remained standing after the storms passed through. Doran says it wasn't a coincidence.

"Everything else, including all the wall art in that section of the store, was gone," she says. "I think it was a sign for everyone that God's Word still stands."

Doran said many of the Bibles were water-damaged, but she was able to donate about 300 Bibles to a couple of area churches.

Like many businesses and homeowners in Mayfield, Doran says she will be forced to start over with The Good News Shoppe. She didn't own the building that was destroyed, but she needed to find another spot to transfer the shop to set up business again. She knew it would be a struggle, but thankfully the city granted her a place in the Mayfield Plaza, ironically, right next to the courthouse, the sheriff's department and the post office again.

The Good News Shoppe is a Mayfield staple, having served the area for 42 years. Doran didn't have any retail experience when she bought the business in 2018 but believes God had given her an assignment with the store to serve the kingdom.

"Hopefully God has put me here for a reason," says Doran, who has incredibly retained her cheerful, godly disposition throughout the ordeal. "I'm definitely heartbroken over all of this, and the first thing that went through my head is that we're all still alive. My one employee could very well have been there.

"But God still has big plans for all of us, and we're all going to get through this," she says. "I am especially appreciative to my family and friends and my sweet husband for everything he has done for us and how encouraging everyone has been to us. You just have to try to be positive, look forward and have hope."

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