Glacier View Ranch hired the most incredible staff for summer 2020. Although we are not able to see our staff in action at GVR, we’re excited to watch them serve their local communities.

John Kent, a student at Southern Adventist University, was hired to be senior boys counselor at GVR; however, he is now cleaning and rebuilding his local community after an EF-3 tornado destroyed portions of East Brainerd, Ooltewah, and Collegedale, Tennessee, on April 12.

Kent joined the Volunteer Reception Center, a local relief group formed by the City of Chattanooga, along with fellow church members, to help the community, which is in desperate need.

The members helped by the group have been grateful for assistance in cleaning up their properties, but there was unseen damage still needing repair. “Looking around at the physical destruction of homes and property, I realize the greater damage has been emotionally,” commented Kent. “One day during an assessment, I asked a homeowner if their neighbor was home. They told me he wasn’t. They told me he couldn’t bear seeing his destroyed home, so he left. He had become so stressed and depressed from the tornado, he had a stroke.”

Kent added that despite these hardships, witnessing people sacrifice their time to support victims has reminded him that the strength of community surpasses the strength of disaster. “While volunteers endeavor to help physically, the biggest impact they have is really an invisible touch to the victim’s heart,” Kent said.

Keep Kent and this community in your prayers as they continue to rebuild. To help financially, visit the Collegedale Church tornado relief website We’re so happy to see the spirit of summer camp living in each of our staff across the country!

Jessyka Dooley is RMC associate youth director for ministry and GVR summer camp director.