Couple who has lost everything will always have their faith

By Alyssa Donovan

November 24, 2013 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill.—Crossroads church families find comfort in their faith.

"I’ve been mad, I've been sad and all that but overall it's just stuff. When I found out she was okay and our dog was okay I was happy,” said Russ Petri.

Joann and Russ Petri live on Gillman Avenue.

"We used to live [there] now we have a flat lot!” said Joann.

When the tornado hit last Sunday, Joann was home alone with their dog, Sam.

"I grabbed my purse and my glasses and 'Sam! Let's go!" and that's when the wind hit, knocked me down the stairs and then we looked up and there was sky... And our home was gone,” said Joann.

One week later, the couple joined their congregation at Crossroads United Methodist Church to share the message of hope.

"We've had people that prior to this week had no connection to our church and wanted to help and showed up and I think they think of this now as their church home,” said Casey Taylor, Crossroads Church Associate Pastor.

Tears were shed for the devastation, but the real focus was on the outpouring of love and support that came after.

Joann says this experience is what God has prepared them for.

"We've worked a lot of years in training to get to this spot to use all the things he's trained us to do,” said Joann.

"It's really easy to not be upset about all this due to everything we have seen,” said Russ.

The couple's home is destroyed, their cars and belongings damaged.

They are living with their daughter for now but plan to rebuild.

They say the past week has taught them a lot about themselves.

"It gives real meaning to life,” said Joann.

And their faith.

"God is good. God is good,” said Joann.

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