A husband and wife who pastor a church in the American city of Buffalo are being hailed as heroes for taking in 154 strangers during what’s been called the ‘blizzard of the century.’
Their acts of kindness are credited with saving every one of those lives.
Around 40 others died as the one of the worst winter storms ever seen in the Lake Erie area dumped more than 130 centimetres of snow on the city and its surroundings on Christmas Eve.
The Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry church became a refuge for families who could not get home because their cars were stuck in the snow and they feared carbon monoxide poisoning.
Nearly every other building in the neighbourhood lost its power, but the church miraculously remained plugged into the grid throughout the storm.
One desperate mother who suffered partial frostbite getting to the church in extremely low visibility and bitter cold told how Pastors Al and Vivian Robinson were like angels in providing shelter, warmth, beds and food.
She says she watched them save life after life as they opened up their church to everyone who came knocking.
Pastor Al ventured into the blizzard to carry one young woman to safety.
Pastor Vivian explained how she heard God tell her to open the doors of the church.
She and her husband want the world to see “the glory of God” in the saving of 154 lives.
“We wanted people to see embers turning to a roaring inferno of light of Jesus Christ. It’s just we’re His hands and feet. That’s all we are,” Pastor Al told The Christian Post.
Prior to the storm the Robinsons were planning to host a large family gathering with their nine children and eight grandchildren and had stocked up on a two week supply of food.
They also had several beds stored on the property that were removed from one of the church’s addiction treatment facilities which they recently sold.
Pastor Al believes the availability of food, beds, and power at the church during the storm was divinely orchestrated.
“It’s so crazy. I mean, all things really do work together for the good of those who are called to love God,” he proclaimed.
“I will tell you one thing, on Christmas Day, those 154 people that were here were singing the praises of Christ,” the pastor revealed to The Christian Post.
“It was a level of gratitude that I’ve never, ever seen. You don’t see gratitude like that in this day and age, you just don’t see it. People expect you to be doing something for them. That’s their attitude. But it’s their right that you do something for them,” he said.