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7-10-15 Tornado Destroys Blue Mountain Elementary
by Tamyra Horst
On Thursday, July 9, 2015 at approximately 6:45 p.m., a powerful storm struck Blue Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School (BME), Hamburg, Pa., taking off the roof, destroying the gym, and knocking down several walls of the 46 year old brick structure. Principal Rachel Wardecke was alone in the building at the time. Shaken, but not seriously injured, Rachel immediately told reporters, “Our school will open again.”

A local newspaper, Reading Eagle, quoted Wardecke as saying, “All of a sudden there was a hole in the roof and I was on the floor. I was covered with ceiling tile and, minutes later, I crawled from the building.”

The Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventist leadership is grateful for God’s protection and that no injuries were reported involving any students or staff.  No damage was reported at Blue Mountain Academy, located across the road from BME.

  Paintings of Jesus remain undisturbed on wall of destroyed school. Photos by Dave Morgan

After the storm, Blue Mountain Academy Principal Dave Morgan went to look at the damage and discovered an amazing sight: a completely undisturbed pictures of Jesus on one partial wall still standing! He wrote on his Facebook page, "True story. Today I went up to BME to begin the process of working with them in regards to the 2015-2016 school year. As I carefully entered what remained of the building I was struck by a fascinating reminder of Who truly is in control; Pictures of Jesus around the school remained intact and untouched. Yes, Satan is the author of destruction, death, and mayhem, but in the midst of the storm, we have a savior that conquered sin, defeated Satan, and assures us of victory if we will simply believe. True story!"
BME has been serving families in the Hamburg and surrounding areas since 1954 and is committed to providing students an Adventist Christian education that includes academic excellence, social development and spiritual growth. While it’s too early for any specific plans, the school will reopen this fall and continue serving, nurturing and educating children.
The Pennsylvania Conference would like to thank those around the world who are praying for our school, its staff, students, and alumni who are grieving the loss of a beloved school and invite to you continue to pray with us for Rachel and her team as they sift through the damage and make plans for the coming school year.

More photos [by Kathleen Sutton, courtesy of Columbia Union Visitor]
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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