Large Christian Family Suffers Losses due to Arkansas Tornado

“The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, bl
essed be the name of the Lord.” Those are powerful words, words packed with meaning coming from anyone, originating from the lips of Job. But imagine those words coming from a 19 year old girl who lost her dad, two sisters and her home to a deadly tornado in Arkansas.


Hundreds Gather to Say Goodbye to Tittle Family Members

MAY 2, 2014
A “small god” offers no comfort for a “Big Storm”
by George Lawson
A friend of Rob and Kerry Tittle with thoughts about this tragic event and God's sovereignty

"This time it was different. This time a friend of mine–and two of his children–died. "

Rob was a faithful member of the Bible Church in Little Rock along with his family. In addition to being on staff at Family Life, Rob was an advisory board member of the Home Educators of Greater Little Rock.

Rob was an active volunteer in Awanas and many other organizations for over 15 years. He enjoyed woodworking, sports and camping with his family. Rob’s life was marked by a continual willingness to do whatever it takes to serve God and his family, and he followed this call through until he was taken home to his Savior.

Tori was homeschooled throughout her life and was a member of the Home Educators of Greater Little Rock. Tori was a committed member of The Bible Church of Little Rock along with her family.

Tori’s love of animals was evident to all who knew her, and especially to her devoted black Labrador Retriever, Abby. Tori aspired one day to be an animal trainer. She loved spending long hours in God’s Word and was involved in Bible study through Bible Study Fellowship. She possessed a uniquely sweet and gentle spirit, and instantly, unconditionally, and unselfishly loved those around her. Tori was a gift of love and encouragement to all who were privileged to encounter her.

She was homeschooled throughout her life and was a member of the Home Educators of Greater Little Rock, as well as the Valiant Defenders Party Student Leadership Society. Rebekah was a committed member of the Bible Church of Little Rock along with her family.

Rebekah was known for her bright smile and gentle countenance, and for her characteristic “high fives”. Bekah was an avid reader with a love of film and film editing, and had hopes of working on an upcoming film project by her favorite book series. Bekah brought light and joy with her wherever she went, and could be counted on to lighten any serious moment with her sense of humor and joyful spirit. Bekah’s beautiful golden hair was an outward display of the light radiating within.

Visitation, Funeral Services for Arkansas Tornado Victims

(original post) 

When we hear of deadly tornadoes we hope and pray that no one
 dies and that the devastation isn’t too bad. Too often, lives are lost and much property destroyed. These are real people from real families. All of it is a bit removed from us until there is some kind of connection that is made. For me, the connection is Family Life, a ministry of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). My wife and I have benefited from the radio ministry of Family Life and even attended a marriage conference years ago. We bought a parenting set of tapes from the ministry (may those under twelve understand that these were the predecessors to CD’s, or need I say two predecessors to mp3’s?). Our church is going to have a video marriage seminar next month from Family Life as well, called The Art of Marriage.


One family that experienced the loss of a husband/father and two children were a part of that ministry. Another co
nnection is that I too am a husband and father with daughters. This story moved me deeply. So, I thought I would bring some details and pictures to your attention so that you can pray and perhaps, if God leads, do more.

CNN reported, “A brutal band of severe weather battered the central Plains and mid-South late Sunday, killing at least 16 people in Arkansas, one in Oklahoma and one in Iowa. Some of the worst damage was north of Little Rock, Arkansas, where reported tornadoes devastated the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.”

Rob and Kerry Tittle are the parents of nine children. Rob was a Family Life staff member.

Having heard the tornado warnings, Rob and Kerry rushed their nine children to a stairwell in their two-story home. It was at that point that t
he tornado struck their house and Rob, his 20 year old daughter Tori and his 14 year old daughter Rebekah became three of the Little Rock area casualties. What they called home was destroyed. And their lives will never be the same.

Of the seven remaining children, four suffered broke
n bones. It is reported that they are all out of the hospital. Children ages 19, 17, 12, 9, 6, 4 and an 8 month-old baby survived.

On Facebook, their nineteen year old daughter po
sted, “This is... from a friend’s house, my mom, and my six brothers/sisters are alright. We have lost three of our family … Dad, Tori and Rebekah, prayers would be appreciated. The house is gone stripped from the foundation. The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

Dennis Rainey reported that the minis
try both mourns the loss of a dear co-worker/friend and his two daughters but rejoice that the other family members survived. It certainly could have been worse. However, only those who have lost a parent, sibling or child before their time, suddenly and tragically, understands how truly awful this is.

The st
ory gripped me but this line that I read was what made me sob, at least for a moment, as if the loss were my own. That very same 19 year old daughter also posted:

“Dear friends, Do one thing for me. Hug your dad. Hold him tight and don’t let go, that man is the greatest gift God gave to you. Tell him you love him, tell him you will always Love him.” 

Being a father, I cannot imagine my children going through such a loss and uttering such words in their grief. Her advice is something that we all should take away with us and practice, not just for our dads but for our moms, siblings and children.

Please pra
y for the Tittles in their time of loss.  

Family Life encourages you to do a few more things as well.  

1) Continue to walk by faith and trust in God as our Sovereign King even though we don't understand the whys and wherefores

2) Make sure that you keep short accounts with your spouse and children, telling them that you love them while continuing to point them to Jesus

3) live your life with eternity in view, making sure that you are ready to meet the Lord when your day arrives

4) grieve with those who grieve, pray for them, hug them and help them as God leads

5) realize that the pain of this sinful world will someday be over and that the three members of the Tittle family are in a far better place where we will someday, by faith in Jesus Christ, join them.  

Sources/More information:
Mike Huckabee’s Facebook post on the tragedy   (look at 04/29/14 post)

Family Life Facebook page

Family Life Broadcast after the tragedy
God of the Whirlwind

Their church has established a fund for the family:

According to the church’s website:
A fund has been established at the church whereby individuals can give financially on their behalf. If you would like to donate, you may do that in one of the following ways:

1. Send a check to the church made out to “The Bible Church of Little Rock” with “Tittle Emergency Fund” in the memo.

2. Visit any Simmons Bank location and ask to contribute to the “Bible Church – Tittle Family Fund.”

3. Donate using the PayPal button below.

We don’t always know what God is doing, but we can be assured that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose in Christ (Romans 8:28).

The Bible Church of Little Rock

The local news had a story on the family’s tragedy:

KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Link to the local news story

World Magazine's story

If God is Good by Randy Alcorn (excerpt)

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