Bible's miracle message comforts family of tornado victims in Texas town

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

(Photo courtesy of Van United Methodist Church)A retired police lieutenant and his wife tragically lost their lives to a tornado that tore through their town Sunday night. The Christian couple were active church members and known for their kindness and compassion.

VAN, Texas (Christian Examiner) -- A Van, Texas, husband and wife known for their compassion were killed Sunday when an EF-3 tornado ripped through the East Texas town and collapsed their home. David and Brenda Tapley leave a legacy of kindness as well as a miracle message in their Bible.

The remains of the retired police lieutenant, were found Monday morning amid the debris with him embracing one of his three dogs with one arm and reaching with the other for his wife lying nearby.

Then on Tuesday, efforts to clear the rubble near their home uncovered David's Bible opened to the first chapter in the book of James, from which his sister found words of encouragement to deal with the difficult loss of her loved ones.

A picture of the Bible as it was found shows this passage: "My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing."

"Thank you Jesus for your message!" David's sister wrote on Facebook, referencing verses two through six.

The Tapeleys were longtime active members of the Van United Methodist Church, where they were beloved, according to multiple sources.

The Van Texas Tornado Recovery Facebook page states as of Thursday that eight people remain hospitalized with injuries resulting from the storm. The Tapley's are the only known casualties.