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Ky. Baptist worship pastor thankful family was safe after tornado hit home

A tornado hit the home of Nuno Norberto, the worship pastor of Porter Memorial in Lexington. Norberto and his family were all safe.

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Jezimar “Nuno” Norberto, the worship pastor at Porter Memorial Baptist Church, is thanking God for keeping his wife and two boys safe after a tornado took out the sunroom in his home in Nicholasville. The storm split his roof in half and blew it across the street into a neighbor’s yard. The back wall of the garage was also destroyed.

Norberto was on his way to church when the tornado hit. His wife, Sarah, calmly gathered the boys and went to the bathroom in the home where they stayed until it passed. She called her husband and used Facetime to show him the destruction and tell him he needed to come home.

“My wife saw the collapse of the sunroom and then got the boys and went into the bathroom,” he said.

The sunroom was taken out by a tornado in the home of Nuno Norberto, the worship pastor of Porter Memorial in Lexington. Norberto and his family were all safe.

What was typically a six-minute drive home, took more than 30 minutes on the backroads, he said. Debris and downed power lines made driving a hazard, too.

“When I was driving home, a semi-truck was on the street, kind of sideways,” he said. “Sheds were on the street and light poles were down.”

Norberto said while he was driving through the hazards, he was also praying and thanking the Lord that his family was safe. The couple’s daughter was playing across the street at a neighbor’s home that wasn’t affected by the tornado.

“Honestly,” he said, “that was a long prayer.”

When Norberto arrived at his home, saw the damage and went inside to find everybody safe, relief came over him. His prayers were answered.

“When I got there, Sarah was calm,” he said. “My boys (ages 14 and 11) were kind of shook up. I can’t imagine (how it was) for my wife and my boys.”

Norberto said being the victim of disaster like this is different for them. “We’re always helping people go through something like that,” he said. “I’ve never been on this side of things.”

He said the church “has been amazing and stepped up,” and he was thankful for senior pastor Nick Sandefur, who was offering any help necessary from the church community.

“Nuno and his family are incredibly well loved by the people at Porter,” Sandefur said. “We’re so thankful that his family is safe, and I know the church will rally around him during this time. He is always there for others when they need him, and I know the church will be ready to help him get his home back together.”

Norberto said he and his wife are overwhelmed by how people have reached out.

The garage suffered major damage from a tornado in Nicholasville at the home of Nuno Norberto, the worship pastor at Porter Memorial.

“I’ve been receiving lots of phone calls from people checking on us,” he said. “I got a call from Dr. (Todd) Gray this morning and that was so nice and encouraging,” he said of getting a word from the executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “Don Spencer (financial consultant) from the KBC is a good friend of the family and he checked on me, too. I have a lot of good friends at the KBC who were worried about us.”

“We are praying for Nuno and so many families like his that were impacted by these storms,” Gray said.

The family has been staying at a friend’s home who is away on spring break. Insurance adjusters are supposed to be at his home Friday.

Norberto said he and his wife “are at peace with what happened” and thankful that it was only material things that were damaged. “Material stuff can be replaced.”