HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - It was a time to heal, and it was a time to renew and rejoin. But, it wasn't a time to cry. The Carey Strong service for William Carey University students in Hattiesburg did what it was supposed to do.
The worries were left outside, and the celebration of life was brought inside.
"The last thing we wanted to do last Saturday was leave each other and go home and go our separate ways," said student Abby Ham, of Brandon. "So, just being together and being in the same place will help with a lot of emotional healing."
Ham and her friend, Alex Green, also of Brandon, were worried they might not come out of the experience alive.
"I honestly didn't know how I was going to make it through it," Green said. "It was terrifying for me."
The service was a good dose of medicine for all involved.
"We all went through something terrible together, so it means a lot to bring us all together and show that we're still strong together."
Temple Baptist Church filled the sanctuary to sing praises and to support the university.
The school has regular Wednesday services, and administrators thought the quicker everyone could get back to worshiping, the quicker the healing would begin.
Those feelings were shared by Brendon Davis, of Vancleave, and Daniel Speed, of Natchez.
"I get to see all my friends again," Davis said. "Just to have that emotional support there with me."
Both went through frightening moments.
"It's just good to see everybody again and to know everyone's safe," Speed said. "Just be able to come together and share experiences with each other and just to talk about it with people who understand what we went through instead of people that want to be there for you but they haven't been through the tornadoes and don't know what it's actually like."
"It's really good to see how people really care for us. That people all the time are asking if we need anything, if we have everything we need, and we can see the love of God in every action," said student Davi Faira.