Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

I'm not originally from this area, but I'm proud to be counted amongst the residents of southwest Missouri. I went to just the south side of Joplin yesterday to take some supplies and what I saw was both overwhelming and amazing. Now, I didn't see anywhere near the areas that have been shown in the news. I just saw the very south edge the path, in which power poles were snapped in half, huge oak trees were uprooted, some tarps on the roofs. I saw nothing of the true devastation just a few blocks to the north of where we were. Now, I do have to tell you what else I saw. I saw people everywhere doing whatever they could and whatever they thought needed to be done. I listened to radio announcers giving updates and taking calls round the clock, that literally no longer had homes to go to. I read about the Fire Chief that lost his home, both his vehicles, and yet he's working and coordinating with others for the rescue effort. I saw huge trailers full of supplies and dozens of people working each one. I saw a tent pitched in a parking lot, with dozens of volunteers preparing food. The calls into the radio station were heart touching. The ingenuity and spirit of these people is literally breath taking. As I unloaded the hundred plus dollars of supplies we brought, which was nothing in the big picture, I was met with so many hands to help unload the back of the van and the thank yous were abundant. We got in to leave, when I remembered the sack of things I had gathered from the house, so we stopped at the next drop-off point. I'd gathered the few batteries, lighters, and rolls of duct tape we had because it had been announced that many of the stores were already sold out of those items. I was a bit sheepish about that sack, because it wasn't much and the only thing still in packages were the batteries, yet as I handed it to the volunteer with explanation she just smiled and thanked me like it was a great gift! Now in the midst of all this, let me share about a divine appointment. Through a business transaction, we became familiar with a young family. When I heard about the storm, I commented that I thought their address on the contract was in the path of the tornado. I tried to call, tried to e-mail, of course to no avail, and I prayed. That prayer availed much. Of all things, in that parking lot as we were heading in to drop off supplies, they were on their way out with supplies. Their family, although had lost much, were all alive and well.
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house . . . the book of Job in Holy Scripture
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