This year the residents of Joplin, MO weren’t prepared when the deadliest tornado in more than half a century came through, killing at least 116 people, injuring hundreds, and flattening the city. Tomorrow our oldest daughter Heather and I are going with a team of about 24 people from her church, EchoChurch.tv, to Joplin to assist the tornado victims.
There is still plenty of work to do in Joplin. “The tornado, which struck around dinner time, crushed nearly a third of the city. It pounded about 2,000 buildings, knocked out power and cellphone service for many, and damaged water treatment and sewage plants. The tangled remains of cars and trucks were overturned and thrown against buildings and trees. Some blocks were jagged mounds of debris, while others were stripped to utter emptiness: just foundations of homes and tree trunks — no leaves, no branches, no bark,” the New York Times reported.
The church team from EchoChurch.tv will be doing manual labor outside hauling debris and working inside a school. We will work tomorrow (Friday, August 11) and Saturday, August 12, returning late Saturday night. EchoChurch.tv sent a team to Joplin after the tornado first hit.
Here are my specific prayer requests:
- Traveling mercies for our team as we travel. Joplin is several hours away from Kansas City;
- For team unity. Where there’s unity, God commands the blessing; (Psalm 133:1)
- For everyone to stay hydrated in the heat, drinking lots of water, and that we won’t physically overdo it;
- For protection of the team from any accidents, injuries, disease, etc.
- That God would use us to encourage and help the Joplin residents, showing them the love of Jesus Christ;
- For divine appointments for all of us;
- For God’s protection on our children and our families while we are gone.
I’ll let you know how it went when I get back home! I am very excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve God on this brief missions trip. My prayer is that God’s agape love would flow through me and that I could simply be His hands, feet, and mouth, serving Him while there.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” ~ Isaiah 6:8, ESV