Isn’t it a Small Town World? Neighbors reaching out from across the state and from other states to lend a hand in Joplin to those hurting and in need.
Don’t you love hearing about the Small Town attitude in America?
I think I’ve mentioned that I attended Ozark Christian College back in the dark ages. My heart broke as I listened to the news about the devistation of Joplin. A woman I knew at the school was killed in the storm. Several people I knew (and who wouldn’t remember me) including a wonderful professor, had their homes destroyed.
If you’ve paid attention, you’ve seen God’s hand in the recovery time and time again. I wanted to share some of it with you in case you’d missed it.
I’m taking this directly from Discovery Ministries website. I can’t share all of it (I hope I’m not breaking the law by sharing what I am) but I hope you’ll click over and read the entire story. BTW: CHCC is College Heights Christian Church. DM is Discovery Ministries. I just copied a part from the second half of the account. Please read the entire story if you have time.
The Joplin tornado happened on May 22nd. On the 23rd, seven people from Discovery Ministries drove to Joplin and made a call to find out what was happening.
We thought for a moment and figured we could help right then. In
incident-command training, we had learned that taking notes of what decisions are made the first few hours of a crisis helps in the following hours and days.
Since we teach communication and other principles for effective meetings, we are good note takers. Jeremy and I each took a radio, note pad and pencil. The rest of the DM group prayed and waited with a radio for further instructions. Jeremy quickly followed Jay and I shadowed Randy.
As I recorded what time Randy told which person to do what task, Randy noticed me and asked who I was and what I was doing. I told him my name, that I was with DM and that I was taking notes for him. He gave me a little smile and a nod and then turned to continue making decisions.
There’s a lot more to this story I’m skipping–please find time to read it. I wanted you to see the glory of God’s touch.
The rest of the story of the miracles Jesus worked this week would fill volumes.
I’ll give a summary.
Monday approximately 6:30 p.m., CHCC and DM entered a relationship I will fondly remember forever. I immediately called Colette and
asked her to partner with . . . three guys with lots of experience in incident command – to join in praying specifically for the challenges they knew, better than we, that we faced.
Lisa and Kim, two original recruits from the church, joined the DM team to design the intake, sorting and distribution of donations and training of volunteers to run that system.
We finished at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. That basic system, with numerous improvements made by many people and organizations, continues functioning as I write this report at 9:25 a.m. Saturday morning.
I am still amazed at the number of victims we were able to assist. I know that by Wednesday evening we had distributed food, clothing, and other basic essentials to over 2,000 people, fed over 2,000 meals to volunteers, and had unbelievable opportunities for ministry, including one request for baptism.
My favorite element of the system was the Personal Shopping Assistants (PSA’s). These volunteers met each person at the entrance, introduced themselves, and carried people’s items for them.
They tried to connect with people, asking their stories of survival, praying, laughing, hugging and crying with them. It was amazing how many big hearted and courageous volunteers made the whole system run and how they constantly made the system better.
The Big Questions
How did a church staff that functions on a collaborative-unity model get connected with a small ministry that functions on a collaborative-unity model at just the right time?
How did the right people show up during the week, hundreds of times, just before we realized they were needed? How did those people courageously accept the challenge after briefly considering the magnitude of what they were being asked to do?
Zechariah 4: 6 “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
says the LORD of hosts.” (1995 NASB).
Saying that CHCC, DM or any other person or organization involved, really did great things is somewhat like saying the tools in the toolbox built a house. Jesus is the Master Carpenter.
If you have a moment, please, please, please go to Discovery Ministries and read the entire account. I promise you’ll be blessed.
Praying for Joplin.