Sunday, June 5, 2011

Joplin, a week later

I received an email, a week ago Friday, at night, saying that they could use me in Joplin. Sounds good. So, spur of the moment (at 10-ish pm,) I called my darling little sis and asked if she would pack up and come with me early the next morning. She hadn't even unpacked from her anniversary weekend, but immediately agreed to come. :)

We joined a wonderful team of Crisis Responders for clean-up and ministry.

There just aren't words to describe the devastation. It's unreal; unimaginable. You see it, interact with it and the people affected and think, "this CAN'T have happened." Yet it did. And, as soon as it "feels real" you have to push that out of your mind to carry on.
I took photos at the request of CRI, but only of homes that did not list fatalities (the information was spray painted on the front of homes --or cars/ furniture, etc if there was no home left standing.)

Places and things that break your heart...

This was from inside the station 4 fire department. Walls and roof gone.

A block away, a roof on the ground, trees stripped of leaves and bark...walls flat over.

Across from the hospital. Just unimaginable.

This man's father, Les, was in his home, in the bathroom when the tornado hit. The roof was

ripped off, along with two walls of his brick home, but he emerged physically unscathed...


destruction as far as the eye could see...

And then, after seeing all of the pieces broken, lives torn apart, homes gutted... we saw this:


People lining two streets, with signs and flags and messages of love...

Love lines (to peacefully counter W"BC"- we were there on the day that the President spoke at the university.)

Children participating, being led in love, encouraging others...

People gathered to pray, remember, and be silent together...

so much love, compassion... healing is already being ushered in... many blessings all around...

Moment of Silence, at the hospital

(my little sister, with the orange backpack)

And I'll end on with this picture.


These guys were inside the fire department, when the tornado swept over, taking off the roof and most of the walls. And so, when it had passed, what did they do? They got in their fire truck, which was still upright, and went on calls. They are still operating out of a gutted building that has a spray painted sign at the front, which reads, "station four, still taking calls."

Joplin has hope. They still need help. Be His arms, His hands and help in any way you can.


Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing! I was wondering how that went! Love you girl :)

Melissa said...

Whew, as a mom, seeing the picture of the destroyed crib outside what is left of a home, that did me in. I'm sitting here in tears, wishing I could come help, even if it was just to hand out hugs. Those firemen, what an amazing message, "still taking calls" even amid total destruction. They all have my prayers.

Amy R. Ha said...

We are praying. I'm glad you guys got the chance to lend a hand.