I spent Thursday in Joplin, Missouri with a group from Journey Church International. We were there to help with relief efforts – using chainsaws to cut through debris, passing out water and hot food and praying with survivors who were sorting through the wreckage of their homes and possessions. I have literally never seen anything like it. An entire part of the city was just missing – everything leveled. The pictures do not do the massive amount of damage justice, but here’s a look:
For miles and miles, all you could see was debris. Paved driveways led up to a pile of mangled metal and wood where a house once stood.
Entire neighborhoods were just…gone.
The tornado uprooted trees and left them smashed on top of houses and cars.
The wind ripped away walls and peeled back linolium from kitchen and bathroom floors.
We saw cars thrown into houses,
and flipped over.
The “x” meant that the house had been searched for survivors.
Skylar, a five-year old I met who hid in the basement with her mom. This is all that is left of her house. Her mom cried as we prayed with her, just completely overwhelmed emotionally.
The tornado passed straight through the middle of Joplin, taking huge stores with it.
Those in orange are volunteers for Samaritans Purse. They are some of the first responders anytime a diasaster strikes. They help victims clean up, pray with them, and present them with a Bible. I love this ministry! These volunteers are “normal” people with normal jobs, who pause their lives in a time of need to let victims know they are loved!
The whole experience was so surreal. Experiencing this kind of devastation just puts life into perspective.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.Matthew 6:19-20