Monday, May 23, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

I, like many of you, have been glued to my TV watching coverage of the devastation of the storms this year. The latest round that hit Joplin, MO yesterday, hit closer to home. You see, our pastor and his wife, along with Tyler (our Student Ministry Coordinator) and his wife Margo (Early Childhood Coordinator) spent several years there prior to coming to Champaign. They all attended Ozark Christian Church, and in fact, Margo told me today,
"Joplin, MO is where I fell in love with my husband, where I made my best friends and where I got my's so hard to see so much suffering there. But, we are so very thankful that our friends are okay."
Knowing that their friends and family, who thankfully are okay, have lost homes, businesses, vehicles, etc. really made me sad. I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what. Fortunately, my church made that easy for me! A member of our congregation donated the use of a semi-trailer, along with a driver, to take supplied down to Joplin. All we needed to do, was fill it!

I was actually home with Sean today, as he wasn't feeling well this morning. When he got a burst of energy this afternoon, he and I went through our pantry, bathrooms, closets, etc. to find items to donate. A lot of what was requested happened to be baby items, so my house was the place to be! I wanted to take this situation and use it as a learning experience for Sean. We talked about how God has blessed our family immensely, and how it was our time to help those who are in need. Although it was a little difficult trying to explain what a tornado is, he got the idea of very strong winds. I explained that those winds knocked down homes, schools, hospitals, churches, etc., so the things we were getting together were going to be taken to those people.

He was in complete awe! You could see it in his sweet eyes... trying to wrap his head around what I was saying. He listened, so intently, and told me "tell me the story again Mommy!" Once we finished, we loaded up the car and headed to church to drop off the items. Sean wanted to get out and see everything, and fortunately, there weren't many people there (yes, my child was still in his pajamas. He was sick after all!) We unloaded the items, and the next thing I know, this lady from the news wanted to interview me and Sean! YIKES! Are you kidding me??? My child is in his Mickey pajamas and I am a dirty, sweaty mess from packing boxes! Sure. What the heck.

Needless to say, I don't think those families in Joplin will care that I looked like hell and my child was wearing jammies at 4:00 p.m. But I can tell you that my heart, and Sean's, is full today knowing that we were able to help... even in a small way!

I ask that you all say a quick prayer for those who have been impacted by this tragedy, and continue to pray for them in the upcoming weeks. God is good!


mom said...

I was struck by the devastation in Joplin. Speechless. I give you so much credit for taking the initiative and doing something to help. That small random act of kindness will bring so much more to so many other people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!