Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joplin, Missouri Tornado - #2939 - Joplin Devastion Leaves Them 'Stunned,' 'Speechless' - Baptist Press (2) Joplin Church Just 'Helping People Like Jesus Would,' - Baptist Press

The sky over Joplin, Mo., continued to spit light rain and clouds threatened on the horizon four days after one of the nation’s deadliest tornadoes plowed through the heart of the city. Search and rescue teams continued their hopeful trek through miles of debris. And through it all, a spirit of resolute hope spurred on this city of 50,000. In the middle of the work clearing rubble were Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers by the score. Chainsaw crews from Missouri and Oklahoma clocked hundreds of hours helping churches and residents clear tons of fallen trees. "I’m just stunned today, speechless. Please keep the people of Joplin in your prayers," said Missouri Baptist Convention interim executive director Jay Hughes, who was touring the site of the devastation along with North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell.  Read more........

Joplin Church Just 'Helping People like Jesus Would,' - Baptist Press - Pastor John Swadley was still huddled in the crawl space under his house when he began forming the plan for Forest Park Baptist Church's response to the tornado.  Swadley and his family carried a radio with them as they took cover the night of May 22. The local station soon began feeding live reports of the tornado's destruction. They were spared. Joplin was not.  "I knew at that time we were dealing with a disaster of major proportions," he said.  Forest Park is now at the heart of the national relief effort for Joplin. The church is coordinating food, volunteer assignments and donations in the aftermath of an EF-5 tornado (winds of more than 200 miles per hour) that killed at least 125 and injured 750, with 9 rescued and an unknown number of people still missing.  Read more.......

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