|Massive destruction at hospital in Joplin MO|
There are as few things in all of nature as fearsome as a tornado. Sunday evening as many as 116 people died in Joplin MO as half-mile-wide tornado blasted much of this Missouri town off the map and slammed straight into its hospital.It was the nation’s deadliest single tornado in nearly 60 years and the second major tornado disaster in less than a month.National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes said the storm was given a preliminary label as an EF4 — the second-highest rating given to twisters. The rating is assigned to storms based on the damage they cause. Winds reached 190-198 miles per hour. At times, it was three-quarters of a mile wide.
A new friend of mine, Pastor Derrick serves the Way Fellowship in Kansas City. This is a new church plant of the Western Regional Conference of the Churches of God, General Conference. In many ways it is an atypical church for those of you expecting stained glass and steeples and preachers who look like–well preachers. But being a congregation on mission for Jesus, it believes in responding to human need, following God’s prompting and going where people need a hand of compassion. Here is a YouTube video Pastor Derrick made as they responded almost immediately to this disaster.
Pastor Derrick has been on the road tirelessly and sacrificially, part of the quiet army of volunteers who work alongside the FEMA workers and disaster relief crews. They are the extra hands and feet and heart that often fills in the gaps. Pastor Derrick wrote on Facebook Wednesday: “This week I have cried, hit my knees, hugged, kissed, embraced, asked why, shook my head in disbelief, held tight to faith, fed people, clothed people, prayed with people and loved people! It has been a long time since I felt this close to God!”
Since the first century, Christians have been on the ground bringing relief and hope where there are people in deep need. Despite the criticism heaped upon the institutional church, God’s people who are the church keep moving ans serving. Thank you Pastor Derrick. Even if people in Joplin never become a part of your church or any church; you have fulfilled the command of God, bringing God’s light into the darkness.