Monday, May 23, 2011

Too Close to Home

Joplin, Missouri may be 350 miles from our parsonage in Central Iowa but the devastation brought by that tornado last night has hit too close to home.  In my email in-box this morning was a message from a colleague in Wichita, KS that the Slumberland store in Joplin was destroyed.  Fortunately all of our staff and their families are safe.

So then I get home and I find a report from the UM Reporter that one of our UMC churches was destroyed and another badly damaged.  Fortunately, they are also reporting that all of the UMC pastors and their families are safe.  As of this writing on Monday night, the death count is reported as “116 and rising”.  I am thankful that all of my “associates” are safe but I can’t help but feel that dull pain in my heart for what has happened in Joplin.

At least for now, all we can do is pray for those fine people.  Individuals and volunteer teams are urged not to self deploy at this time. Only professional emergency responders are being allowed to enter the damaged zone. There will be a large number of volunteer opportunities available after the area is secured.  I’m can’t speak for the Rev but I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a special offering next Sunday.  Nor would I be shocked to hear that the mission trip this summer has been rerouted to Missouri.

Our prayers are with the people of Joplin, MO tonight.  May God look over them and bring them . . .
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