I need to start off today by apologizing for the “technical part” of yesterday’s post.  I don’t know why, but much of the punctuation was gone when it went live and the link didn’t work!  So weird!

I was visiting Matt, Anne, and Rilyn yesterday and they don’t have internet access at their house so I didn’t know it all went haywire!  Today’s post should read better!

I took a blogging sabbatical during the first few weeks of August.  During that time, we moved our daughter, Erica, to Ft. Hood, TX to await her hubby’s return from Iraq (he returned safe and sound at the end of August.)

We had to drive right through Joplin, MO, on our trek from Illinois to Texas and back. With the tornado clean up going on in Joplin, MO, we felt it was simply wrong to drive through Joplin and not stop to help.

So on our way back to Illinois, Mark and I and our two boys stopped to donate a day to help.  We once again partnered with Grace Baptist Church in Joplin. They have a very organized effort to mobilize volunteers to get the work done that needs to be done.

They assigned us to work with Dan.  Dan is working to restore his house…one of the few in his neighborhood that are even able to be restored.

In fact from the time that Erica and I volunteered there in late June to the day we were there in August, so much had changed.  In late June most homes were still like the tornado left them….in pieces. In August, most houses had been leveled.  Entire neighborhoods empty of homes.

Dan needed help getting the soaked carpet out of his house.  He also needed a supplies list created to get the house closed in from the weather.  In one day we were able to get both jobs completed.

I spoke with the pastor at Grace Baptist and he gave me some stats on what happened in Joplin.

19,000 people have lost their homes
18,000 damaged cars were removed from town
7,000 homes destroyed (not counting moderate damage)
225 mph winds in the tornado
160 people died

Grace Baptist Church has served over 25,000 meals, headed up over 2,000 rebuilding projects, and managed the donations of over 7,700 people.

While that is an enormous undertaking, they are just beginning to rebuild Joplin.  It will take years.

They are still in need of financial donations.  You can donate online and see specific needs here.

Will you pause today and pray for the people of Joplin?  Will you ask God if there is any way you can help?

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