Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hope to see you when I get back.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The second person I want to talk about is a man named Lloyd. I mentioned him back on day 3.
I was so busy working in the cool of the evening that I failed to get any pictures of us clearing the place. We all got a lot done in a short time. We did take short water breaks, as it was still hard hot work but we were all very focused on helping Lloyd. As it got too dark to work safely anymore, we gathered together and prayed for Lloyd. As I mentioned, one of the boys wanted to give Lloyd a bible and was able to do that. Lloyd seemed really encouraged and touched that people were willing to work beside him amidst the rubble (probably literally and figuratively) all around him. Even though I did not get to say any more to him than my name, I was so glad to be part of a group effort to tangibly present the love God has for him.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
A few hours later, it was time for showers, breakfast devotionals those sort of things. The team went off in many different directions with a number of us going back to Joplin Family Worship Center for various assignments. I wanted to volunteer inside for the day at their distribution center. The rain had not really cooled down things all that much and I didn't want SD in the 110 degree heat again. Especially since Friday we hoped to be doing some outside work and I thought a day in the AC would be just the thing.
When we got there the distribution center was filled up so it looked like another day in the clothing tent. I am usually not the don't take no for an answer guy. But, I really felt like going in and see if they could make room for 2 more. Hey, 1 of them is pretty small. I finally found someone who knew who the person in charge was. She said that they were trying to help a guy who might have heat stroke and could I sit down for a minute while they sort that out.
It turns out I was sitting next to the heat stroke guy. His name was Taylor , a guy working at the center, who had heat stroke a few weeks before and was not recuperating well. I asked him if I could pray for him and I did. After a few minutes I walked into the hallway and saw the supervisor trying to figure out who would drive Taylor to Urgent Care which they figured would only take a couple hours. I thought to my self that Urgent Care would be a good enough place to be for a few hours, it would have AC and we would be helping someone in need. So I offered for SD and I to accompany Taylor to Urgent Care. They took me up on my offer and then something strange happened. SD did not want to go.
Spider Droid and quite enjoyed helping in the clothing tent with the other kids the day before and wanted to do that again. Providentially the group we worked with the day prior, was working again at the clothing tent. They were very willing to let Spider work with them while I was helping Taylor.
On a missions trip it is easy to spiritualize everything. However, I really feel that God put on my heart to keep SD in the AC so that I could
So, I drove Taylor, in his car (the people at JFWC did not want him driving alone), and SD sorted shoes with his new friends. Taylor and I talked in the car how his own house was affected in the tornado. The house was able to be fixed and his home owners insurance was enough to fix it.
Cutting to the chase I was at Urgent Care for more like 5 hours than 2, Taylor and I waited for about an hour and a half before he was seen. Then it seemed like all the people waiting after him were released before he was. While I waited I watched the View, and then countless hours of CNN. At the time the big story was the plummeting stock market (This was right after the debt ceiling was raised and right before the Country's credit rating was downgraded.) The whole Joplin trip had affected me in a way, that the news was not so important to me.
After Taylor was seen, I kept waiting for him to come out. I didn't want to say anything because the people at the desk were so very busy. I just watched and checked in with the people working with SD every hour or so. After 4 0r 5 people who came in after Taylor were released I checked at the desk. They had just started an IV to help hydrate him. They let me go see him and he advised me that his wife was coming by to see him and to drive me back as he would be there a few more hours.
About an hour after that Taylor's wife drove me home. She told me how Taylor was not taking it easy after the heat stroke. After she took me back to JFWC, I prayed for her and then went to see Spider Droid. He was still working at the shoes and didn't even really miss me. He told me about his experiences and was very pleased with how he had helped a boy try on roller skates and shoes and find pairs in his size. .
On a missions trip it is easy to spiritualize everything. However, I really feel that God put on my heart to keep SD in the AC so that I could take Taylor to Urgent Care and that SD could minister in the clothing tent. He was confident that God had sent him to Joplin to help that boy get shoes. I am inclined to agree with him.
There is still a bunch of Day 4 beyond Urgent Care and shoe shopping. So come back tomorrow for Ice Buckets and Wheel Barrows.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I have chosen to share these thoughts in this week's carnival of home schooling. The plumber's comments probably had nothing to do with home education. But home education permeates through our life. Home education is a good thing going.
For more COH click here.
Next Time: Joplin Day 4
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
To those who are regular readers of this blog. You know it's usually not all about Joplin and journals. For a little return to what passes for normal on these pages, I have decided to participate in a meme called Two Questions Thursday over at Self Sagacity at the end of this post.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
After breakfast and a short devotional, we prayer walked around the property asking God to continue to use this place and people for His kingdom.
After that, we hit the road once again hoping to reach Joplin by day's end. The thing is, this time we actually did.
Just a little sidebar about delays: Delays are what we call them, I am not sure that God calls them that. When we left Faith Ares on Monday, few of us had heard about Cornerstone Farms, and none of us planned to stay there. We planned to travel 1 day, work 4, and return on Saturday. I think God wanted us to experience being helped when we were in need just prior to helping others in need.
Perhaps you feel like you should be doing something different in your life and God is somehow got you on a holding pattern. As many of you know, I would rather not be the one home schooling my kids. Amy is more suited to it, but I have been unable to find a job that would allow her to stay at home and do the job she loves. So often I feel like our family is in a holding pattern.
After we took off from Cornerstone Farms we came to the Missouri/Illinois border. This of course brings two things to mind: the gateway arch and marshmallows. Well maybe not marshmallows. We have a family tradition of shouting marshmallow as we cross state lines. We made the other vehicles aware of this "fun" little eccentricity and marshmallow was yelled by many.
The rest of the trip there was relatively uneventful except that we were driving in 110 degree heat and the bus AC decided to break down. Windows, it turns out, are more than just a computer platform. You can open windows up in a vehicle, and a cool breeze will circulate in said vehicle. I guess they do have an app for that.
We arrived at our destination late on Tuesday afternoon. Lighthouse First Christian Church in Carthage, MO. Carthage is a neighboring town of Joplin. FCC housed us and fed us breakfast and dinner on the trip.
After using amenities like showers and ping pong tables, we had dinner. Then the pastor's wife took many of us to see the tornado affected areas of Joplin.
Team members who were there in June attested to how much had changed since they had last been there. The devastation was still palpable. We drove by the Joplin High School that had been hit hard by the tornado. You may have already heard this story but it is still worth repeating. The sign on the high school was ripped apart and the O and the P were all that remained in Joplin. After the storm someone duct taped an H before the O and an E after the P, so the sign now read HOPE HIGH SCHOOL.
I did not get a clear picture of that sign but did get one of this.
One of many signs encouraging faith in the midst of disaster.
We stopped our car and saw a team just finishing work for the day.
Then we visited a church that had major damage done in the tornado. Here is a video of me explaining the damage . . .
While we were there we discovered 1 banner and several hymnals including the pianist's hymnal that were just sitting there outside in what was once the inside of the church. While we were there, a family who attends the church came over. They told our team a little more of what happened that night. There were people in the church that night but no one was killed or I believe injured. We gave the hymnal to that family, who said they would give it to the pianist.
As we drove back to our home for the week, I had a feeling of being both overwhelmed and inspired by what I saw. I debriefed with Spider Droid on the way back to see how he was feeling by what he saw. The church we saw had made an impact on him as had many of the other sights. He tried to describe it to his sister on the telephone but the words didn't do justice to what he had seen. Tomorrow,I thought, we could start putting some of those words into actions.Next Time: Perception and Reality
Monday, August 8, 2011
I did take some pictures and videos. So, I will try to incorporate those here.
August 1, 2011 DAY ONE
Early A.M. wake up and head to Faith Acres. I had packed the truck the night before so Spider Droid and I just got in the truck and headed off. 15 of the 19 of our team members met at Faith Acres, the organization that was sending us to Joplin. Faith Acres is run by a family that attends the same church as my family. They are an organization dedicated to meeting the spiritual and physical needs in McHenry County and all over the world. This trip to Joplin, Mo was their second such trip since the Tornado hit. Several of the team members including our team leaders went just weeks after the tornado hit. The remaining 4 members of our team had left a few days earlier.
As the 15 travelers got to Faith Acres we packed, prayed and parted for JMO.
The first few hours went wonderfully. We were all excited about the trip that we thought would bring us to Joplin sometime that night. Many of us did not know each other well, or at all, and we took the opportunity to become acquainted. Before you knew it we were taking the first of many scheduled gas and bathroom stops. Soon after near Bloomington, Illinois we had the first of many unscheduled stops.
One of our 3 vehicles, a bus lent to us by a local church, had a tire basically fall off. Because of God's great mercy, the driver got us safely to the side of the road. This was around 9:30 a.m. and we did not get back on to the road for almost 6 hours. The majority of our team spent most of that time at a nearby McDonald's.
We had 3 children on the team driving with us under the age of 10. They were such a blessing to us, because instead of being whiny, complainy and downright miserable they showed remarkable patience and understanding. Yes one was my son, but the two others were younger than him, and behaved just as well as SD.
In fact one had this experience of joy while we waited . . .
So after the bus was fixed we got back on the road and calculated that if nothing else occurred we could possibly make it into Joplin late that night, early the next morning. It was hot out, we were tired, but we were ready to roll.
Of course this was not the end of our trials. Another one of the vehicles began to overheat a little, we were cussed out by a mechanic, who we were told would rotate our lugnuts. Not long after that the tire we thought was fixed started smoking. So there we were, not even yet in Missouri, maybe 5 -6 hours away from Joplin, stranded, and it was past 7 p.m. We had been on the road in the plus 100 degree temps for more than 12 hours. Some of the team members had gotten little to no sleep the night before in anticipation of the trip.
To use clothing metaphors: No towels had been thrown in, but the other shoe had certainly dropped. What we needed, was to be blanketed in the grace of God.
That blanket turned out to be a horse blanket.
A man I lived and ministered with in Russia, nows lives in the Illinois side of the St. Louis area and we "happened" to break down on the Illinois side of the St. Louis area so I called him up and told him of our troubles. Soon after that, he and 3 of his children drove up to the truck stop we were at. He offered for us to stay at his home which houses a horse ministry. Also, the people who had fixed the bus the first time drove several hours to my friend's house and corrected their work at no additional charge.
Horse Lessons were still going on in the darkness as we rolled/limped in.Everyone went from beleagured to refreshed as they experienced the calmness of a horse farm. It was especially great for me to spend time with my dear friend. Their home/faciility easily housed all 15 of us. SD and I stayed in one of the familie's rooms and Droid was down before I could finish 2 pages of the Star Wars book I was reading him. I fell asleep shortly after that.
Next Time: One journey ends, Another begins.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Here is a video of the actual tornado.
Much more later!