On Thursday, the men of our team returned to the Childress home to continue their work project. The deck is 90 percent completed. The house still needs siding on half of it; but much progress is being made.
The women of our team ventured out to join other ministries and volunteer teams today. The women went to several different locations to assist in debris removal and clean up. They happened upon one destroyed home that had not yet been cleared out by any volunteer team. The homeowner, Kyle, was out of town when the tornado struck. Since Kyle returned to Joplin, he has been spending all of his time volunteering in the community relief work that he hasn’t had time to clean up his own property.He was grateful the team stopped by his home to help out.
The ladies have also partnered with another ministry and they asked me to come check it out. This multi-faceted ministry has set up camp beside what remains of Joplin High School. This ministry provides free lunch and dinner to volunteers and local residents. It also builds free tool sheds from reclaimed scrap lumber damaged in the storm. Many residents lost their sheds and this is a way to replace them.
Pastor Chris Newby runs Action Missions. He is the man overseeing this “tent city” ministry. He told me that more than 500 people are served lunch every day. I believe it because I grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for the ministry over four hours straight Thursday. There was a sea of people at lunch time and it took several hours to get them all fed. Pastor Chris also provides prayer and counseling for people who ask.
The shell of the Joplin High School is a grim reminder to what may have happened if the tornado had struck on a weekday rather than a Sunday. Out of the rubble of the high school, hope rises for those in need through the ministry in the parking lot.
Today is our last work day. Everyone is hot and tired but there is no complaining. All feel called to be here this week to serve our fellow man.