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Be On Mission: Hope in Joplin

July 30th, 2011 at 11:47 am

On May 22nd, an EF5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri resulting in widespread death and destruction. In response, Texas Baptists is sending a team of about 160 volunteers to meet the needs of residents there. Follow the team by reading field reports from Elizabeth Biedrzycki on texasbaptists.org/shareFacebook, and Twitter. This mission opportunity is the first in a series of projects soon to be available at beonmission.org, Texas Baptists’ online global missions locator.

Every Joplin resident has a story to tell.  Some stories are hopeful, but some are extremely gruesome and full of pain.  Many residents described their experience on the evening of the tornado as a terrible nightmare.  A family losing their home, a woman losing her most prized possession, a father losing his son, there is story after story of loss.  However, hope is just as present.  With as many painful stories that were shared, there were just as many hopeful outlooks on this harsh reality.

Many survivors I spoke with shared how hope is what is sustaining the Joplin community.  Trees are beginning to show life again.  Flowers are blooming in the midst of areas of destruction.  As Curt Angell from Denton, Texas said, “God is displaying healing all over this city.”  Walls have been destroyed, possessions have been blown away, people have been lost but hope is prevailing.

God is working.  He’s working in the lives of the survivors and he’s working in the lives of all who volunteer.  Believers from all over Texas and the country have been united in Joplin as he works through them to bring hope to this community.  Simultaneously, he’s humbling the hearts of these believers as they get a taste of what tragedy in this world can do to people.  God is good.  He is alive and active.  May churches continue to be motivated to share Christ’s love in this dark world.

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