The youth group literally pushing over the shed... The owners of this property survived by sitting in their bathroom. This shed was the only thing standing besides the bathroom that they were in.
Jojo worked so hard. He is sleeping good right now. The Joplin Hospital is in the background. We were told that it was moved 6 inches off of it's foundation during the tornado and will need to be destroyed.
The whole crew after demolishing the very last thing on this property... Some of the kids dug up a small tree from the property and took it to the owners at their new place. I heard they were so touched by this and came by the church to thank all the kids. We had already left for home, so we didn't get to meet them.
Yesterday we worked to remove nails and screws from salvageable wood. This wood is being used to build sheds for people who are living in FEMA housing right now. The wood is also being used by people who can't afford to go out and buy new wood for construction projects. This was Louis' 5th trip to Joplin to help.
We were blessed by our time in Joplin again. This is the first time that myself and the little ones were able to go. Tracy, our churches youth director, was so gracious to invite our whole family along. The youth kids were a great help with our little ones.
There is still SO MUCH work to do there. There are things that literally STILL seem untouched since the tornado, like the hospital, high school, and various businesses. But there is so much that has been done. It looks so much cleaner in general. The devastation is still incredible to me. The tornado was a mile wide and was on the ground for 13 miles. Crazy!
We stayed at the same host church that they have in the past. And let me say that these people are stinking incredible. Man do they go over the top in serving those workers who come to help in Joplin. It is inspiring. The young man who is in charge of all of the volunteers that come through their church, has a home that is totally in tact... but he has been sleeping on a cot in the fellowship hall for the last 5 months. He said he just couldn't see sleeping in his bed, when everyone else is giving up their beds to come help and serve his city. I don't know too many people that would do that... He is so humble. These are some amazing people with amazing servant hearts... The stories these people tell are absolutely gut wrenching... Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin, as the healing is going to take a long time...
Another kind of fun thing, was that Extreme Home Makeover is in Joplin right now building 7 homes in 7days. We were just about 5 blocks behind the street where they were doing the 7 houses. We got to go and check out what they were doing. It was strange to see 7 beautiful, but somewhat modest homes up in an area that was totally wiped out.
Because we were already working in the restricted area for the show we were able to walk right over and watch for a little bit. Louis said the guy right next to him went to church with 2 of the families that were having homes built for them by the show. He said one had lost 1 child the other 2. Louis said he was crying just telling him about them. They had big pictures of each family outside the home that was being built for them. Honestly, they are all smiling, but immediately all I could think of was the trauma that they have gone through...I can't imagine... It is so neat to see so many working to help Joplin... but the helping is still going to be needed for so long.
I was talking with some others about it, and there is just something about that city and all that they have gone through that sort of gets under your skin, and you can't help but want to go back...