by Dawn King
I just returned from Joplin, MO. I went with three of my friends to help those affected by the EF-5 tornado. I have heard and read so many strange comments that I felt as compelled to write about, as I felt about going to Joplin.
GOD DOES EXIST!
1. Yes, this is a personal decision but the evidence is so overwhelming. If you are unsure, I challenge you to seek Him out personally.
2. God doesn’t create or send tornadoes anymore than He creates or sends earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding or droughts. God created a perfect world, a perfect environment. He then created man to be a steward of His creation. God did not create man to be a robot. Man was given a free will to choose. Man chose to sin. Sin entered into the world through man. Man’s downward spiral into destruction continued until there was only eight people that were moral and had a relationship with God. Yes, I am referring to the “Flood of Noah”. Because of the flood the world is no longer in its original form and the after affects of the flood are tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, droughts and other “acts of nature”.
3. God works through these disasters. The media covered everything but what the real story of the Joplin tornado truly is. It is a story of God’s miraculous Hand of Protection. This EF-5 tornado that was up to a mile wide and affected a 4-6 mile swath, hit a town of 270,000 people with only 123 confirmed dead – nothing less than miraculous! I heard hundreds of stories from people who knew God intervened for them! I have account after account of survivors showing me where they took refuge only to come out after the storm past and find the only thing standing were the four walls they were in. The rest of the house was totally destroyed. Yes, by their own lips people openly praised God for His protection.
GOD DOES HEAR OUR PRAYERS!
4. Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin. I was part of the initial assessment team that went in and assessed what the homeowners needed. Before I would leave I would ask if I could pray with them. Without exception they All wanted prayer. I remember a particular family that had suffered damage but it wasn’t a total loss. They had 12 family members and friends helping them when I got there. When I asked if I could pray with them they stopped the work and gathered everyone together to pray in the front yard. Does it take a tornado for us to gather in front yards to pray? We used to be a praying nation. A strong nation.
THE LOVING HAND OF GOD
Just a side note… Total strangers from around our beloved county arrived to help. The compassion, love, tenderness and eagerness to help those affected by the tornado was another Miracle I was able to witness. I saw a Hispanic group of about 50 from a church in Texas hold hands and pray before starting out to help. What I thought was two boys affected by the tornado was actually college students that took a bus from Tulane University to come and help. They were filthy and exhausted from their work. I witnessed individual families that made sandwiches and rode down the streets giving them out to volunteers. Two teenagers on bikes that handed out water from a backpack. A “health tent” was set up to give free tetanus shots. Yes, I took advantage of that one! Twenty-four packs of water was on the corner of every street. People just took what they needed and gave what they could. I witnessed several truckloads of men with chainsaws and yard tools who would jump out and ask if they could help the homeowner remove trees and debris only to move to the next house when finished. Thank you wasn’t necessary. Just on to the next American that needed help. Tide detergent sent an eighteen wheeler with portable washers and dryers to do laundry for free for the victims. A man and woman that owned a feed store sent an eighteen wheeler full of dog food. Volunteers and victims alike ate from the hand of total strangers that gave their money and time to do what they could. The distribution centers around the city were constantly being restocked by the hand of strangers from around the country. Yes, this was a great tragedy that I personally will never forget. But believe me, it’s not tears of sorrow I feel through these words. It’s tears of joy. I have absolutely seen and felt the loving hand of God.
I believe Dawn’s first hand account of the many miracles she and others witnessed in Joplin is an expression of God’s compassion and mercy! The challenges facing America are many, but no matter how insurmountable they appear, the challenges we face will not rise above the freedom loving Americans who tamed this land, and the God who made it all possible.
Joplin will return – God never left.