Town’s Spirit

Even in the Hardest of the days preceding

English: Joplin High School following 2011 tornado

English: Joplin High School following 2011 tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the Joplin Tornado. Joplin always had a spirit of just jumping right on in and getting things done. Fellow Joplinites were encouraging one another. Friends and families were salvaging together. It united a town on the front, and showed a nation that pulling together and helping each other is the right thing to do. We all pulled together to show the nation that nothing is going to knock us down. It brought out a spirit of generosity. A spirit of kindness. A spirit of Hope in the midst of dire circumstances.

The EF5 may not have helped many people but in turn they turned toward God. Some are still struggling to get back on their feet, but this is where Mission Joplin Forest Park comes in. They are set up to help those in need. Those who are still struggling to get back onto their feet. Yet God is wanting part of their life to becoming His child. They take each and every family who needs help to shop in a store with no cash register. They get the items they need for a bit. Survivors can go back once a month, but please check @ the following site (www.forestpark.tv) to be sure. There is a blog/site for them too.

Most of all I want to talk about Spirit. There were many different things going on in joplin during this time. A town in which a third of it was destroyed, and in hindsight, we didn’t let our spirits get us down but continued to climb further than ever before.

Following the Storm there was a tree painted. This tree is called the Spirit of Joplin Tree.

Spirit Tree in Joplin, MO

This tree was done by the local artists who saw the Spirit of Joplin climbing up from the ruins of the area. Yet it is a good reminder that we need to be spirit filled when serving in a town’s devastation. We as volunteers need to have a spirit of kindness toward those who have suffered. Yet we need to extend grace when serving in a devastated area. It is hard to serve I know but there should be no excuses to those working, while still going through the emotions that have been running crazily since that night. As Volunteers we don’t know what they have gone through nor know where they are in their grief.

Grace must be an extension of us when we serve. Even when we are tired. We mustn’t take it out on somebody, and even when we are tired. There should be no excuse. It has happened to a few people I know including me. Grace is something that We need to pray before we even head into the disaster zone or out shopping in the town that was devastated by the tornado or hurricane.

This reminds me of a hymn. A hymn I remember singing as a child growing up.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, 
	grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! 
	Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, 
	there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. 
Refrain:
	Grace, grace, God's grace, 
	grace that will pardon and cleanse within; 
	grace, grace, God's grace, 
	grace that is greater than all our sin! 

2.	Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, 
	threaten the soul with infinite loss; 
	grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, 
	points to the refuge, the mighty cross. 
	(Refrain) 

3.	Dark is the stain that we cannot hide. 
	What can avail to wash it away? 
	Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, 
	brighter than snow you may be today. 
	(Refrain) 

4.	Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, 
	freely bestowed on all who believe! 
	You that are longing to see his face, 
	will you this moment his grace receive? 
	(Refrain) 

I am wanting to Concentrate on the refrain mainly, because of the wording. Reminds each one of us as to how God’s Grace is so much more. He pardons our sin. He cleanses us from our sin. His grace is sufficent for us.

New International Version (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

If we let the power of God rest and be bestowed upon us, even in our weakness Christ will be glorified.

Now as we each go and face the disaster in which God has called us  to be in. Remember

1. grant grace when you work with a survivor

2. grant grace when you explore the town, you may never know when you come into contact with a survivor

3. pray how you will respond to others in the devastation of the town.

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