|Mother and son taking a break to|
pose in front of the water before
finishing the work in the
hot, hot sun.
Things I learned in Joplin
(in list form for easy reading and skimming)
1] Sometimes what people want is for you to take the time to listen to them and their stories. We weren't supposed to be working outside I can't (never have been able to) take the heat, but when we got there things were in chaos because of a wedding (see #2) and we were sent to work clearing a yard of debris. I helped, but rested often and talked with the owner of the house, who was an older lady. She was grateful that her husband and children and two dogs were safe, however, they were going to be selling their house, as their neighbors were all moving and they had no reason to stay. My friend, Kate, called this spirtual counseling. Later in the day, we also talked to several victims as we checked them in for aid and a church member turned volunteer who lost her car, but not her husband, when Home Depot was hit. He worked two jobs the other was at St. John's hospital, which was also hit. She said that he was going to take the severence and become a truck driver. And, although it was their only means of transportation, God had already given them another car, money for the trucking school and a family who was safe and well.
2] Even in the face of immense suffering people will still find joy. While we were there the church people were preparing for a wedding that was taking place in the sanctuary later that day. It was so interesting to come in sweaty and smelly to see people dressed beautifully for the wedding, some of which signed up to volunteering later. The church members also wanted them to continue with the celebration.
3] Even in the face of immense suffering people will still lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. While I was checking people in (a job my friends thought was my calling as I am a social butterfly and a people person) I was told to tell people how much aid they would be receiving and to ask were they lived
|In the cooler sorting the frozen food.|
|At the JFWC checking people in, some people only wanted to come in to shower.|