Photo of the Day: Tornado Destruction

As you all know, a devastating tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma on Monday. And two years ago yesterday, a horrific tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri. I have lots of friends and family in Oklahoma, brother-in-law lives in Joplin and I went to college about 30 minutes from there, so hearing about tornado destruction always strikes home. Even though I’ve lived in tornado alley my entire life and spent many occasions in basements during tornado warnings, I’ve never personally seen one. But I have seen the aftermath. I cannot pretend to understand what the people of Oklahoma are going through right now. There are tons of great organizations out there if you choose to make a donation, but two of the most reputable in my opinion are the Red Cross and UMCOR. UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated donations on the projects donors specify.

Gazing at a destroyed house during a mission trip to Joplin, Missouri in August 2011

Days 224-226: Joplin Tornado Cleanup

This weekend Jerod and I went on a mission trip to Joplin, Mo. to help with tornado cleanup. I hope these photos give you a glimpse of what a tornado can do. I have seen so many tornado destruction pictures in my lifetime, but none of them prepared me for how it looked in person. I know these photos don’t even begin to show the trauma these people went through. Yet talking to the Joplin residents, it’s amazing to see how resilient and grateful they all are. The rest of my photos are posted on facebook.

One of our pastors and his sleepy son saw us off Friday afternoon as we traveled to Joplin, Mo.
We cleaned up a family’s yard, even though rubble still surround it from all sides.
These flowers, growing amidst all the destruction, prove that life continues after tragedy.
The moon rises behind the Joplin high school, which is still in chaos. The kids will go to school in the mall and several other locations this year.
Our fellow helpers worked hard on painting the ceiling, as you can see.