On May 22nd, an F5 tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Missouri leaving nothing behind. Both rescue workers and volunteers said that they have never seen a tornado do this much damage. There was nothing left for miles. No walls, no trees…nothing. Just miles of debris.
Here at K-Kountry, being only 2 hours away from the destruction in Joplin and 160 willing staff that had just arrived, we felt that we needed to go help. There were so many logistics to work out. How were we going to get everybody there and mobilized ? How were we going to catch up on our staff training? How were we going to feed everybody? And the list went on and on.
However, we knew that we needed to be obedient to the Lord’s calling. So, we loaded up all 160 staff on buses, made 350 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, threw every rake, shovel, blower, chainsaw, and gas can we owned into the pick-up, and headed to Joplin having no idea what we were about to encounter but trusting the Lord had gone before.
It will be a day that none of us will ever forget. We moved debris, helped sort through personal belongings, and cut down trees. However, we didn’t just go to Joplin to work. We went to love people. Our prayer was to be a “wave” of hope to the people of Joplin who lost everything. We cried with people. We listened to their stories. We fed their weary bodies. We prayed with them.
Our motto here at kamp is “One Heart at a Time” and we took that to Joplin. One city at a time. One neighborhood at a time. One home at a time. One family at a time. One heart at a time. Right before our eyes, we saw the Gospel being lived out. Among all the rubble, the people that we were able to help caught a glimpse of hope, of a better day coming because 160 selfless college students served them, loved them, and blessed them.
Our prayer was that God would provide divine interactions with people and He was so faithful. We were also able to connect with the Saunders family, a kamp family in Joplin who lost everything. At the end of the day, we got to tell them that all 3 kids were coming to kamp and that we had new trunks for them that were stocked with everything the needed. Let’s just say there were alot of smiles and tears of joy! It was a great way to end a day that none of us will ever forget.
A special thanks to McDonalds in Springfield for feeding our entire staff and to Samaritan’s Purse for helping us get mobilized there in Joplin. We are so grateful for your help.
We continue to pray for our friends in Joplin and feel so thankful for the opportunity to serve them in a very small way. One heart at a time!