Monday, May 23, 2011
no more tornadoes, please
Tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fire and flood... oh yes, and that volcano... What next?
I've caught up with most of my friends via Facebook now, so I am much comforted. A longtime friend's condo complex was hit in Minneapolis, but she says she got lucky.
For those of you who have not caught up on your news, here is a link to some extended video news coverage: Missouri tornado leaves 89 dead - Today Show, Monday morning. Obviously, the death toll will be rising.
I've been reading some of the news on Joplin, Missouri, and wondering how we can help. Obviously, we can pray. People with financial resources can give. I'm also wondering if parishes will be able to send people to help clean up and rebuild much the way they did (do!) after Katrina. The Episcopal diocese there did much to coordinate this.
To that end, I'd like to pass along a link to the website of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri:
There are updates there, as well as the following message about needs yet to be determined:
"We know even less about the assistance that will be needed in the near future, though emergency housing will definitely be high on the list of initial needs. More definition of needs will pour forth soon. I speak from experience when I say, “Rest assured, the needs will become evident soon, as soon as disaster response teams and community leaders are able to begin ascertaining damage and needs.” I base this on my own experience of losing a church building in Jackson, TN to a tornado in May 2003 (the entire City of Jackson was also affected of course). As needs are defined, we, the Diocese of West Missouri, will respond with all speed and will muster all available resources. Financial contributions to assist with immediate and long-term needs may be sent to the diocesan office, checks made payable to Diocese of West Missouri, with note, “Joplin Tornado Relief Fund.”"
I trust local coordination will be best able to respond to needs of the community. Certainly they will need less overhead and will know the people affected personally. Perhaps this is a place to start.
So pray for those affected: not only those who have lost families and friends and homes, but also those who are responding to the disaster, who must be exhausted and traumatized to some extent themselves. Pray for anyone yet stuck in the wreckage. And pray that more stormy weather will pass them by.