As I write this the rest of the family is still in bed. Last night we returned from three days of hard work, assisting tornado victims in southern Indiana.
What we saw was mind boggling, houses, gone, trees snapped off like pencils, debris, it was all very surreal. I knew it would be bad, but could not have imagined the devastation we saw.
Our group consisted of 30 volunteers, from three local churches, half of which were teenagers on spring break. We had six chain saws, and lots of hands to pull brush and pick up debris.
All told we worked on 5 sites, but there is a LOT more to be done.
There were volunteers from all over, including many from Joplin, Missouri, who said they knew what it was like and came to help.
While there was a lot of loss of property and life, there was also something else we saw…hope.
We heard it in the home owner’s voices, we felt it though their tears, and we saw it in the efforts of so many strangers working together, volunteering their time to help those in need.
For us though this trip might not have happened were it not for a radio talk show host, I believe is name is Mike Mallory. I heard him, in the days following the tornados, making fun of the people of the south for foolishly praising God after He had just made them a “grease spot” on the highway. My first inclination was to be offended, but then I realized that I could either sit on my sofa and steep in my offense, or I could get off of my back side and do something. I made a couple phone calls to figure out who was coordinating the relief efforts (contact information listed below) sent out a call via email and church announcements and had a great response. I’ve thought about it a lot since and it occurs to me that the Church, spends way too much time being offended when the world acts like the world, and not enough making sure that the Church acts like the Church. After all, I could hold to my offense all day long (and maybe even be justified in it), and accomplish nothing. Or I can brush it off and serve others in need. Mission work is most often not about preaching at all, it’s about loving and serving others in need. (1 John 3:16-18) We also had several people at Hanover United Methodist Church serve us so that we could serve others, the gracious folks there provided hot meals, showers and a place to sleep.
So have you ever thought that you don’t have what it takes to be a part of a mission trip? Do you have a chain saw? Two hands that can pull brush and pick up debris, can you cook? Then game on!
If you would like to find out how you can serve the tornado victims in Indiana and Kentucky call the Metro United Way 502-599-8556. To see a few pictures from our trip visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/tomfryemusic