Volunteer workers have been making their way to the devastated region around Joplin Missouri for weeks. One volunteer worker, who blogs under the name of “Kirkepiscatoid” describes what her morning was like at a relief center just outside of the most damaged area of the city:
“Almost all of us had name tags, but the atmosphere was like a big twelve step meeting, all of us using first names only, and discussing things like “powerlessness.”. Some of the volunteers felt very overwhelmed at how little a dent they seemed to be making in such a mess. Many of the volunteers that were local were off work–some of them didn’t even HAVE a workplace at the moment, and were awaiting instructions as to when they would be returning to work, or where it would be. Some knew that they no longer had a job–several small businesses were destroyed and it would be unlikely if they reopened.
I was surprised at how reticent many of the clients were to simply take all of what they needed or even admit they needed it. I vividly remember a very haggard-looking young woman with a baby in arms and a little boy who looked to be three or so. I was helping find the little boy a pair of shoes. I offered her a second pair. “Can he HAVE two?”. I assured her, “Certainly. It’s going to rain, here, he will need these little boots, too.”. I was assisting a woman in the grocery room and noticed she kept shaking her head when I offered her canned goods. She had three small children in tow. I asked her if she could cook or had a microwave where she was living. She did. I said, “Ma’am, these babies need some good vegetables, not just cereal and granola bars.”. Then in a split second I had a flash thought. “Ma’am, do you need a can opener?” It was then that tears came down her eyes and she started sniffling.
I smiled and said, “Well we can certainly fix THAT, too!” So I got her a key-drive can opener and some canned goods. As I gave her the sack, I put both of my hands around hers, and said, “Please–ask for what you need. Don’t ever be ashamed to ask. I am grateful you are alive today to be here and touch MY life the way you have today. God bless you.”. It was then I received the first of many hugs I would be exchanging throughout the day,”
Read the full note here.
Let us pray for all the people across the Midwest who have been working so hard to recover from so many weather related disasters this Spring… And let us pray for volunteers from all over the country who are streaming in to help.