THANKS TO RMYM FRIENDS DISASTER RELIEF
Participating in a disaster relief trip had been a desire of my heart for many years. As it appeared that all obstacles were going to be eliminated, I found that God was teaching me to trust in Him with uncertainties until departure time. A week in late April proved to be all and more of what I could expect from a fulfilled dream as I got to participate with Friends Disaster Relief in Joplin, MO.
My love for road trips was not diminished by 24 hours in a car with two other women resulting in bonds of friendship created over conversations, stories, books on tape, shared rooms, food, prayer, and devotions. All this in addition to working on the job site.
The hospitality we received upon arrival was lovely. These people were very accommodating and felt like old friends I had not seen in a long time.
This trip was a year after the #5 tornado hit Joplin, so new life was starting, trees were coming back to life, houses were being restored, but more of the disaster prevailed reminding us why we were there. Looking at pictures from right after the tornado hit left me speechless. I wondered how I would have responded being a survivor with my house completely destroyed. Listening to all the stories people told of how God had saved their lives was inspiring. Their attitudes of gratitude were overwhelming.
My job was painting and whatever else I could do. It was a joy to be with people who gave their time and skills with happy hearts. There were two young men who were unemployed at the time, but stepped out of their lives to bring hope to people in a disaster area. Their expressions conveyed they were glad to be there.
Our meals were prepared for us and I really looked forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a good thing to share our food with volunteers who were not as fortunate to have someone cooking for them.
Our leader made sure we did the best job possible in rebuilding this house that had been leveled and his work stood out from the rest of us as he seemed to work tirelessly. Hearing how radically his life changed after he gave his life to Christ was inspirational. All of us got to imbed a personal message into the foundations of this new home.
In waiting and trusting in our Lord God and Savior, I was bless with
1. new friends,
2. an appreciation for a feeling of welcome,
3. a broken heart for those affected by any natural disaster,
4. a capability to contribute the skills God has given me,
5. knowing the importance to sharing a meal, and
6. the realization that questions about relationships with Jesus make a joyful conversation.
A most treasured memory is the hope of the victims uplifting my soul.
Thank you to RMYM Friends Disaster Relief for fulfilling a dream. I look forward to my next trip.