In my previous post about the Joplin tornado, I guessed that the Community of Christ chapel located at 1212 Goetz Blvd escaped tornado damage because it was north of the tornado's path. I am pleased to report that I guessed right.
A graphic showing the path of the tornado is now available HERE. As of 4:50 P.M. on May 24th, the death toll has now reached 122, with 750 people injured and an estimated 8,000 structures damaged or destroyed.
The information does not come from official media sources or the official Community of Christ website; instead, this information was posted on a Community of Christ discussion forum. The following message from Apostle Rick Maupin was posted:
I was just on the phone with Karen Tillery who is now in Joplin. At this point we are not aware of any church members who have sustained any personal injuries. There are some members who have lost their homes and businesses. There are still some members whom Karen and her team have been unable to contact. Phone service is still somewhat sporadic, therefore communications are somewhat limited.
You may have seen the report on CNN - they are claiming 89 fatalities at this time.
Our church is on the north side of town and was out of the path of the tornado. At this point it is not needed for an emergency purposes.
Many are asking if they can help by traveling into Joplin. Karen stated that the emergency response teams are asking that only trained medical personnel attempt to come into Joplin at this time. They are projecting that it will be 3-5 days before any significant clean up will begin.
Below is information from Karen:
If you are interested in volunteering, you must go through the Red Cross. They are asking that people NOT just show up. The Missouri National Guard was called in yesterday. Their efforts need to be focused on victims and NOT on directing volunteers. Here is the website of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency: http://www.mo.gov/05222011joplintornadoes/
This website has a link for people to report being "safe and well": https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
It also has a link to volunteer with the Greater Ozarks Red Cross and one to follow them on Twitter for the latest updates. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on Missouri Southern State campus which is just a few blocks from our church. They are asking for people to give blood and make donations.
Your Friend in Christ,
Another message from the local Mission Center President Karen Tillery was posted:
Thank you for your continued prayers and offers of help. I am in Joplin and have spent the day helping local leaders check on members and friends. There are still a few people unaccounted for, one lady was found in her basement and taken to the hospital, two homes were completely destroyed, one or two others have severe damage and two businesses of church members were destroyed. Those who lost their homes have places to stay. The church building is not being used for shelter at this time because that area is under a boil order and there are still severe storms going through the area. The church does not have a storm shelter.
Community of Christ is generously sharing aid for food, clothing and shelter to affected church members and friends. You can help by donating to the church at www.cofchrist.org or giving to the Red Cross. The Red Cross is accepting volunteers and needs blood donated. Here is the website of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency: http://www.mo.gov/05222011joplintornadoes/
Please continue to pray for all of the people affected by the tornado and those assisting with rescue, recovery and clean up. If there is anything else you can do to help I will let you know.
Community of Christ officials are weighing the possibility of allowing the Joplin MCC Church a place to worship until they get back on their feet. It will depend upon whether or not their church is needed as an emergency facility.