Besides being a member of my local church (Avondale Baptist), I am the outreach minister for the online ministry, Master’s Harbor.org. In May of 2011, Joplin, MO was devastated by an EF5 tornado. Our top staff felt that the Lord wanted us in Joplin, so off we went: three men, me, and two trucks filled with coffee and water. We had no idea what was in store for us other than what we had seen on TV or heard from my husband and daughter’s colleagues who are police officers who went down to help.
When we got there and drove into town all seemed normal until we topped a hill. We all said “oh, my Lord…” because all you could see was utter devastation. It looked like what I imagined Japan looked like after the dropping of the Atom bomb.
We immediately started looking for people to minster to. On the second day we stopped to talk with an elderly lady and her grandson. She was sitting in her car sobbing while he tried to find anything in the pile that used to be her home. I sat down on the floorboard of her car and wrapped her in my arms. I asked if all her family was ok, if they all had lost their homes, and so forth. To each answer she said yes. Thirty-two family members had lost their homes. Her brother was scheduled to have heart surgery on the following Tuesday at the hospital that had been blown to sheds.
I told her that I could not explain why God would allow this to happen, but for the fact that they all got out alive she should praise Him. If she never found one thing that she recognized, she should praise because her memories were in her heart and mind. On and on the conversation went. When I asked to pray with her she said yes.
In November, Women of Faith was in Kansas City. Our church always attends. When we went out for dinner this little lady walked up to me and asked, “Are you Jacque from Kansas City?”
I said, “Yes . . . and you’re from Joplin.” She went on to tell me that almost all of her family had rebuilt their homes . . . but there was more to the story. There was something I didn’t know: She said that before I met her that neither she nor any of her family knew Christ. But now they had all accepted Him, were baptized, and attending church each Sunday. “But,” she said, “most of all we’re praising Him!
The next time you think you’re not really doing anything to serve the Lord by asking someone if they’d like some water or coffee, just remember this story. Every time I think about how the Lord used me, it blows my mind. Then I praise HIM!!