I grew up about a half hour away from Joplin, just across the border in Girard, Kansas. I've been to Joplin many, many times, and as I watched the horrors taking place last Sunday evening, I recognized some of the names of buildings that were severely damaged or no longer there.
A few weeks ago I was writing extensively about Japan and the horrors of the tsunami. I didn't know anyone who lived in Sendai personally, but my heart for the Japanese people made hurting for them easy. My soul ached...and it aches now.
Living in a faced-paced world forces a person's attentions to shift quickly. Most people aren't thinking about Sendai anymore, and even I've struggled to write about it. I haven't heard any new updates from my limited contacts in the region so naturally I have little to write about.
As my attention turns to Joplin, I wonder how long it will remain in the news? Another week maybe? Then the next crisis will come into our minds and we'll move on.
Thankfully, that time hasn't happened yet. A blogging friend of mine over at Six:11 Ministries has written a great article about churches working in Joplin. It's a very worthwhile read. For those who desire a chance to donate for relief efforts, you can do so through a church in Joplin, called Ignite Church. That church is serving as a shelter even as we speak and plans to continue doing so as long as it is able.
I realize that I've been a bit cynical in this post, but the important thing is that there are folks helping out wherever they can. This is the good news in action. It spurs us as a church to do great things. From teaching illiterate tribesmen how to read to being a shelter in a storm, some of the greatest acts of mercy and kindness come from the church and I'm proud to be a part of it.