The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
A group from the La Harpe Christian Church finished their first mission trip to Joplin, Missouri last weekend after the community was hit with a F-5 tornado May 22, 2011 destroying everything in its path for 22.1 miles.
Roy and Carla Day of Blandinsville, members of the church said some members had been fasting and praying and Joplin kept coming to Roy's heart, that he should go.
Roy Day, runs his own construction company and has a Bobcat that is perfect to help in the heavy job of clean-up.
Since it had been raining, and concrete work could not be done here, he took off over the weekend of June 8 to see what he could do. He was overwhelmed by the devastation as he helped at the outer-edge of a 1/2 mile wide and 7 mile long wipe-out of Joplin.
On his return to La Harpe the following weekend, Roy prepared to return with his Bobcat, donations of supplies from area folk.
Ryan Johnson of La Harpe wanted to take a group and headed up a total of nine to return to work including Roy and Carla Day, Ryan and Ashley Johnson, Kourtney Heikes, Greg and Kelsey Wisslead, and Brad and Debbie Hunt.
The group returned with palettes of dog and cat food - donated by Wells Pet Factory in Monmouth and a trailer with Roy's bobcat and tool box full of supplies from the community and area churches.
The group is really appreciative of all the prayers and donations and encouragement given and ask for continued prayers as they seek to adopt a family and plan on returning frequently to help them get back on their feet.
If you can help with donating time, money, and supplies in adopting a family it would be greatly appreciated by the group. You can contact Roy and Carla Day at 309.221.9744 or one of the members in the group.
The sights and stories they heard during their weekend were disheartening but also encouraging due to the overwhelming support across the nation. However, much is to be done and many hands and financial donations needed.
Carla had taken a photo of the high school that was hit on that day of their graduation but thankfully it was held at the college and graduates and families were out of harms way.
The storm hit right after graduation. One of the dad's with sunroof open was leaving the graduation and trying to hold his son, but he was sucked out of his arms, dislocating the dad's shoulder. The stories are many. The sadness and the loss is great, but the many people who will come to help give them hope will mean more than words can express.
As they adopt a family, one little church will not be enough. It needs to be many area churches and many people helping, volunteering and giving to support the cause. They are wanting it to become a community project. They are waiting to hear the name of the family they will help and then they can start working on the needs to help them recover.
While in Joplin, the group met with Samaritan Purse at the Baptist church to get instructions and the addresses of the sights to go to. Volunteers were able to shower at the "Y" at night for free and went to places where volunteers were handing out food. Everyone was giving what they could. They spent long days sorting through things, making sure valuables weren't being tossed. Roy found $100 bill in the rubble and another found a loaded gun. Both were turned in to Samaritan's Purse.
Debris had to be cleared off the cement slabs where homes had once stood and taken out to the street before the assigned street clean-up crews would take it. The lady at the sight they had been working at had died.
From left to right is the ladies in front: Debbie Hunt, Kelsey Wisslead, Ashley Johnson, Kourtney Heikes, Carla Day. Back left is Brad Hunt, Ryan Johnson, and Greg Wisslead, and Roy Day.