Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Joplin Update

Bryan Mowrey of Jubilee Church, St. Louis, is part of my Newfrontiers USA apostolic team and he oversees and serves our churches in the Midwest. Here’s his helpful update of our support for Christ’s Church (the Newfrontiers USA church in Joplin) and the local Joplin community.

Any time there is a big event like the devastation in Joplin, there is a lot of information and misinformation to digest. Moreover, what’s communicated from afar is different than reality up close. I want to update you on the Jubilee/Newfrontiers effort to help Joplin and hopefully bring some clarity.

1) The devastation that this tornado has caused has not been overemphasized. It was a horrific tornado that destroyed a 1/3 of the town and the scene on the ground is unreal. It will take years, not days or weeks, to repair what was destroyed.

2) NOBODY from the Newfrontiers church in Joplin (Christ’s Church of Joplin) has been hurt and everyone is fine, has a place to stay and are optimistic about their present and future on a practical level. No one in the church needs any help at this point and all efforts to serve are directed toward the city of Joplin and those outside the church.

3) While there is a small team of Newfrontiers people who are going to go down there, there is NOT a very big immediate need for help. In fact, volunteers who want to help are being turned away. They don’t need food. They don’t need water. They don’t need clothes at this point. Those things are currently in abundance. A lot of people don’t want their homes touched until the insurance companies come out. Large teams of people going to Joplin either this week or even the next week could actually be counterproductive because it would put an administrative burden on the church to find stuff for people to do.

4) The need for assistance for people of Joplin will remain for weeks to come and as the attention turns away from that city, our help could make a big impact as the volunteer supply will start to decline. I am thinking that we could organize a team to go down there in a few weeks to a month…perhaps over July 4th weekend. If you were planning on going down there this weekend to help, by all means go, but just understand that the real need may be a few weeks out.

Our Joplin brothers and sisters are really looking forward to seeing you at Celebration Midwest! One of the great things about these conferences is having face to face contact with those we are praying for and are on mission with!