Friday, July 15, 2011
The teens are undercover angels, says our columnist.
She looked us in the eyes and said, “You are all our angels.” After choking back tears I struggled to say thank you. Her name is Dorothy Poe and everyone calls her Dot. The only reason I know this is because I am in Joplin with a group of 26 teenagers and 9 adults serving her and others in this ravaged city. We were standing in what was once her kitchen and looking at the tiny area where three adults and one large dog huddled in a bathroom closet as the tornado ripped down everything but that closet they were in. Those walls collapse when they eventually walked out unharmed. Most of the time, these young men and women get a bad rap. Lazy, irresponsible, know it all’s are a few labels that they carry. It’s not any different than when we …
Friday, July 8, 2011
Do you know what image you portray to your children?
What do my children see when they look at me? Do they see all that I do? Will my kids see all my shortcomings and faults? Will they look in my eyes and see all the sins that I hide in the darkness of my thoughts and heart? Do they see just what I want them to, or do they see me? Looking back over the last several weeks' articles was difficult. Each family I told you about was deemed a failure in my heart. They failed each other, and I failed them. But with each failure a lesson was learned, a seed planted in my being that would take hold and grow as my own children came and grew. It was through the pain of these families that I now raise my own and pray they never see a day like those I have recounted. So it was with great pride but also a…
Sunday, June 19, 2011
"It’s something we can do as Christians to serve our fellow person," church member Rodger McQuate said.
When the category EF5 tornado tore a wide path of destruction through Joplin, MO on May 22, most people could only watch the accounts in horror or donate to the American Red Cross to help relief efforts. But members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) at The Methodist Church at Wentzville grabbed their chainsaws and tools and headed down to Joplin to help with the massive cleanup. It was a powerful, moving experience. "The hardest thing in any tornado is the people are lost," said Rodger McQuate, part of the church’s ERT. "You realize at five o’clock they had everything in life, and at 5:15 it was all gone. So that’s quite a shock to their system." While they had helped in the aftermath of the recent North County tornado and previously in…
Friday, June 17, 2011
One father's terror reminds us to cherish those we love.
It’s strange how something as small as a phone call can turn your world upside down. Chris got his phone call at 6:30 p.m. Chris had just dropped his little girl off with her mom and stepdad at St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, MO. They were celebrating the birth of their new baby boy, and Chris’s daughter was anxious to see her new little brother. After a pleasant visit, Chris left his daughter and the newly expanded family on the eighth floor and made his way down to the lobby. A hospital worker was watching the local weather person talk about the incoming storm. Chris asked him if it was going to hit Joplin, and the man told him no. Chris thought no more of the storm. As Chris was driving home, he got his phone call. It was from a friend …
Friday, June 10, 2011
We can learn lessons locally from Joplin.
They sat in the basement and played games. Games! Tornado sirens ringing through the streets, and they played games. Joplin, MO is used to severe weather during the spring and summer months, so this was typical until the cable went out and the lights flickered. That’s when they knew that something was wrong. Tiffany is a college student at Ozark Christian College in Joplin. She had attended graduation the previous day to watch her older brother walk. That was May 21. She was planning on staying a few extra days to finish up her work schedule before heading home to Wentzville. So on May 22 she attended church, went to eat lunch with some friends, and headed to a classmate’s house. That’s when things began to change rapidly. Tiffany and and…
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sen. Rupp's weekly column.
Monday, June 6, 2011
As I mentioned in last week’s column, the people of Joplin are enduring devastating hardships after a powerful EF-5 tornado swept through the town on May 22. Although sadness still looms over southwest Missouri, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon for Joplin. Numerous citizens from across our state and nation have made their way to Joplin to volunteer, and organizations are collaborating to help victims with everything from food service to rebuilding plans. The generosity demonstrated by these people is a true example of the American spirit — when a community is struck with grief, the rest of us are there to help pick up the pieces. Recently, a website was launched by Bright Futures, a grassroots, community-based program that creates …
Friday, June 3, 2011
Hope in the midst of the destruction.
It was the toys. That’s what got me. Everywhere you looked you could see traces of where a family once played, where a kid would be playing Rock Band on his/her PS3, where neighbors would gather for barbecue and games played in cul-de-sacs. You could see dinner tables still standing where a supper was eaten just a few hours earlier. Remnants of families’ lives scattered here and there. As I drove to Joplin with my good friend and co-worker Kris Hagemeier, we talked of memories of that city, the city where he and I went to college. It was in Joplin that I met my closest friends, the men and women that I still call my brothers and sisters today. It was in Joplin that I discovered what true love looked like and then married her. It was in …
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sen. Rupp's weekly column.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Editor's Note: State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, has released his weekly column. The opinions expressed in the column are those of Sen. Rupp and do not reflect the views of Wentzville Patch. In the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, a powerful tornado hit Joplin, leaving thousands of buildings destroyed, hundreds of people injured, and of this writing, at least 125 dead. The storm has been titled the deadliest tornado that the United States has seen since records began more than 60 years ago. It’s hard to imagine the devastation that so many people have suffered — much of Joplin has been flattened, and families are desperately trying to find loved ones. I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to all the victims of the Joplin tornado. You are…
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Local collection points for donations.
Local residents and businesses are stepping up to help victims of the May 22 tornado in Joplin. Groups are collecting items for distribution to those in need. Others are planning to volunteer to help. Businesses within the Wentzville Chamber of Commerce are organizing a collection of items to be sent to Joplin on June 2. No cash will be accepted. The items can be dropped off at the following locations: Wentzville Christian Church is collecting items for victims of the tornado. Joe Smith tells Patch that a group will be leaving Tuesday to take the collected items to Joplin. The church also is organizing relief teams of interested volunteers to go to Joplin to aid in the cleanup effort. The church will be open daily through Friday to …
Monday, May 23, 2011
Medics are part of regional strike team.
Just one month after twisters flattened St. Louis County homes and businesses, Mother Nature's wrath struck Missouri with what is being called the one of the most deadly tornadoes in state history. Sunday night a tornado ripped through the town of Joplin, where 89 people died and hundreds injured, about 310 miles from St. Louis in Southwest Missouri. The number of deaths are expected to increase as emergency responders sift through the rubble. The tornado hit St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin and caused significant destruction throughout the area. “We don’t know whether the Joplin tornado will be the worst in Missouri history,” said Ben Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s (NWS) St. Louis Office. “It’s too…