A Letter from Joplin – Part 5 – Obama’s Visit and Truckers Blocking the Westboro Baptish Chruch & Devastation Details

Although this Joplin church struture is gone, the pews remain. Which chruch is it?

My sister’s letter on what happened in Joplin since the tornado struck continues below.

Even Pres. Obama came and gave a very nice speech.

That was during a memorial, which was televised.

The interesting thing there was that there were three clergy present, Lissa’s, Denny’s and mine. Of course, mine gave the sermon part of it and they all did a great job.

Last Sunday, he was bragging, in a fun way, about meeting Obama. That same day, truckers blocked the Westboro Baptist Church (really, a church?) from entering Joplin.

Driving down our main road today, I found myself not paying enough attention to my driving, and couldn’t help but look at our changed landscape. I try to remember what was in each spot, but cannot.

What remains of the Olympic Fitness Center in Joplin.

We have over 4000 of 7000+ students that are without a school.

85 families in my church had their homes damaged. 18,000 cars were damaged or destroyed.

8000 buildings and residences (counting every apartment) were damaged. I don’t even know how many churches were destroyed.

Our electric company now has 10 – 15% fewer customers.

153 people died.

The hospital has treated 1700 patients.

Now we have some deadly fungus affecting people with wounds from the tornado.

I now have our GPS in my car. It is really hard to tell where you are sometimes, with the landmarks all gone.

One of the things that I marvel about is the flags that are all over town. I still have a small one in my back window that I got out of a newspaper after 9/11.

Actually, that is the feeling everyone has at this moment in Joplin.

We have banded together to help each other.

Joplin High School looks like a tear down at this point, but someone put duct tape on the sign out front so it reads "HOPE HIGH SCHOOL."

Our high school is a total loss. The brick sign in front used to say JOPLIN High School. Now it says OP High School.

That is, until some ingenious person, put duct tape letters to make it read HOPE High School. I think it should keep that name.

Kelly is getting married here on July 9. Fortunately none of the wedding venues have been damaged.

Parts of Joplin look something like Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped.

She emailed the photographer about our contract and learned that she had lost her home, but still had her car and her camera. I guess we will be a tourist attraction, in addition to the wedding.

So we count our blessings everyday and try to find a way to help those who were not as fortunate.

One more post. Tomorrow the “butterfly people.”

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