In Giving, We Receive
BY JULIE STALEY
The more I watched in disbelief the images that came in from the deadly tornado that struck Joplin, MO, the more pressed I felt by the Spirit to go....to do....something on behalf of myself and our foundation. I felt conflicted because I knew we needed to help, but I also have two small children to take care of and business to tend to. Yet it is in taking care of others that we also take care of our own. Not only are we growing our soul by doing this, but we grow the importance in our children of caring for other people.
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." - Philippians 2:4.
No one can ever give back what has been taken from the people of Joplin, but you can bring peace to them by working in the name of the Lord. I was surprised at how so many victims full of gratitude and hope...and God. While helping clean up debris, I heard the story of a woman named Julie (pictured with us above), who was inside her home clinging to her teenage daughter and praying to God to spare them. She said when she rebuked Satan her mouth was filled with dirt and debris, as if the devil himself was trying to silence her calls to God. Even though she lost her home, she said the chair she read her Bible in every day was never moved, and her Bible was still tucked inside the cushion after the storm. She lost everything and was still so filled with the Spirit! She was extremely grateful to all of us for helping her literally pick up the pieces of her home. I also talked to a couple salvaging items from their home when I was delivering food to victims. They blessed the volunteers and thanked us profusely for the food. They said they had nowhere to go except a shelter. They lost their jobs and their home. All they had was what we could offer them at that moment....a little bit of food, and God's love....and they were grateful.
Returning home, I bring back the images....pictures....to show my children today and in the coming years of how fragile our lives really are. In one instant everything can be blown away. I also bring back an impression deep in my soul of the gratitude people gave me in the midst of tragedy.....the ultimate test of faith.