Brad Moss is the Worship Minister at Carterville Christian Church. Carterville is on the front lines of the clean up, and Brad was willing to take the time to share a little bit about how his congregation is digesting the disaster.
What’s the atmosphere in Joplin like right now?
The atmosphere of the workers couldn’t be more assertive. Everyone wants to get in there and work 16 hour days without taking breaks. It is overwhelming and humbling to see so many people from around the country dropping everything to come help Joplin.
The atmosphere of Joplin is uplifting. People who have lost everything have said to me, it could be worse, there are people worse off than we are. We may have lost everything, but it’s just stuff… and stuff is meaningless when it comes down to it.
What’s been the impact on your church?
Someone once told us (the staff) that our church members where a mile wide and an inch deep. That may have been true at the time… they were living in a world complacent and going about their normal lives; however, things rapidly changed on May 22nd. In the middle of the night I saw 30 people show up ready to do whatever they could to help, they stacked chairs, brought in water, cots, blankets, pillows and waited to help anyone who might need assistance. For the next several days 30 or 40 people would show up at 8am ready to go out and do whatever they could to bring some relief to a city that had fallen.
Sunday came and our church wrote names and prayers down for people who were affected by this tragedy. I have no doubt that this congregation is deeper than we ever realized; they just needed to wake up. Unfortunately it took devastation to do so. I could never be prouder of our volunteers. The biggest blessing has been the cooperation between different churches. We have teamed up with several area churches to help on a larger scale. It is exciting to see the Church be defined as something other than four walls and a Sunday service. The followers of Jesus in this area have truly stepped out and become the hands and feet of our Lord.
Brad, I know you guys are doing great stuff there, God is doing great stuff there in Joplin. If you could challenge those of us who aren’t there to do one thing what would it be?
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to be what God intended the church to be. There were many needs in our city even before the tornados hit, but it took that storm to wake us up. Don’t wait to love like the church should love, serve like the church should serve, and live like the church should live.
If you want to help, right now sending money would help immensely. As a church we have paid out over $10,000 to tornado victims directly out of our donation page at www.cartervillechristian.com
Pray… pray that the victims wouldn’t give up hope. Pray that they would see that even in this storm God is with them. Pray that the church won’t fall back into a coma once the “public eye” work is done.
Also, know that this will not be fixed in a month. The media have already pulled out of Joplin because there is no controversy (words out of their own mouths). We need you to remember us in 8 months. This tragedy has affected the basic balance of our area more than rubble on the side of the road.
Our once struggling construction workers now have more work than ever. The car lots that were empty the week before the storm, are now busier than ever. The housing market is utter chaos. People are getting into bidding wars in the front yards of homes for sale. Houses are being purchased even before they are looked at. On the surface, it may seem like a good thing… but when the dust settles, there will be tears. Tears of why did this happen, why am I alive and not someone else. Questions of where did all the help go? Have they forgotten us?
Pray that we have the words to speak that could only come from the Holy Spirit. Pray that we will never get used to broken and hurting people. Pray that we have the eyes of Christ, that we can see needs and fill them.
Image courtesy of Brad Moss