Members of the Church in Joplin, MO are recovering from the loss of loved ones, their homes and their Stake Meetinghouse.
I appreciated this passage from Michael Otterson's post from the "On Faith",Washington Post National Blog, entitled, "Where is God (and the Mormon church) in a natural disaster?":
"What exactly does Mormon welfare and humanitarian response look like? First and foremost, it’s preparing for hard times before they hit. Mormon families generally follow a storage plan for food and essential commodities in their own homes so they are not dependent on others. Countless families have used those stores to cushion times of financial hardship without having to look to government or other help.
In infrastructure terms, Mormon humanitarian aid is warehouses and trucks, tents and chain saws, hygiene kits and canned food, generators and sleeping bags, flashlights and bottled water. The warehouses, which we call bishops’ storehouses, dot the country. Their more normal focus is on helping church members who are suffering from temporary food and commodity needs, but in a disaster they take on a much broader role, often serving as staging areas for relief efforts. Even before a hurricane makes landfall, trucks are loaded with relief aid at these regional depots and head to the expected disaster areas, where their contents will be needed and used by victims, Mormon or not.
The human side of the equation is the scores of Mormon work crews who typically converge on a disaster area from neighboring states to clean up, remove debris, repair homes and provide comfort. They are well coordinated with other relief services. They are self-motivated and self-managed, arriving with their own self-sustaining supplies in tow. Mormons who are not normally inclined to break their Sabbath day conventions by mowing their own lawns or visiting a supermarket on the Sabbath feel no hesitation in wielding a chainsaw to clear fallen branches from a hurricane victim’s damaged roof, Sunday or not. Service is every bit as much a part of their religious identity as sitting in a pew."
You can find more of this article here.
Our prayers and support go out to those who are suffering and weathering the effects of catastrophic devastation from these storms.