So over the past few days I have been in Joplin. I just returned and I thought I would share my time there. We left early in the morning with a bus and a half full of supplies and set off on our drive. It took almost all day to get there because we drove. We stopped twice to collect more supplies that some churches donated. On our way there none of us on that trip had a clue what we were in for. I don't think anything could have properly prepared us. As we had just crossed into Joplin we started taking side roads. They looked pretty bad but had only wind damage. There were lots of stuff in the trees and yards, pieces of roofs, toys, wood, trees, sheets of medal, clothes, and stuff we had no idea what it was only to find out later were pieces to the now-unrecognizable gas station. We kept driving. There were fallen trees everywhere. When we drove by the gas station later (it was a big one too) the only thing that let us know that is what it was was the poles that used to have a roof that used to have the gas pumps underneath. We drove a while longer and we came up to this place that was collecting the items. We unloaded and helped sort stuff. When we were finished we drove around. We now had come to where it was hit. It was awful. It is really hard to describe in words so bear with me please. Some of the houses had X's on them and bible verses spray painted on them. A few had the words "we r ok" on them witch made me happy. But so many houses had nothing on them. Some had graves in there yards confirming what we suspected. There was one yard that had no house but you can see where it would have been. There were little kids toys and clothes all over the yard. As we were driving there were cars in trees, and some in positions that were destroyed but you could tell people were in them. I'm sorry I cant go on right now. This is so emotional for me. I will finish this later. I would have taken pics but that to me would have been disrespectful. The pics you do see do not do justice as to what happened.
Have you ever been on a hill or a road or anywhere where you could see a watertower in the background with a bunch of houses in front or around it? It is one of my favorite views in the world. While we were driving I saw that exact scene but instead of houses and woods it was brokenness. All of the houses were destroyed. Hundreds of houses all in that one little scene. It killed me inside. It is so hard to describe in words. We kept driving for a while more. There was piles of rubble near the streets that were taller than our bus. In fields you could see where tractors and other machines had tried to clear stuff out and made big piles. Lots of things were in the trees that did not fall. All over the town you could see big pillars of smoke from people trying to burn the trees and other rubbish. Even with the people doing all of that there was still a mess everywhere. There were houses that would say "God saved" and "we r ok" but right next door would be graves. It is truly terrifying. I wish I had been there to help. I wish I has been there to warn them. I wish I could take there place if even for just one person. I know that the total body count of 125 would go up though it kills me to say. Sorry if I sound whiney or self-centered for saying how I feel BTW. I will never truly know what its like to be them. I don't have anyone to talk to about this and I want people to really try to feel how they feel. Anyway I remember having a few songs in my head while going through this. The American Anthem because people had there American flags out. Bohemian Rhapsody (actually just the first few sentences), and Caracal by Vanessa Carlton (the "Beauty stands before you, and love comes back around again its a caracal my friend" part). It really stood out how throughout all of this they had there flags out. They had bible verses spraypainted on there houses. On other houses there were the words "looters will be shot".