Disaster Response in Missouri

Pleasant Grove Family,

Like many of you my television has been filled with saddening images of homes destroyed and communities flooded. These storms and waters have impacted the Midwest at heart wrenching levels so far this Spring, and this year it has gotten really close to home. Those affected are our neighbors, our friends and our families. Therefore, I, also, have a desire to do something:

1.    Pray…Pray…Pray…and…Pray some more! The key differences between the church and the other organizations that respond to these situations is our belief in God and his desire to comfort those who hurt. Pray for the victims, pray for the responders, pray for anyone you can think of and when you run out of people to pray for, start over. This is going to be a hard year for a lot of people, long past the storms end and the water recede. According to Agweb Missouri is about 20% behind average in Corn planting and the USDA is saying this could likely be the smallest planting season for corn since 2010. In the Soybean Fields Missouri has 12% in currently compared to the 75% this time last year. Leading some to refer to this as “No Plant ‘19” on Social Media.

2.    Thank a First Responder! Right Now it is my understanding that response in Callaway County is being coordinated and communicated through the Sheriff’s Office and Dispatch. To show our appreciation we are going to provide a meal of pulled pork on Thursday, June 6th. Anyone who would like to donate salads, chips, relishes, or deserts should have them in a disposable container and to the church by Thursday morning 9:30 am.

3.    Help with Clean Up! The following are emails from District Office, the Jefferson City Information is dated but I am told the phone number is still active. The information on Eldon is new:

We have some information for you if you would like to assist in the tornado clean up in Jefferson City.  I spoke to Jason of the United Way.  He said if you would like to volunteer to help in the clean-up efforts that you can report to the Sears wing of the Capital Mall throughout the day on Wednesday, May 29, from 9:00am- 3:00pm. Volunteers are asked to check in to receive their work assignments. If you would like to volunteer on a different day, please contact their office at 573-462-9904 between 9am-5pm. The volunteer days/hours may change daily depending on the needs.

The agency asks volunteers to bring a valid ID, work gloves, long pants, closed-toe shoes or work boots, water, and lunch.

Volunteers who want to clean up debris must be 18 years old or older. Other service-related jobs will be posted as they become available.

The Salvation Army is also seeking volunteers to help with cleanup in Eldon and Jefferson City. Those interested in helping can contact the Salvation Army at facebook.com/SalvationArmyJC.

           Here is some information about the tornado relief efforts in Eldon.

 First, volunteers who want to help in Eldon can call 573-392-9111 and tell them when and what work you wish to do.  They will relay that info to the person in charge of volunteer groups in Eldon and he will return the call and give assignments.

 Second, financial help can be given in any number of ways:

The City has set up a disaster relief checking account at Central Bank in Eldon at 611 E North Street Eldon, MO 65026 (573)392-5086

The ministerial alliance has a fund for disaster relief as well.  The contact for that is Rev Bill Fogelsong (treasurer of the alliance) at First Christian Church 573-392-8282

Eldon UMC also has an emergency fund set up, please contact Joan DeBoe with questions at 573-819-7330.

At this point, clothing or food is not needed.  Most folks are getting relocated and are able to manage their meals.

 The Red Cross and Salvation Army have been very active in the community.  The Red Cross has been set up at the Community Center to assist.

 Thank you so much for all of your concern for the people affected by the tornadoes.

 4.    Give! Pleasant Grove is accepting donations to be forwarded to the Missouri Annual Conference Disaster Relief Team and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). You can also make your donations directly at www.umcdisaster.org. Also at that address is the instructions for making a flood clean up bucket that can be donated to those in need.

5.    Get Trained! This is not the first and will not be the last series of storms to hit our area. The Missouri Annual Conference has a team of trained volunteers who have learned how to respond to disastrous situations. Their goals are to:

·      Provide a Christian presence, be a part of the caring ministry of listening

·      Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property: tarps, flood clean-out, debris removal

·      Help manage donated materials, gather information, or do other things needed in the community

·      Observe survivor’s needs and repost those to the local diaster operations

The next training is June 15th in Saint Joseph, MO and the Registration deadline is June 10th. You can register at http://www.umcdisaster.org/training.html .

  Friends, that prompting you feel may be the Holy Spirit calling you into great witness of faith. Faith in God who steps in our lives offering hope when all seems hopeless. Please listen to that call. If you have question about any of these options or need anything please feel free to let me know.

Blessing,

Pastor Paul