Today I went with 3 others from our church to help with disaster relief in Bridgeton, MO which was devastated by a tornado, Friday, April 22. We worked with about 200 other volunteers, directed by Service International. It is heart breaking to see the damage. I had seen an interview with a woman shown standing in what had been her living room and pointing out where her child’s nursery had been. She remarked that thankfully they were away from home when the tornado hit. We happened to work on this same cul de sac today and had lunch sitting on the slab remains of the home next door. The upstairs corner would have been the nursery.
While the destruction was apparent in the news video, actually being present almost 2 weeks after the event leaves you feeling the pain of the many victims so much more viscerally. And considerable debris has already been removed. We were just relaying brush and trees that were being “chainsawed” from what had been a densely wooded area. Yet the neighboring street was already piled as high as a box car with huge stumps, limbs and brush. All around us were remains of homes; much of the construction debris had already been removed, leaving nothing but slabs. It’s impossible to see the area affected and not believe that in spite of the horrendous material damage, the area was blessed that no one died as a result of the storms. In the midst of the destruction, we saw a beautiful bed of iris in full bloom and a rock garden with hostas that gave a singular point of serenity to the constant sound of chain saws and the continual passing of limb after limb. You can see the hosta garden at the left side of the image.