July 12, 2011

Dear Friends in the Midwest Conference,

Between the devastating tornado in Joplin in May and the unbelievable flooding currently along the Missouri River, our conference area is experiencing disaster as possibly never before. At our recent Covenant Annual Meeting, President Gary Walter reminded us that “the Gospel always turns toward pain”, and, for the Church, disasters like these end up being opportunities for Covenant people to respond.

Enclosed is a video about the Joplin tornado and a unique service opportunity. We made this video during the last weekend in June, so it is as up to date as we can make it. It is the story of a ministry called Covenant People Respond (CPR) and the unique way they are serving the relief crews who have come to Joplin from all over the world… a shower trailer.

This ministry grew out of Hillcrest Covenant in Prairie Village, KS, and their response to the Katrina disaster in 2005. Now, CPR exists to connect Covenant congregations and individuals in responding to local disasters in a variety of short and long term ways. The CPR shower trailer is one of the only ways workers in Joplin can clean up after a long day of cleaning up debris.

CPR needs people to help run the shower trailer, both immediately and over the next four or five months. Ideally, anyone with a few days free, and possibly an RV to stay in, can be of great service in Joplin. And then, by staying connected to CPR, churches can help with their long term strategy of helping to rebuild houses and businesses devastated by the tornado.

The video is three minutes long. It is very well produced. Please do what you can to show it, hopefully in the next two or three weeks, but at the least, sometime this summer. And, if you don’t mind, could you please suggest that if your people can’t make the trip to Joplin, perhaps they could make a donation to CPR (or even send a box of shampoo, soap, or towels!). This is real ministry! The contact information for CPR is on the video (or you can contact me…).

Thank you!

For the MWC Team,

Associate Superintendent Dave Benedict
Midwest Conference