Browsing Category: Disaster Services

Convoy of Hope helped rebuild this home that was destroyed the the EF5 Joplin tornado. Convoy of Hope helped rebuild this home that was destroyed the the EF5 Joplin tornado.

Joplin is Rising Up

Today, Convoy of Hope photographer Jeremy Denief and I had the opportunity to make the 75 mile trek from Springfield to Joplin, Mo., as the city prepares to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that struck on May 22, 2011. Where there once was a path of destruction left by the tornado, businesses and neighborhoods are rising up.

Among the reconstructed houses are 10 homes built (2 more on the way) by Convoy of Hope and our partners. We were able to spend good time visiting with a couple of the homeowners and they shared their gratitude for how Convoy of Hope has impacted their lives. We’ve been working in Joplin since the day the tornado hit and we’ve been documenting these homes since they were nothing but cleared lots. It’s nothing short of moving to stand in the newly built living room of thankful homeowner Doug as he thumbs through photos of what was his destroyed home.

As the two-year anniversary gets closer we will share more stories and photos and video right here at The Hope Supply.

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Surviving a Tsunami

Now a little more than two years after Japan’s 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami, I’m traveling the island nation’s northern coastline. Each place I travel unveils two similar roads. The massive scope of the disaster and the incredible heart of the survivors. Of all the disaster areas I have been to personally, this is the most vast and severe. According to estimates by the World Bank, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami is the most costly disaster in world history.

The last few days I’ve kneeled and stood reliving two stories with survivors … unimaginable destruction and resilient hope. Here are a few run-ins with survivors who have been helped by the Amazing Grace Relief Center that Convoy of hope has helped to build and supply.

 

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A Team of Heroes

As Pastor Hiroshi Ito opens the doors to a small storefront he explains that the building used to be a convenience store before the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake. The Japanese characters above the door now read “Higashi-Matsushima Amazing Grace Center.”

In the relief center that Convoy of Hope has helped to fund, there are piles of clothing, supplies, a small library, children’s activities, coffee and tea ready for distribution. Among the items are also bicycles, heaters, kitchen appliances and other needed items that were donated by Convoy of Hope through our partnership with the center.

As Pastor Ito showed us around the center, Japanese volunteers began to file in to prepare for disaster survivors who would be arriving shortly. Just as volunteers do at our community outreaches in the U.S., it was inspiring to see people coming together to help one another – no matter what nationality.

To get their attention for a group picture I call them “a team of heroes” followed by laughs, smiles and even a flex from Pastor Ito. Thank you for letting me introduce you to some of Ishinomaki’s heroes.

 

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Convoy of Hope begins construction on ninth home in Joplin, Mo.

Convoy of Hope recently broke ground on the ninth disaster-resistant, energy-efficient home for tornado survivors in Joplin, Mo. Since breaking ground on the first home in February 2012, eight families have gotten a new start through Convoy of Hope.

“This project would not have been possible if it weren’t for the generous supporters and partners of Convoy of Hope,” says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. “As we approach the second anniversary of this storm, we continue to focus on bringing hope to families who have faced seemingly insurmountable odds.”

Additional home builds are expected to follow in the coming months.

Partners for the project include Adam Brady Construction, Alpha Title LLC, Project Safe Home, T.F. Concrete Forming Systems and Joyce Meyer Ministries—Hand of Hope.

The new high-tech, low-energy homes are specially designed with reinforced concrete walls and other innovations to be sturdier and more sustainable than traditional houses.

Total construction costs to date for the project have topped $1 million.

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