The Joplin Tornado

The above video is Faith Assembly in Joplin. They show the damage to the church after the tornado, but nothing is mentioned of the Upper Room as it relates to the story below… Could be a different Faith Assembly, I don’t know I just came across this while looking on YouTube.

This story below is true, verified by my Aunt Oleta. She told me that the friend she got the email from knew the ladies below…

Blessings, Kitty <^.^>


This is real it is from my Missouri cousin Pat S. who lives about 70 miles from Joplin.


From a genealogy friend

Subject: The Joplin Ladies Prayer Group

“My cousin, Janice W., started the Joplin Ladies Prayer group in Joplin MO a number of years ago. They originally met in her home and discussed ways to pray for people that were experiencing problems of all kinds on Tuesday evenings. These women came from many different church denominations, backgrounds, and walks of life; their only requirement for membership was their desire to pray for others. During the week and between meetings, Janice sends out urgent prayer request via email. Over time, the group grew larger and a room at Janice’s church, Faith Assembly of God, became their meeting place. It was located at the highest point in the church building, so it made sense that they called it simply, “The Upper Room.” Each Tuesday evening the group arrived to witness to one another, to share prayers answered and prayers needed, to study God’s word on how to pray for others, and to be reminded that these requests are not gossip, guard them with your heart. In closing, they drew together in a circle and prayed openly for those on their prayer list, compiled each week by Janice, and prayed for anyone that happened to be on their heart that evening. Frequently, one of the members would say, I just feel we need to pray for. . . I don’t know why, but I feel strongly that we need to pray for this person. Many times by the following Tuesday they knew why God moved them to pray for this person.

On Sunday evening, May 22, 2011, Janice and her husband Jim were returning home after visiting family in Jefferson City, MO. Other members of her church were attending evening services when a multi-vortex F-5 tornado hit the Joplin area, a storm that was around fourteen miles long, over a mile wide, traveled exclusively through the city of Joplin, population of about 50,000 people.

Many have seen scenes from the Joplin High School, badly damaged in the (tornado) storm. Faith Assembly of God Church is located just south of the school and was in the direct path of the storm. Members of the church were huddled in the lowest hallway, covering the children as best they could when the storm ripped the roof from the building. There were no serious injuries and no deaths despite the horrible damage to the huge brick building, now considered a total loss.

As members began sorting through the rubble, trying to salvage what they could of their church home they made a few unusual discoveries. Flying outside the church the night of the storm were three flags. The US flag, the state flag, and the Christian flag. Following the storm, only the Christian flag remained. As they continued working their way through the shattered remains of their former church home, they found total devastation from the tornado. On the completely destroyed list, the children’s nursery was located directly below the “Upper Room,” however, in the “Upper Room,” something completely different was found.

Over the years, thanks to Janice and the prayer group the Upper Room had also become the church library, which they started from scratch. When church members walked into the room, not a book was out of place, not one chair or item turned over, and the roof over the room was intact in spite of it being the highest point in the church building. There was no water, no dirt, and no storm debris; a stack of papers, copies of the weekly prayer request list still piled on a chair from the previous meeting. A Thomas Kincaid wall tapestry felt damp but with no other damage from the tornado found in the room.

Following the (Joplin tornado) storm, although some of them received injuries, lost homes and family members, all of the members of the women’s prayer group are alive. One survived while driving in her car, picked up three times by the storm. She “looks like someone took a ball bat to her”, is traumatized, having problems sleeping, but is otherwise O.K. Her car did not fare so well.

Janice’s home was located a block and a half from what was considered the center of the mile wide (tornado) storm. Not one other house remains in the area of her home, but it, although damaged, is still standing. Janice considers herself truly blessed and is greatly relieved that her computer containing all the email addresses of the prayer group is both safe and working. Her poor cat, in the house alone during the storm, only wants to be held and petted and is losing all of her hair. They have been unable to locate her vet. Their bank is completely destroyed as well with the only thing remaining, the vault, which appears to be intact. They hope to retrieve the contents of their bank box, including the title to Janice’s car, which was parked in front of their house and also totaled.

A man stopped at their house last week and asked what they needed. Janice shrugged and said, “Everything.” He said, “Make a list.” Janice hesitated to do so with others faring far worse than her and Jim, but did; it was two pages long. The next morning at 7:00 there was a knock at their door and they discovered 30 people in their yard. The group was from Shepherds Purse. They repaired the sump pump, removed the water from the basement, cleaned the debris from the air conditioner, got it running, cleaned the furnace (submersed in water), cleaned up down trees and other debris, raked glass from their entire yard, helped removed the remains of the covered deck that was on top of their roof, checked the wiring, patched the roof and other things too numerous to mention. Janice says there are police officers and emergency crews there from all over the nation and people constantly stopping to ask if they can help in any way. One person stopped just to give them a hot pizza; they’d never seen him before. She said it was very spooky the first night they had electricity again as they were only light as far as they could see. (F5 tornado)”

I think this gives profound meaning to God’s words, “Fear not for I am with you always.”

Isaiah 41:10 -King James Version (KJV) …Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

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