I don't know how much you all have seen of the Joplin tornado destruction across the country and around the world. It has pretty much consumed the local news in Missouri. I want to share a little of what I've seen. I just spent the weekend raking yards, picking up debris, and helping folks in Joplin regain some semblance of order at their homes. I am still stunned over the destruction. I joined a couple of families who went to a memorial gathering Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Cunningham Park, across the street from St. John's Hospital, and I parked on the southwest corner of 23rd Street and Harlem, in front of a crooked house pushed off the foundation. A loveseat was jammed up into the ceiling and hanging down in front of the living room window. Driving six miles down 20th street at the end of each day was surreal. There are few identifying markers to hint what businesses or homes were previously there. Throughout the damage area, more than 8000 homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged, most damaged to the point of being leveled into a stack of sticks. It is much more than 10 times worse than the destruction in any war movie that I have seen. Media have described it as "apocolyptic", and that is what really comes to mind. Imagine driving through your own town with literally 1/3rd crumbled to sticks and large cardboard signs propped up on the sidewalk to mark names of upcoming intersections - for six miles! It is overwhelming and to take it all in, and it took my breath away. My heart hurts for everyone there. Most of the people I talked to had a lot to say about how blessed they feel. Every one of them expressed that they do not understand why they were spared, but their life and their outlook on life changed on May 22nd. They all are very thankful for every bit of support that Joplin receives to help them overcome the obstacles that the entire community is going through. Many who still have homes no longer have a job because the storefront or office is gone. Many no longer have a home, a place to go to work, or a car to drive to get where they need to go to pick up supplies or get help. If you know of church groups or organizations who actively look for rebuild type projects they can help with, they can call their local Salvation Army to coordinate a future project to help with rebuilding Joplin. The cleanup and rebuilding process is going to take a long, long time. Please keep Les R and his family (oh, those scared little girls!) and the entire community in your thoughts and prayers. There are few places they can go to get away from the devastation. For most of the people I talked with, they relive the frightening ordeal over and over in their mind every time they go anywhere. The destruction is a constant daily reminder of the fear they felt as the tornado ripped through there. To pass on some advice given to me numerous times over the last three days "Remember to tell the people you love that you love them."