GUEST POST BY VICTOR KNOWLES
Victor writes, “What started out as a pleasant Sunday afternoon ended in death and destruction for the city of Joplin, Missouri on May 22. At 5:41 p.m., while some were at home enjoying backyard barbeques, or at church gathering for evening worship, or at a store to do some shopping, or at a restaurant to have a meal with the family, an EF-5 tornado dropped from the skies and stayed on the ground grinding everything in its path to powder. A visitor from Jamaica, who has survived several hurricanes, said, “It looked like a nuclear bomb had been dropped.
“Indeed, the devastation is nearly indescribable. One-third of this city of 50,000 people in Southwestern Missouri is gone. As far as the eye can see there is nothing but a few tree trunks, stripped of their bark by the 200 m.p.h. wind, standing as lonely sentinels over piles of rubble that were once hospitals, nursing homes, schools, churches, businesses, and homes. The death toll as of today (June 9) is 151 with more than 1,150 injured. Eight thousand homes were demolished, 300 businesses gone, 5,000 workers displaced. A spokesman for the National Weather Service said, “This was an act of nature. The fact that so many more people were not killed was an act of God.” It was the deadliest tornado in the U.S. in the last 60 years.
“Peace on Earth Ministries (POEM) is an international ministry located in Joplin, Missouri since 1992. The ministry is known for its passion for Christian unity and its compassion for suffering humanity. As founder and president of POEM, I can assure you that 100% of what is received for tornado relief is swiftly and personally distributed to those whom our Board of Directors has approved for assistance. That list was made immediately after the tornado struck and damage assessment was made. Checks have already been cut and given to help people start rebuilding their lives. We are grateful to Bethany and fit2b for helping us help others. On behalf of Joplin, I want to thank YOU for considering a gift of mercy to those who need it right now. God bless you.”
About Victor: Victor and his wife Evelyn live in Joplin and have six children and 10 grandchildren. Their residence is a vintage 1930s house (“with lots of character”) that remained unscathed by the tornado. Victor has spoken for the Pepperdine University Bible Lectures, North American Christian Convention, National Missionary Convention, National Prayer Clinic, National Preaching Summit, and several Bible conferences, college lectureships, and family camps. He has preached throughout the United States and in Australia, Belarus, Canada, Cuba, England, India, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Poland (6X), Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.
Since 1984 Victor has edited One Body, a quarterly magazine dedicated to Christian unity, founded by the late Don DeWelt. Before becoming editor of One Body, he edited Vanguard for 11 years. In 1992 Victor and Evelyn began publishing The Knowlesletter, a monthly newsletter reporting on the national and international work of POEM. He produces a daily Bible study on POEM’s Website called “Honey from the Rock.” The unity of God’s people is always on his heart. He has been a participant in the Restoration Forum for many years. Read more from Victor’s Bio here…