The Seventh-day Adventist Church's Community Services-Disaster Response for Mid-America is coordinating with federal and local agencies in the wake of a tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday.
The single deadliest twister to hit the United States since 1950 left 117 dead and leveled homes and businesses, including the southwest Missouri city's hospital.
While the Joplin Adventist Church sustained minor roof damage, the structure itself is sound, said Dwight Seek, who pastors the church. His wife, Jenny, said several church members' homes incurred damage, and the church treasurer's home was destroyed.
While all regular members have been accounted for, one non-attending member is missing, Jenny Seek said. "It's possible that she is out of town with family. We are praying she is OK," she said.
"Our hearts go out to our church family and indeed the whole community of Joplin," Thomas Lemon, president of the Mid-America Union, said in a statement. "It is at such times that the church community must become again the hands and feet of Jesus to carry His healing touch to people whose lives have been so devastated," the statement continued.
Dan Jackson, president of the church's North American Division, is expected to visit Joplin this week to encourage and pray with church members.
For updates on the developing situation, including Adventist response efforts, visit www.outlookmag.org.