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Joplin Diary 3: “I lost my selfishness”

David Scott, a 1994 graduate of Abilene Christian University, lives in Carthage, Mo., with his wife, Whitney, and their two children. David and Whitney own Whitney Scott Photography, a boutique studio with a number of clients who were affected by the May 22 tornado in nearby Joplin that killed 151 people and injured more than 900.
With her permission, we present the third of a series of five posts this week, shared through Whitney’s photography and words about a few of their friends and the, well, the amazing grace by which they were spared further harm.

Baby Hadley was born on Friday. Jake and Lindsey checked out of the hospital to bring her home Sunday afternoon.

They were able to use the glider in her nursery once – change her diaper on the changing table once. They sought shelter from the tornado in the basement of her mother’s house. Both homes were destroyed.

In a good news update: A friend of Jake and Lindsey’s moved back in with his parents so they could have a home to rent.

The Phelps House – a historic home in Carthage, allowed us to use their facility for free to do a newborn session, which we donated.

Even in tragic times, life goes on.

It is overwhelming, in the wake of such disaster, how people can so easily focus on what is important. Over and over people say, in one way or another “We’re safe. Everything else is just stuff.” Or as a friend shared when he asked someone what they lost in the tornado, they replied, “I lost my selfishness.”

Thank you for the prayers you have said for our community. Thank you for the donations you’ve made or are considering making today. We will be needing both … for quite some time.

The Mount Hope Church of Christ in Webb City, Mo., is serving as a distribution center for those affected by the tornado and is accepting cash donations here.
According to our records, 27 ACU alumni live in or near Joplin: Crista Austin, Kenneth Boles, Francisco Bonilla (Webb City, Mo.), Treavis Broaddus (Webb City, Mo.), Denny Brummett (Sarcoxie, Mo.), Gerald Chrisman (Carthage, Mo.), Maureen Dunaway (Carthage, Mo.), Josh Edwards, Dr. Carolyn Hale (Saginaw, Mo.), Mike Kelly, Dr. Tom Lawson (Webb City, Mo.), Ralph and Sheri Madill (Carthage, Mo.), Nick Meyer (Carl Junction, Mo.), Jim and Donna Murray (Diamond, Mo.), Anna Radomsky, Paula Roberts, Mark Smith (Carthage, Mo.), and  Julie Williams (Webb City, Mo.). We’d like to know they are well, so if you have news from them, please share it here or by emailing
Through reader response to this series, we have heard that Dr. Gary Zustiak (Joplin), Valenda Moore (Carthage, Mo.),  Jeanie Cline (Carthage, Mo.) and Paul Cline (Carthage, Mo.), and Jay Young (Webb City, Mo.) are safe.