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Joplin Diary 5: Redefining “an act of God”

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 fifth 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.

A man on the news the other night made this statement:
“People keep saying this tornado was ‘an act of God,’ but it’s these people here in my yard and driving around handing out food – these are the act of God.”

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.), 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.), 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.
Safe, too, are Josh (’06 M.A.C.M.) and Anna (Radomsky) Edwards of Joplin, but they lost their house and belongings to the tornado. The couple was vacationing in Florida on May 22, only to learn of the damage in their neighborhood through media accounts and reports from friends. Anna has started a blog, Tornado Blessings, you should read. Josh’s blog can be read here.