Middle Tenn. Chaplain Recalls Joplin Disaster

May 23, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A Middle Tennessee Chaplain who specializes in disaster assistance is thinking this week about the tornado survivors he met one year ago in Joplin, Missouri.

An EF5 tornado swept through Joplin May 22, 2011. The storm killed 161 people and wiped out entire neighborhoods, along with a hospital and ten public schools.

Chuck Duby serves as a chaplain with Hope Force, a Christian disaster response ministry headquartered in Franklin. Hope Force trains volunteers to work in disaster areas and deployed 40 of their reservists from 10 states, including Tennessee, to Joplin last spring.

Duby says his primary task as a disaster chaplain is to simply listen.

“Pretty much to sit down with them and let them tell their story. It’s very important for people to kind’a process what’s happened to them just by talking about it. So there were several of us there who were working in that capacity.”

Duby says disaster victims often tell him they hope to someday get a chance to help others to show appreciation for the assistance they receive.  So he was pleased recently when a group of volunteers from Joplin showed up to help out at another Midwest disaster site.