On May 22, 2019, an EF-3 tornado was on the ground for 32 miles, from Eldon to Jefferson City, Missouri. More than 600 buildings were damaged or destroyed, most of them in Jefferson City. Among the severely damaged was Community Christian Church, which is now on the path to recovery. While plans call for a re-opening in mid-2020, the congregation held a special Christmas Day celebration which was covered by the local paper. Among the hundreds of homes and apartments damaged by the tornado, most were low-income households. In many cases, the owners decided to level the home and take the insurance money or to sell off the lot for some other use. A rainy spring caused the Missouri river to flood and stay out of its banks for an extended time during this same period. These events exacerbated an already bad situation for community residents who depend on the availability of affordable housing.

First Christian Church, Jefferson City, has been tuned into the needs for affordable housing since undertaking a community study in 2018. After a prayerful discernment process, the congregation has partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Transformational Housing, Disciples Volunteering and Week of Compassion. (Read more about First Christian’s story in this WOC update.)  Mission teams are called throughout 2020 to share in the work of their new vision and help with home repairs and new construction. Participants need to be 16 or older. Several rooms in the education wing are available for sleeping, there are separate showers in the family life center, and the church offers a complete kitchen for preparing meals. Close to the Governor’s Mansion, the Capitol, and affected neighborhoods, the Missions team and members at First Christian Church look forward to sharing their beautiful community with those who come to help.

Register your mission team here. Because of the multiple agencies involved in the response, housing and work coordination must be confirmed separately. All parties will work quickly to verify capacity or work with your group to find an alternate date if necessary.