It's been a wonderful, challenging, joyful, frustrating, rewarding, blessed two years at TRANSFORM JOPLIN. Trent Davis has been our director of disaster response, volunteer coordinator, construction manager, and many other faithful examples of Christian service in the Joplin community for the past two years. As his time with us draws to a close, we remember his many contributions to the ministry of TRANSFORM JOPLIN, Inc.: a mission ministry of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Joplin.

Trent has uplifted the staff of Immanuel Lutheran and Martin Luther School with his prayers and encouragement. He has connected Immanuel with unnumbered folks around town as he coordinated and shared knowledge, resources, and incoming volunteers, as well as building materials and tools through "The Warehouse," the shared location of various Christian ministries helping in the Joplin rebuilding effort... Trent has had his hands on dozens-upon-dozens of repair and construction projects for folks in need... His construction know-how has streamlined the Habitat For Humanity construction process, allowing Habitat to quickly frame houses in The Warehouse before transporting the walls to building sites. Trent's leadership and innovation allows Habitat to continue building homes for folks in need, even on rainy or wintery days... Trent Davis has networked with leaders of local, state, regional and national ministries, positively representing our church and city as he shared our needs and progress... His experience and ideas have helped to spark a renewed interest in mission work for the people of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Joplin. From Trent's leadership came an international mission trip to Kenya, Africa, as well as a trip to serve the people of Minot, North Dakota following the devastating floods of 2011. Immanuel will continue in Trent's legacy as it develops vision for annual mission trips to serve people in need with help, motivated by the love, mercy, and Gospel of Jesus.

Much has been accomplished because of Trent's work, but he would humbly deny his impact, instead pointing the praise back toward God. His motivation for serving in Joplin has been God's Call and the opportunity to serve in Jesus' Name. Trent's gifts and strengths have been given to him by Jesus, who saved him from his human weakness and sinfulness. Rather than accept praise from those of us touched by his ministry in our midst, Trent would point others to Christ. So thank you, Lord Jesus! May God bless Trent and his family as they continue to follow God's Call to serve and share Jesus' Gospel in a new way, in a new place. 

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (ESV)
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jessica Guerra and her family are moving back in to their tornado-damaged home after months of waiting. Volunteers from Transform Joplin came to the rescue after Jessica's family was ripped off by a bad contractor. We thank God that the people of Immanuel and the volunteers from our new mission ministry, Transform Joplin were able to help them to finish the job. Watch this local newscast from January to learn more about the Guerra's situation, and what Transform Joplin was able to do to help.

NOTE: Transform Joplin is now a recognized non-profit organization in the State of Missouri!

At a meeting of Immanuel Lutheran Church's voters earlier today, Immanuel voted to form an official 501(c)3 corporation called "Transform Joplin, Inc. - A Mission Ministry Of Immanuel Lutheran Church." The Board of Directors was also elected, consisting of members of Immanuel's sitting Church Council, plus four ad hoc members. The officers of the soon-to-be corporation plan to file the legal documents later this week... Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Strategic Planning & Information Meetings are being held several times during the months of September and October. Our desire is to get as much input as possible from the people interested in Transform Joplin. Your input will determine the direction of this new ministry.

Planning Meeting Schedule (open to the public):
Thursday, September 29 at 7pm | Immanuel-Joplin Fellowship Hall
Sunday, October 2 at 11:45am | Immanuel-Joplin Fellowship Hall
Sunday, October 9 at 9:30am | Good Shepherd-Carthage
Sunday, October 9 at 11:45am | Immanuel-Joplin Fellowship Hall

Email your input to our Director of Disaster Response, Mr. Trent Davis (

TRANSFORM JOPLIN is here! Our Church Council voted on Tuesday to begin officially exploring a strategic plan for a new ministry called "Transform Joplin." Please go to to learn about Immanuel's commitment to continue transforming neighborhoods and lives in Jesus' Name.

What are the needs of our community following the devastating F-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011? The needs are many and great. Transform Joplin is an organization that strives to take care of those who have experienced loss. We are working to serve our community by transforming homes and lives.
We are rebuilding our city. We need your help.

We joyfully welcome our new Director of Distaster Response, Mr. Trent Davis! Trent and his family have moved to Joplin to help us in our ongoing response to the tornado. Trent's experience includes being a contractor, a missionary, and a volunteer coordinator in the Chicago area. We are thrilled to have him working with us at Immanuel. He will be coordinating volunteers, connecting with other organizations in Joplin, and leading our effort to continue our response to the May 22 tornado. May God richly bless his ministry among us!

7,500 homes and businesses were destroyed.
18,000 cars were damaged beyond repair.
Up to 42% of homeowners were underinsured or uninsured.
Hundreds upon hundreds of families are living in temporary FEMA trailers.
Experts estimate that Joplin will take at least five years to recover and rebuild.

Our Relief Coordinator, Lyla Glaskey, was scheduled to end her time of service July 23rd.  She extended her time to the end of July to allow church leaders to make arrangements for her replacement.  We are in the process of transitioning to a new person.  We will try to make this transition as smooth as possible.  Please be patient when the inevitable bumps in the road arise.

A long term planning committee is forming to work on our church's plan for helping rebuild Joplin.  We will update the website as decisions are made.  The church council has decided to continue deploying volunteers for at least the next three months, possibly longer.  

A note from Lyla: "It has been such a privilege to serve in this time and place with my amazing brothers and sisters in Christ from across the Church.  At least 1500+ volunteers have been deployed from Immanuel during my brief time as coordinator!  God has blessed me immeasurably through what has been the best and harderst time of my life.  It is with both joy and sadness that I hand over my responsibiites at church and return full time to my responsibilities at home.  God bless you and thank you for letting me serve with you!"