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Joplin Remembered: Signs of Divine Intervention

(Joplin, MO) -- While many religious leaders spent their days after the tornado comforting those with losses, others attempted to explain what was left behind.

(Joplin, MO) -- While many religious leaders spent their days after the tornado comforting those with losses, others attempted to explain what was left behind.

Although the wall of his church fell to pieces, Father Justin Monaghan of St. Mary's Catholic Church believes God was still very much there.

"That was the most powerful symbol and powerful message and I thought we're okay, God is going to take care of us. I've preached it for years, trusted and now I need to practice it," Monaghan remembers.

The church's sturdy, steel cross was left standing strong. Monahan says it served as a reminder of God's presence through the storm and still does today.  "There's seldom not a group here, there's hardly a weekend that goes by that there's not a couple of buses or cars come and there's a great sense of unity."

And it's here this cross will remain just feet away from a new source of power, an Empire Electric substation, that will provide electricity to the new Mercy hospital. "It's been quite the sign ever since," says Monaghan.

From large-scale leftovers, to pint-sized personal belongings, residents like Sharon Minton say God left them with exactly what they needed to bring them comfort.

"It had monetary value, but that's not what I'm interested in," Minton says.

After her home was leveled, Sharon chalked it up to divine intervention that a diamond ring her mother-in-law had given to her, a tiny piece of jewelry, was retrieved from the debris by volunteers helping her search.

"This one lady began to pray out loud that if God really wanted us to find this, that if it was really important that I find this ring, that they would find it."

Sure enough, just one hour later, the group of volunteers dug up a pile of jewelry, the precious ring in the mix.

"And then I said 'Oh, that's it', and then she was just really surprised that was it."

Sharon now keeps her ring close, a reminder of her late husband and the day she lost almost everything.

Crouched in their closet, Phillip and Jackie McClendon held on to the one thing they knew no storm, no matter the force, could take away from them. "We both knew we were going, we just didn't know how we were doing to die," Phillip McClendon says.

"Yay, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me."

While looking death in the face, the couple prayed for a higher power to be with them in what they thought were the last moments on earth.

"We were at that shadow, because it had fallen on us."

Yet the shadow was lifted for this couple and other survivors who now ask their Savior what's next.

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