Members of a local church are humbled after their visit to help the people of Joplin, Mo.
Fifty-three members of the Thorn Creek Church in Thornton just returned from a five-day mission.
"It looked like an atomic bomb went off," said Pastor Ruben Villareal.
The pictures of the aftermath in Joplin are powerful.
"Everywhere you looked, it was literally flattened to the point you could see the horizon," said volunteer Lauren Gardner. (moved up) "I basically broke down crying in the van. We were all sobbing quietly."
Participants said the trip to Joplin was much more than an effort to move walls and rubble. (moved up) It became a journey into other people's lives.
"We had to literally form an assembly line and pass things down and say, 'Do you want us to keep it or throw it away?'" said Gardner.
While the volunteers served meals and prayed with families in need, they also gained a lifetime of lessons from the people they helped.
"They have no one to rely on but us. So if it's not you, then who is it going to be?" said Gardner.
"Life is short. And we're not as invincible as we think we are," said Villareal
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