The nation’s concern this week is with Joplin, Mo., after the terrible tornado that devastated the city last Sunday and has killed at least 116 people.

The images and stories from Joplin are heartbreaking, but we’re encouraged to see the people of Joplin persevering, Missourians answering the call to help, and Americans responding to the needs of Joplin.

This tornado, designated an EF-4, was nearly a mile wide and the deadliest in the last 50 years.

We’re still getting a handle on the scope of destruction, but the Red Cross has estimated that 75% of Joplin, home to more than 50,000, has been destroyed or damaged.  While grief and loss are still unfolding for many families, Missourians are stepping in to pick up the pieces and help Joplin residents through this time.

The New Creation Church in Joplin is one local source of relief efforts.  Located at 1831 S. Connor Ave., work crews are meeting at 8 each morning this week to clear debris and begin clean-up efforts.  The church has also set up a Paypal account for anyone who cannot join in the physical efforts to donate to the relief fund.

For an idea of the network of people and organizations that are mobilizing to provide services ranging from showers, to meals, to childcare, and for additional ways to help, follow the Joplin Tornado Recovery page on Facebook.  The Red Cross is encouraging family and friends to check Safe and Well site for loved ones from Joplin.

Other immediate needs include blood donations, nurses, doctors and health professionals to donate time, and animal rescue.

Our prayers are with the people of Joplin as they move forward from this tragedy. It is heartening to see in their actions the kind of caring and resilience that we aspire to in Missouri.

Image via Getty Images