Mississippi, "The Hospitality State"

She sits deep in the south, yes she's southern to the core! The Gulf of Mexico is our southern border and our western border is the Mississippi River from which our state name is derived, "Great River". Each year we are listed as one of the poorest states but year after year we are also listed as one of the most charitable. Some may wonder why we give so much, it's a part of our heritage, that's just what we do. I know that some entertainers have made Mississippi the punch line of their jokes but yet we have birthed world renown entertainers. If you travel through our state and make a stop, most likely a stranger will speak to you. If you have car trouble or get stranded, someone will stop and help you. We have weathered many hurricanes, tornadoes, political and racial issues but we are still here and we are still doing what we Mississippians do best, helping our neighbors. Last week we were hit by several tornadoes that ripped through our state hitting communities that I was raised in such as Four Corners, Plattsburg, Louisville, etc... We are very THANKFUL for all of the help from other states, faith based groups and people from everywhere that have come to help us rise above yet another storm. I'm sure that when the wonderful giving people from other places got here to help they most likely found us shaken but in action, wiping our tears but burying our dead and looking for anything of value left behind yet cleaning up all at the same time. We appreciate all the outside help but we will stand side by side and do our part to get our community back on its feet. Some will not be able to take off work to help but will give part of their paycheck, some can't do anything but pray and pray they will. Some are working around the clock running on pure grace and adrenaline. You see in Mississippi, everyone will do something because that's who we are and that's what we do!! No sooner had the tornado hit just north of my home that my sons,Matthew Boatner and Micah Boatner, called, "Daddy someone is missing in North Plattsburg", Matt went on to the scene and Micah came to pick me up. As we drove to the scene my mind was racing through all the people I knew and my heart was crying out to God!! It was still very bad weather but I knew I would know the missing person and sure enough, we went to school together. I had the honor of preaching Catherine "Cathy" Ferguson's funeral last Friday, May 2nd. When I heard her name my heart broke, I was afraid there would be others, given the devastation I was seeing, it was bad, pouring rain, wind blowing, lightening and thunder was rolling all around. The number of deaths and injured began to rise. When the light of day began to shine the morning after, we began to realize the stormy afternoon of April 28, 2014 would be one for the record books, one we would never forget! The damage was numbing, the loss of friends and family was overwhelming. People and places that we had known all our lives were gone forever. Within hours command centers were in full swing, food, clothes, water, etc...were pouring into these locations. Just to mention one of the many locations, Mars Hill FireDepartment has gone beyond the call of duty. The reason I mention them is because they are in my area, they are my family and my friends. It would be impossible for me to list all of the "care stations" that have been set up to coordinate the restoration efforts. God knows the many that are helping, the ones that are hurting and He will pour out His Mercy upon us all!!! The Grace of God will help us and Mississippi will yet again rise above the rubble.
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."(Galatians 5:14)

We Believe,
Scott and Kari Boatner