When the devastating EF5 tornado hit Joplin, Missouri two years ago, local church members Bobby and Debbie Mitchell, who operate a used car business, knew they could offer their neighbors some help. The Mitchells had at one point considered opening a tire business, so they had a large amount of tire repair equipment. “We had thought about selling our gas-powered tire compressor a couple of times but felt impressed to hang on to it,” said Debbie. The couple, their son Aaron, and West Plains Missouri Adventist Church member Phil Bridges spent a week repairing and replacing over 600 tires.

When the EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma this past May, the Mitchells were ready and willing to head 225 miles southwest to help those in need because they knew first hand how the debris from a storm of that magnitude can wreak havoc on tires. The pastor of the Adventist Church in Moore helped them find a family to stay with during their whirlwind week of tire repairs.

The city of Moore set up a Facebook page announcing services being offered after the tornado. “Our post about repairing tires in the 7-Eleven parking lot was shared over 3,000 times,” said Debbie.  “It’s really exciting to see how social media can be such a blessing. Getting to meet peoples’ needs is a great ministry.”


Author Michelle Hansen is communication and Sabbath school director for the Iowa-Missouri Conference.