Kansas City Lead Volunteer Ministers Al Adriance will long remember Memorial Day Weekend 2011, not for the celebrations and parties, but for what he confronted in Joplin, Missouri, after the May 23 tornado.

Learning of the disaster, the Kansas Citian left for Joplin the following morning and spent the next 10 days providing relief.

The team of some 40 Scientology Volunteer Ministers converged in Joplin from the Church of Scientology St. Louis and the Church of Scientology Kansas City, Missouri.

"Search and rescue was a monumental task because of the magnitude of the disaster," says Adriance.  "So much of the city was destroyed—roofs torn off, cars overturned, entire city blocks leveled.  All that was left of one house we saw was a stairwell and a closet. "

They set up their big yellow Volunteer Ministers tent and began providing Scientology assists—procedures developed by L. Ron Hubbard that  address the spiritual and emotional effects of trauma, to help people recover from the stress and injury.
"Everyone was under pressure and physical strain.  Search and rescue and cleanup activities are physically exhausting and can be extremely draining emotionally," he says.  "We delivered Scientology assists to hundreds of people who came through the tent in a steady stream—residents, other volunteers, administrators, caregivers, police and fire fighters.  People felt so much better after their assists that the word of mouth spread fast—we were always busy."

"We also helped recover possessions," he says. "Although some people had lost everything they owned, it was the loss of prized possessions, often little keepsakes they could never replace, that distressed them most. A box of dog-eared, faded letters sent from the front during World War II, a bicycle purchased as a wedding present for a man now serving in Iraq—we had to lift up the walls of a garage that collapsed to get to that bicycle."

To find a lost wedding ring, a family heirloom, volunteers waded knee-deep through a sea of rubble—bits and pieces of rock and cement, tree bark, mangled plants, mud, paper and who knows what—through what used to be the rooms of a woman’s home.  The Volunteer Ministers didn’t give up until the ring was back on her finger.

"People were so appreciative," says Adriance. "It made a huge difference to them to get the help they needed."