I (Sal) decided to make this website (3/16/06) after hearing about the deadly tornados (#106) that swept the midwest this week. One of the places mentioned a lot on the news was the city of Sedalia (map), which I personally visited with UMM students back in 1999 on my way to Smithton....
'Smithton Outpouring' has
Missouri town leaping & shouting
___By Tim Palmer
___Missouri Word & Way (July 21, 1999) "One of those "slain" in the Holy Spirit rises after a short time and returns to her place near the wall. Asked to describe her experience, she simply smiles and replies, "I was with God."
___Three years ago, a revival broke out in Smithton. As a result, this Central Missouri community--population 532--has drawn tens of thousands of visitors from across the United States and from other nations. The "Smithton Outpouring" has been described in magazines and on television nationwide.
___People have used words like "Pentecostal," "charismatic" and "full gospel" to describe the worship service, Gray said. "If anything sets Smithton Community Church apart, it's that we're believing that the kingdom of God is happening now."
___Kathy Gray admits the worship style at the non-denominational church can be shocking to those who aren't familiar with it. But she and her husband contend that practices such as speaking in tongues and being "slain in the Spirit" are innocent and harmless.
___This is especially true, they say, when you compare them to other activities seen in many churches--gossip, manipulation, power struggles, love of money. No one's afraid of those, the Grays contend.
___Before people react negatively to charismatic practices, Steve Gray suggested, they should ask themselves why they're not reacting similarly to backbiting, pride and other things the Bible clearly says to avoid.
___People from nearly all denominations have come to Smithton, Gray noted. "There is a group within them whose hearts are crying out for more."
___A large part of this church's ministry is to Christian believers who haven't gotten the help they feel they need in their own churches.
___Gail Collins, who was raised a Southern Baptist, started attending the Smithton church 10 years ago. She remembers well the day in 1996 when revival broke out.
___"When the power of God came in, I got set free from a lot of those things I couldn't change," Collins said. Her love for God deepened. "He enlarged my heart and gave me a strong desire to be a complete servant."
___The power of the Holy Spirit isn't new, Gray said, but had been lost. "We're regaining what was lost through tradition, wrong ideas, wrong thinking. That's why it's available, because it was never supposed to go."
___Worship services in churches often represent what happened to someone long ago, he noted. It was fresh then; it's stale now.
___Just as the beaten man in the story of the Good Samaritan did not get help from the Levite or the priest, Gray said, people today are not getting help from churches.
___"They're being told they are found, but they can't find God. So they come here to this unlikely place that doesn't fit the story.""
10 Years of Revival
"10 Year Anniversary of the Smithton Outpouring"
Update: Kansas City Church Celebrates Five Years of 'Smithton Outpouring'
By Kirk Noonan (Charisma Magazine)
A celebration at World Revival Church commemorated the revival that started in a tiny town in central Missouri "The revival started during a Sunday evening service in March 1996 at Smithton Community Church in central Missouri after Gray returned from revival services at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla. Without hesitation the entire Smithton congregation followed suit, and revival was officially under way. Over the next four years more than 225,000 people from every state and more than 60 countries attended Smithton's revival meetings...
Last year, Gray moved the revival to Kansas City, some 90 miles from Smithton. More than 60 families from the close-knit Smithton congregation left jobs, families and homes to stay with the revival. The church relocated to 62 acres of land near I-470 in Kansas City and changed its name to World Revival Church. From June 2000 to January of this year services were held in a tent while the new church was constructed.
"We had gone as far as we could go in Smithton," Gray said. "But God was not finished with us or with what He wanted to do through us--so we've adapted. One of the reasons we came here was to build a congregation that could accommodate what God is going to do in the next five years. We are focusing on the nations of the world with the theme of revival."
As a result of the revival, Gray said, numerous people have been healed, delivered and transformed. Doug Smith, 25, an ex-drug dealer who was facing 13 years in prison, agrees.
He came to a service three years ago and said he felt the presence of God as soon as he walked through the doors. That night, he committed his life to Jesus Christ.
In doing so, he said, he was set free from his addiction to alcohol and drugs. After serving a short prison sentence, he pursued and obtained his master's degree and now works at a local university.
"The Lord's presence came on me," Smith said, recalling his conversion experience. "Words can't describe how different I am today compared to how I was three years ago."
Although the parking lot was not completed as promised and new chairs for the sanctuary did not arrive on time, the anniversary celebration proceeded as planned. John Kilpatrick, pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla., preached, a special video chronicled the history of the revival, visitors from around the globe worshiped with regular attendees, and the presence of God descended once again.
Lohman summed up the feelings of many who have been touched by the revival during the last five years. "We are living our dream," he said. "We get to see the power of God in our day." " Smithton Revival: Revival's Relocation Pits Pastor Against Alienated Followers
Pastor Steve Grey and two-thirds of the congregation move from Smithton to Kansas City
John W. Kennedy | posted 10/01/2001 12:00AM "In reality, 32 of SCC's 100 families decided not to move the 90 miles to Kansas City. Several members stopped attending SCC before the relocation, saying they saw no point in attending a church that was going to shut down."
It's located south (city of Columbia) of hwy 40/interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.
"K.B. Burns, KDRO morning show host, said more than 500 people have pledged to help clean up debris from Sunday's storms. Now his group, Media for Muscle, is awaiting calls for help. He had 21 calls for help by Wednesday afternoon.
"We can hook you up with volunteers, no problem," Mr. Burns said.
Media for Muscle is a partnership of the newspapers The Sedalia Democrat and the Sedalia News-Journal and radio stations KDRO/KPOW and KSIS/KIX. The group also worked to send hurricane relief supplies and money to Sedalia sister city, McComb, Miss.
The Red Cross set up a service center Wednesday inside the First United Methodist Church Celebration Center, 1701 W. 32nd St."
"Joplin, Missouri (CNN) -- The toll in the tornado that ripped through Joplin soared to 116 on Monday, a city official said, tying it for the deadliest twister to ever hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records 61 years ago.
City manager Mark Rohr told reporters that people from more than 40 agencies are on the ground in the southwest Missouri city, braving relentless rain and devastating wreckage looking for survivors. They found 7 people alive on Monday, he said, though the number of fatalities rose to a level unmatched since a tornado struck Flint, Michigan, on June 8, 1953.
The Sunday-night tornado chewed through a densely populated area of the city, causing hundreds of injuries as it tore apart homes and businesses, ripped into a high school and caused severe damage to one of the two hospitals in the city. Based on preliminary estimates, the twister ranked as an EF4 with winds between 190 and 198 mph, said National Weather Service director Jack Hayes.
"Everybody's going to know people who are dead," said CNN iReporter Zach Tusinger, who said his aunt and uncle died in the tornado. "You could have probably dropped a nuclear bomb on the town and I don't think it would have done near as much damage as it did."
Live Blog: Latest updates on the tornado
The nightmare may not be over for Joplin or other parts of the United States, with the weather service predicting another tornado outbreak Tuesday.
The National Weather Service warned there was a 45% chance of another tornado outbreak -- with the peak time between 4 p.m. and midnight Tuesday -- over a wide swath including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The Storm Prediction Center placed several large cities in the most high-risk area, along with other cities including Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; and Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Joplin is among them. Already, parts of the city of 50,500 were unrecognizable, according to Steve Polley, a storm chaser from Kansas City, Missouri, who described the damage as "complete devastation."
Aerial footage from CNN affiliate KOTV showed houses reduced to lumber and smashed cars sitting atop heaps of wood. Other areas appeared to be nearly scoured clean.
"The particular area that the tornado went through is just like the central portion of the city, and it's very dense in terms of population," Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer said on CNN's "American Morning."
Damage to the city's infrastructure was severe. Numerous phone lines and cell phone towers were down, making it difficult to communicate, state officials said. Empire District Electric Co. reported severe damage to its facilities and said 18,000 customers were without power Monday afternoon. Missouri American Water Co. asked customers to conserve water and boil what they do use.
Stories from the storm: Fear, tears, prayers
More than 1,000 law enforcement officers from four states were in Joplin aiding with disaster response, including search and rescue, said Collin Stosberg, a spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Gov. Jay Nixon said 500 firefighters, 140 National Guard members and a specialized search-and-rescue team were on the ground working rescue missions.
President Barack Obama also ordered Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and an incident management team to Joplin to coordinate federal disaster relief assistance efforts, White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro said Monday.
Searchers were combing the center of the city for trapped survivors as well as for additional bodies, Stosberg said. But the work was being slowed by a new round of severe weather that rolled through the city Monday morning, as well as widespread problems with broken natural gas lines and other safety issues, authorities said.
iReporter records destruction at medical center
Rescuers pulled five families from rubble Monday morning, Nixon said.
"We still believe there are folks alive under the rubble, and we are working hard to save them," he said.
The tornado touched down at 5:41 p.m. Sunday -- 24 minutes after a warning was issued -- said Thomas Schwein, central regional director for the National Weather Service. It grew to as wide as three-quarters of a mile at one point along its estimated four-mile track, according to Missouri's State Emergency Management Agency.
St. John's Regional Medical Center was hit directly by the tornado and sustained significant damage, according to a statement from Lynn Britton, president of Sisters of Mercy Health System, which operates the hospital.
Joplin, Missouri: Bonnie and Clyde hid out there
One glass facade of the building was blown out, and authorities evacuated the medical center, said Ray Foreman, a meteorologist with CNN affiliate KODE in Joplin. Makeshift triage centers were set up in tents outside, witness Bethany Scutti said.
The hospital was treating 183 people when the storm struck, Britton said. It was unclear if any were injured in the storm. The patients were taken to hospitals as far away as Springfield, Missouri, and northwest Arkansas.
Structural engineers were on their way to Joplin to assess the hospital building, where 1,700 people work, Britton said.
Residents 70 miles away from Joplin in Dade County, Missouri, found X-rays from St. John's in their driveways, said Foreman, indicating the size and power of the storm. Gurneys were blown several blocks away.
Want to help? Impact Your World
Officials evacuated long-term patients from the city's other medical center, Freeman Health System, to make room for emergency cases from the tornado, Nixon said.
That hospital treated 465 patients, including 11 who died, the hospital said in a statement. A Freeman Health System hospital in nearby Neosho, Missouri, treated 39 people, the hospital said.
Among other structures damaged, a Walmart store took a direct hit from the tornado and a nursing home was believed destroyed, the State Emergency Management Agency reported.
Joplin's public school district canceled classes for the rest of the year after the tornado caused significant damage to several buildings.
Joplin High School, whose seniors had just finished graduation ceremonies at a nearby university when the storm struck, was ripped apart, Principal Kerry Sachetta said.
Hospital very nearly only building left standing in area
"It just looks like it's been bombed from the outside in," he said. "It's just terrible."
St. Mary's Catholic Church and its elementary school also were demolished, said Recy Moore, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Diocese, which includes Joplin. The pastor, the Rev. Justin Monahan, rode out the storm in a bathtub at the rectory.
"Parishioners had to dig him out, but he's OK," she said.
C.J. Campbell and his foster sister survived the storm, despite the home they were in collapsing around them. Campbell called the tornado an "evil monster vortex."
It began as a low roar, he said.
"Then it got louder and louder until it sounded like about 50 semi tractor-trailer trucks fully laden going about 70 miles per hour about 10 feet outside the front door," he said. "The floor began to vibrate and then shake very violently and seemingly buckle, and we thought we were going to be sucked up the chimney."
CNN iReporter Andrew Boyd said the devastation was difficult to comprehend.
"I remember at one point walking around the Walmart to the south and seeing the area that used to be Home Depot, and just standing there not knowing what to think or do," he said.
The storm also overturned as many as a dozen tractor-trailers on Interstate 44 as it barreled through Joplin, a major trucking center. The interstate, shut down for nearly 12 hours, reopened Monday morning, according to Mike Watson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. No motorists were severely hurt, he said.
Amber Gonzales was driving through southwest Missouri when she heard tornado warnings on the radio. She took refuge at a gas station before getting back on the road and seeing the aftermath of what she narrowly missed.
At a shopping center, she saw people pulling victims from rubble and rushing them to the hospital as overwhelmed emergency workers were unable to reach everyone in need.
"I saw an older woman taken on the back of a truck bed, speeding down the road," Gonzales said. "I can't get the lady out of my mind. ... I don't know if she made it."
"...(CNN) -- Celebrated poet and author Maya Angelou, who was born in Missouri, has been watching images from her home in North Carolina of Joplin, Missouri, staggering from the recent tornado's deadly blow.
Angelou believes catastrophes such as the one in Missouri reveal our common humanity -- we are united in concern and empathy and perform extraordinary deeds.
At least 125 people died in Joplin when the tornado hit Sunday, the deadliest such event in the U.S. in the 61 years since modern record-keeping began.
Angelou shared her thoughts with CNN.
CNN: What do you think of what's happening in Joplin?
Maya Angelou: The situation in Joplin is terrible. It's awful. People in my church are gathering supplies and monies for the victims, and of course, for the people in other states who have suffered, states like Mississippi, where they were flooded.
I think about the little villages, the hometowns, the farmhouses, people who really live in the sticks, on land absolutely covered with water. I feel for them so.
CNN: What strikes you most about the situation on the ground in Joplin?
Maya Angelou: That there's something good that comes out of a bad thing. It's good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers. It's amazing that it takes something like that to bring out the best of us.
The news of Joplin is filled with stories of heroic deeds. They are heroic because people are not obliged to be helpful. Many have stepped into harm's way to help someone else, to help a stranger. It thrills me in the classic sense of the word. It gives me shivers, it gives me goosebumps.
CNN: Have you seen this same spirit elsewhere?
Maya Angelou: It was true in Katrina, true in Chile's mining disaster, in Haiti. People rallied to help. Americans have gone down there, to New Orleans, to Haiti, leaving their cozy nests to see what they could do. They showed their humanity.
During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.
How to help the victims
CNN: Do you feel connected to the people in Missouri?
Maya Angelou: I was born in St. Louis but lived there just for a few minutes in my life. But I'm an American, so I'm also a Missourian ... and a Texan, an Iowan, a Mississippian, a New Yorker ...
Growing up, I decided, a long time ago, I wouldn't accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else's insistence or someone else's whim or convenience. Or boundaries of a state. (That is why I say proudly and without apology that I am a Jew and a Muslim.) I'm not separate from any human beings by any artificial difference. Only their actions can separate me from other people.
CNN: Does it seem to you that we're hearing about disasters more than ever?
Maya Angelou: Some of that perception comes from communications. We have televisions, iPads, the web; we can see what is happening in these disasters. Before, we could read about it and see some still photos, but today's technology allows us to see these catastrophes happen in our living rooms....
"USA (MNN) ― The Joplin, Missouri tornado may have caused up to $3 billion worth of damage and destroyed roughly one-quarter of the buildings in the city.
The National Weather Service records indicate that the Joplin tornado is the deadliest in U.S. history. They also note that tornadoes have killed 482 people in the United States this year.
The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is assessing needs along with federal and local disaster agencies to help devastated families and determine priorities in the hard-hit town of 50,000 residents. CRWRC-DRS Director Bill Adams says, "It's not just Joplin. There are other communities also in this area of Kansas and Missouri that have been pretty much completely destroyed."
The monster storm left a half-mile footprint of destruction through Joplin's downtown area causing power disruptions, fires, gas leaks, and communications outages. Adams says the assessment will include the longstanding impact of the disaster. "Whether it's homes or churches or schools, I mean everything has been destroyed. So there's going to be an enormous amount of work to get things back again for people."
President Obama has committed support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and National Guard, public safety, and search-and-rescue personnel have been sent into the area from surrounding states to assist.
In the meantime, the week-long forecast calls for more rough weather ahead. "Pray that lightning doesn't strike the same place twice. People are praying. We're in that part of the country where tornadoes are a way of life this time of year."
The shock and disorientation are beginning to show. Survivors are trying to salvage something from the rubble that was their life. Adams notes that this is where spiritual care is critical. "Very often, simply being on the ground with folks who have been traumatized by something like this and being available to speak with them, to pray with them, and to hear their story is probably one of the more powerful things that we could do."
In the weeks ahead, as the shock wears off and the grind of cleaning up begins, the questions will begin. Adams says CRWRC teams will be ready with an answer. "All of our volunteers are devout Christians. It's why we do what we do. It starts with our own love for God and love for the Lord and what He's done for us and then love for our fellow man. What we're able to do then is carry that to the communities."
"In this early stage where people really need hope, they need someone who can assure them that things will get better. And what better way than to talk about the love of Christ?"
CRWRC is seeking to raise $1 million to respond to urgent and long-term needs from spring storms in 2011. "
"JOPLIN, MISSOURI (ANS) -- Many years ago, as a young believer, I met the Edson’s, parents of Anjali, when they were part of the “Christ is the Answer” team a large tent ministry in the Jesus Movement. They were later sent out to India and went by land from Italy. After the fall of the former Soviet they began to serve in Central Asia.
This is the story of their daughter who survived the recent terrible tornado in Joplin.
Around 1 AM on Sunday, May 22, 2011, I got an urgent prayer request from the Edson’s about the massive tornado hitting Joplin and that their daughter was missing. Anjali is a doctor in training as a surgeon and as far as they knew was in St. John's Regional Medical Center when it was hit by an F-5 tornado causing huge damage and loss of life.
Shortly before the tornado hit she had gone to the home provided for doctors to study. This was told me by her parents.
"Please pray for Anjali right now. She is still in shock. After going without sleep for 35 hours she finally got some sleep. Last night there was a tornado warning in Ozarks and she ran in the bathroom and started crying,” one of the family said.
Anjali then explained what had happened:
"I saw a bright light and I felt it was a warning from the Lord and so I ran into the bathroom. I know we are told to get into the bathtub, but I felt shouldn’t. I held onto the door with all my might. The house collapsed around me. I felt myself falling and I cried to the Lord.”
After she dug herself out of the rubble and ran to the hospital, she worked till 1 AM getting patients out and moving dead bodies.
When she got back to what was left of the house, she saw that the bathtub had flown over her head and landed in the living room and it was then that she knew that had she been in the tub, she probably would not have survived.
The brick siding of the house was ripped off, floor boards torn up, water was shooting up out of the bathroom. However, the table was still there with her car keys on it. Her car had some damage (back window smashed out, lights broken, etc.), but amazingly it started and she drove it back to Springfield, MO. She is putting it into the repair shop to get it fixed.
Anjali lost all her clothes and she can't find her computer in the rubble. The deductible on her car repairs is $500.00, but still she survived.
Many in Joplin are suffering, but the Church there is stepping up and doing what the Church always does in responding to human need. Our little ministry is trying to help International Humanitarian Aid, Convoy of Hope, Billy Graham's Rapid Response, Samaritans Purse, and the Salvation Army, among others.
Her parents wrote, "There was about an hour yesterday morning when we didn't know if our daughter was alive or dead. Thank God for the emergency services who texted our son David and said: ‘Anjali is alive. Come and pick her up.’
A friend called Karl drove down to get her. Thank you to an old citizen of Joplin - after Anjali dug her way out of the house and ran to the hospital -- he was standing there with his wife. Anjali held on to him and cried. Then she prayed, found a pair of shoes and got to work.”
Anjali is saying a number of medical staff died - several nurses and doctors. There are lots of grieving families.
In a Facebook posting, Anjali wrote, “Great day: I went to the hospital to visit Joplin tornado victims with debilitating injuries today. During my visit, one of the patients was in tears and wrapped her arms around my neck. She believes that God saved her life as well. We were able to speak of what God had done for us. Please pray for her. Her lower body was crushed including her lower back and she is uncertain if she will be able to walk again.”
For Angali, it was indeed a "miracle in Joplin". "
Adam Wainwright shares his testimony at Christian Day at the Ballpark. July 2010 St. Louis, MO
"Uploaded by randymayfield on Mar 14, 2011
Cardinal pitcher, Adam Wainwright shares his testimony at Christian Day at the ballpark at Busch Stadium following a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game."
Matt Holliday, StL Cards Outfielder, Shares His Faith - Inspirational Videos
"For the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series, someone other than Albert Pujols(notes) probably had to be the hero.
With Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington pledging to not let Pujols beat his team (Game 3's three-homer performance being the obvious exception), the Cardinals' other middle-of-the-order batters had to come through with key hits. During this postseason, no one was up to the task more than David Freese(notes).
[Related: Cardinals win World Series the easy way | Highlights]
Freese hit .348 (8-for-23) with a home run and seven RBIs in the Series. But the three runs he drove in during Game 6 — one of which came on a walkoff home run in the 11th inning — will make him a legend for life in St. Louis.
Without Freese's two-out, two-strike, two-run triple in the ninth inning, followed by his walkoff shot two innings later, the Cardinals aren't playing a Game 7 for a championship.
In Game 7, after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Freese made Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison(notes) pay for walking Pujols and Lance Berkman(notes) with a two-run double to left-center field that tied the score. The Cardinals never trailed again.
And now Freese, who made about $416,000 this season, can drive home in style. As part of his grand prize package, Freese received a 2012 Chevy Corvette. All for hitting a little ball.
During the trophy/car presentation, Fox broadcaster Chris Rose said, "I think there's about 50,000 people who want a ride home tonight." To which he responded:
"Ha-ha! I'll try to make that work."
If anyone could do it, Freese could. His MVP honors capped off a tremendous postseason for him. If MLB handed out an award for MVP for the playoffs, he might have won that, too.
[Shop: Buy Cardinals title gear]
In Game 4 of the NLDS against the heavily favored Philadelphia Phillies, Freese had four RBIs to force the Series to a decisive Game 5, and an eventual upset. During the NLCS versus the Milwaukee Brewers, no Cardinals hitter was more dangerous than Freese, who hit .545/.600/1.091 (a 1.691 OPS!) with three homers and nine RBIs. His three-run homer in the first inning of the deciding Game 6 might as well have been a knockout blow.
Freese also set a postseason record with 21 RBIs during the Cardinals' World Series run. He also broke the record for most extra-base hits with runners in scoring position for a single postseason.
[Video: The final out | Champagne celebration]
Pretty impressive for a guy who decided to quit baseball after high school. And certainly not bad at all for a player who played in only 70 games last season due to ankle injuries after winning the starting third base job. Freese was also limited to 92 games this season because of a broken hand.
For a team that wasn't supposed to be in the postseason after falling behind 10 1/2 games in the NL wild race on Aug. 25, a team that wasn't expected to get past the Phillies in the NLDS, nor defeat the Brewers in the NLCS, Freese is the perfect player to represent the Cardinals' World Series championship.
[World Series slideshow: Check out photos from Game 7]
A relative unknown outside of Cardinal Nation, little was expected from Freese. But like his team, he surpassed whatever predictions were made and seized the attention of a national audience with a standout performance. Many people know who David Freese is now. And they all want a ride home. .. David Freese
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "..(born April 28, 1983) is a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. A star high school player, Freese opted not to play college baseball in his freshman year, returning to baseball after a year away from the game. With the Cardinals, Freese won the 2011 NL Championship Series MVP Award and the 2011 World Series MVP Award...
St.Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers 2011 World Series Final Out
Final Out LIVE!! 2011 World Series - St Louis Cardinals
David Freese World Series Game 6 11th Inning Walk-Off Homerun
St. Louis Cardinals - Texas Rangers World Series Game 6 David Freese 2011 HD
Freese Triple in 9th - 2011 World Series Game 6 - St Louis Cardinals vs Texas Rangers
"ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KSAX) - Thursday, in one of the greatest comebacks in history, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied in extra innings to send the World Series to a deciding seventh game.
Allen Craig hit a home run to keep the Cardinals in the game in the eighth inning. Seven hundred miles away, an Alexandria family cheered, just as they have for the past eight years, since they invited him into their home.
The Brands are not life-long Cardinal fans, and 12 years ago, they wouldn't have even called themselves baseball fans.
But that all changed when the Alexandria Beetles of the summer collegiate Northwoods League moved into town.
"They were looking for host parents, and we thought, well, this would be kinda fun," host parent Jeff Brand said.
Then-California Berkeley infielder Allen Craig came to stay with the Brands in their third year and fifth years as host parents. The family said he left quite an impression on the field and in their home .
"He batted .360 and had 10 home runs and 47 doubles," Brand said.
"I didn't think of him as just another kid, I thought of him as a brother," Jeff's son, Spencer Brand said.
Jeff Brand said seeing the players' work ethic helped motivate his daughter to become a college golfer.
Since Craig left the Beetles in 2005, the Brands have kept in touch with him and everyone who stayed there.
Host parent Bonnie Brand said she calls Craig after every home run he's hit and texts him after every triple.
"She sends them cookies on their birthdays," Jeff Brand said.
"Anyone that lives in my house is family," Bonnie Brand said.
The Brands have followed Craig's career through college, the minor leagues and when he was called up to the big leagues last year.
After a surprising playoff push, the Cardinals won the National League pennant and Craig hit the game winning single in Game one of the World Series. Thursday, in Game six, he hit a home run in the eighth inning to spark a comeback for the ages and a chance to take home the title.
"If they're able to achieve that success at the highest level, that certainly is a goal of our's. When that happens, we can kind of all share in that excitement," current Beetles general manager and owner Shawn Reilly said.
"Allen has been working very hard to get to this point ... and that's what I wanna do," Spencer Brand said." "I may not be doing sports like what he did or my sister did, but I've been working very hard in music and that's what I wanna do and make it happen." "No matter what dream you have, if you work at it, you're gonna get there."
After all of Craig's success, it's his college degree that Bonnie Brand said she's most proud of.
Written for the web by Joe Nelson.
"Here is a brief glimpse of the Gateway
Arch in St. Louis Missouri. I was able to get it on videotape as I was in the backseat of a mini-van. This was during a road-trip back to Minnesota from Tennessee (church retreat)." At the Top of the Gateway Arch, from youtube.com "The Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is 630 feet tall and offers a great view of St. Louis and the surrounding area. " 7/23/2007 - St. Louis, Missouri, from youtube.com "driving to the gateway"