JOPLIN, Mo. —
Scott Hettinger’s book-signing event this month marked the end of a labor of love inspired both by God and the faith shown by survivors of last year’s Joplin tornado.
The Webb City man, a former teacher and coach at Carthage High School, said he wrote “5/22: Stories of Survival, Stories of Faith” to emphasize how people got through the disaster with their trust in God.
The year-long task of interviewing survivors and long hours of writing climaxed with a book-signing at For-All Bible and Music Center at Northpark Mall in Joplin.
The 437-page book, which provides 65 stories of those who survived the tornado, is based on Hettinger’s interviews with victims and their families. It not only details what tornado survivors went through but, also, how they were able to cope in the aftermath.
All proceeds from the book will be turned over to the non-profit organization Rebuild Joplin and go toward building a new home for a tornado victim.
The book is on sale for $31 at For-All Bible and Walgreens in Joplin as well as online at amazon.com or dorrancebook store.com. A copy may also be obtained by emailing Hettinger at email@example.com.
Hettinger had hoped the book would be out before May 22, the anniversary of the tornado, but the first copies did not go on sale until the middle of June. In handling the book, Dorrance Publishing Co. has sent copies to 20 different retailers, with hopes that Wal-mart would be another of those in the near future.
Hettinger, co-owner of Overtime Gym in Webb City, said his only previous writing experience was on college research papers, but the work on this effort had to do as much with interviewing as writing.
“All the stories in this book are what I wrote from my interviews,” he said. “This is the survivors’ stories word-for-word. It is also from what God put on my heart.”
Hettinger said he drove into Joplin two days after the deadly tornado touched down to see if he could provide assistance but sadly realized he couldn’t do anything because of his paralysis and being confined to a wheelchair.
Then, one night after praying and going to sleep, he said he awakened in the early-morning hours with the idea of writing the book as a way of showing God’s strength and presence in the middle of the storm.
Hettinger began his interviews a month after the tornado, gathering as many as 300 story possibilities but having to narrow the field for publication purposes.
He said his three reasons for writing the book are to help people heal, give back to the city and let people know that God was there during the tornado.
With his emotions running the gamut from grief to joy, he said that much of what he learned in his interviews often left him speechless.
Address correspondence to Rich Brown, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Rich Brown: Christian authors connect generation gap with book-signing
Lindsey Bell, a new kid on the block of Christian writing, will be joined by her mentor and fellow author, LeAnn Campbell, for a book-signing event next week in Joplin.
Craig Tally: Discussion important when differences exist
To this day, I am powerless to walk with my wife down a sidewalk with her walking on the traffic side. Many years ago, I learned men just don't do that -- men stand between a lady and the danger of traffic.
Ann Leach: Prayer can affect your health
I've heard two analogies for two serious illnesses lately, and they have me continuing to think about the inner workings of our minds, bodies and spirits.
Rich Brown: Victory Ministry uses sports, entertainment as focal point
For many years, The Bridge focused on a youth ministry that carried a big impact not only in Joplin but also throughout the area. That same impact is being felt today but in a different and more encompassing capacity.
Craig Tally: God's rewards are never earthly
This question was part of a survey reported in the latest issue of The Christian Century, a magazine to which I subscribe. About 62 percent of Protestants and 50 percent of Catholics responded, "Yes." My answer would have placed me in the minority.
Rich Brown: Webb City theater owners eager to screen 'Son of God'
Scott and Nancy Hutson have always been excited about getting Christian films to show at their Route 66 Movie Theater in Webb City, but excitement might be an understatement when it comes to the one opening Friday at their theater and also nationwide.
Ann Leach: Valentine's Day should remind us to love ourselves also
Are the flowers still fresh? Is there still candy left in the box? Did you get the jewelry you were secretly hoping for?
Rich Brown: Support group formed to help blended families mix better
The Bible teaches the essence of love -- such as was emphasized Friday with Valentine's Day -- and the importance of being kind as Random Acts of Kindness Week wraps up on Sunday.
Craig Tally: 'Why' is the important part of evolution, not 'how'
I just don't get it. Why all the uproar from many of my fellow Christians over the subject of evolution?
Rich Brown: Rend Collective Experiment to perform in fundraiser
The Rend Collective Experiment is much like the two ministries that are bringing the internationally known group to Joplin next week.
- More Worship Headlines
- Rich Brown: Christian authors connect generation gap with book-signing