On May 22, 2011, the city of Joplin, Missouri, was hit by an EF-5 tornado that killed more than 160 people and forever changed this community of 45,000. St. John's Regional Medical Center was destroyed.
The poor, backward town of Itapucumi, Paraguay, did not have much of a future to offer five-year-old Miriam Merlot. Her single mother had left her in the care of her uncle, Silverio, in order to find work in the city.
Mark Holcomb is the general president for Nazarene Youth International (NYI). At the General NYI Convention in 2009, he was elected to this role. He is university chaplain at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU).