Chaplain Terry Smith presents a Bible and prays with a Wooster homeowner after the Ohio DR Chainsaw Team finished clearing storm damage at her home.
By Stephanie Heading
Ohio Disaster Relief (DR) teams deploy regularly to offer help, hope, and healing to victims of disasters. They offer help to meet pressing physical needs - removing fallen trees, cleaning up flood waters, and providing hot meals.
However, caring for physical needs is only part of the mission. DR also offers hope and healing through the work of the DR Chaplin Unit.
DR chaplains train extensively for their important work. Chaplain Training includes how to share the gospel, and how to be a chaplain. In addition, chaplains train in Operation Stress First Aid (OSFA) which teaches them how to help disaster victims and DR team members manage the trauma and pressure of a disaster situation.
“The heart of Disaster Relief is the gospel. All team members train to share the gospel,” said John Heading, DR director. “Trained DR chaplains are the next step in reaching people for Christ, as well as walking victims through trauma stress.”
Recently, DR units deployed to Wayne County, Ohio, near Wooster. The area experienced ninety-mile-an-hour straight line winds which caused considerable damage. As teams were working to clean up the area, chaplains were busy reaching out to homeowners and anyone else who would listen to the gospel.
“Through the team’s efforts, seven people came to know the Lord during the two-week deployment,” said Heading. “One person was the clerk at the hotel where the Incident Management Team was staying and Chaplain Larry Randolph introduced a Jewish woman to Jesus Christ, and she became a believer.”
Anyone who wants to serve as a DR chaplain needs to attend training. The next DR Chaplain Training is set for September 16-17, at Jersey Church in New Albany, just outside Columbus. The cost is $40 and includes training manual, meals, and snacks. Those attending may sleep at Jersey Church, but showers are not available.
As part of Chaplain Training, Ohio DR is pleased to welcome Brent Bond, senior director of chaplaincy and public service endorser at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) as guest speaker.
“If you are a chaplain and haven't deployed in a while, this would be a good time to update your training,” said Linda Humston, DR chaplain coordinator. “If you are currently serving as a chaplain and want to attend any or all the training, you are welcome.”
Register now for DR Chaplain Training at www.SCBO.org/event/disaster-relief-training. For more information, contact Linda Humston, Chaplain Coordinator, at 614-371-4908.
Wooster, Ohio experienced considerable damage during a recent storm. DR Chainsaw teams helped remove massive trees while the Chaplain Unit led seven people to faith in Christ.
DR Chainsaw Unit members remove trees damaged by straight line winds in Wooster, Ohio.