Trained for Disaster Relief


Saturday, April 8, was the opening morning of the spring turkey season in Virginia. If you know me, you know that is an important date, one that I put on my calendar and plan around.

But this year I didn’t get up at 5:00 a.m. to traipse through the George Washington National Forest trying to interrupt the mating rituals of the Eastern wild turkey. This year, I was attending the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia Disaster Relief training with six other Northstar members.

Why did I choose to be re-trained (I had been trained in Arkansas) in Disaster Relief rather than engage in one of my favorite hobbies? The answer is multi-faceted but here are my top three:

  1. Serving people during natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, fires, etc. is an incredible platform to share the good news of Jesus with people.
  2. Serving alongside other believers is one of those shared experiences that really unifies the church. The church is always at its best when she assumes a “servant” posture like the head of the church, Jesus, did. (Philippians 2: 1-11)
  3. The training is a must if you want to help during states of emergency. Once a state of emergency is declared and FEMA gets involved, only trained personnel with an ID badge are allowed into volunteer.

The training lasted from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and, truthfully, was more of an “orientation” to disaster relief than an actual training. The training and eventual disaster relief deployment is organized by the SBC of Virginia and in my opinion, besides international missions, is one of the best endeavors Southern Baptist have taken on share Christ with the world.

You will be hearing more about disaster relief in the future. Northstar wants to BE THE CHURCH all the time but especially when people around us are in need.