I spent Saturday at an all day preparation session for Disaster Response. It was put on by the Southern Baptists who have quite an organized national team for coming in and helping out when disasters hit. I didn't know that this was a Southern Baptist thing when I signed up. In the confirmation I was told that I was welcome to attend but couldn't be part of a response team if I wasn't Southern Baptist. I get that. Insurance, funding, their cause identity. I decided to go anyway. I still want to be prepared when the opportunities arise to help out in a crisis and this was a good eye opener for me for the different kinds of things that responders are called to do.
The team behind the meeting I attended focus of a food ministry: primarily preparing and serving food to other emergency responders as well as to victims of disaster, usually teaming with Red Cross or Salvation Army to prepare the food that is taken out and delivered to the local areas. I think because these types of responders have to be prepared to respond in very short notice and commit to being mobile that it is particularly appealing to older folks, mostly in retirement. Most of the folks attending were in that category. Good people.
I am just going to continue to do what I can to prepare to answer a call and look for the right opportunities. I have some things going for me: I have a passport; I have all kinds of immunizations since my trip to Sudan last year; I recently completed a CPR class; I have my food handler's permit; I continue to volunteer at JRC (which is really a life giving thing for me).
I plan to get a good first-aid class. However I don't intend to become a Southern Baptist. Not that there's anything wrong with a Southern Baptist. I just think I make a better Presbyterian!
I am just finishing up a good book by a friend of a friend (Joyce Majors: Smiling at the World) who took a year and did volunteer opportunities all over the world. Sort of an extended Eat, Pray, Love. It's got me thinking. And plotting a little, really. She worked on a farm restoration project in Italy, and mostly animal rescue focused ventures for the balance. I'm OK with animals but I think my activities would have to be more people focused. Like teaching in Sudan. And holding babies. Ministries of pampering. Or maybe I'll just rent an RV and drive around the states for a while, seeing what finds me. Anyway, it feels a bit like a midlife crisis (oh no. Another one.) It's a restlessness that needs attention. Any ideas?
2 days ago