Group photo of participants with the trainers.
What do we do when a disaster strikes our own backyard or our neighbouring country? Are we prepared to face a crisis head-on? Can we step up and make a difference?
These were some of the probing questions thrown at the participants during the opening session training by CREST in Grace Methodist Church Miri recently.
CREST is a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Since 1998 CREST has deployed multiple teams of Christians from various churches in Malaysia and Singapore to serve in disaster-stricken areas bringing God’s love to the poor and needy in crisis.
Its objective is to train relief volunteers to respond urgently to crises and disasters with medicine, food, clothing, shelter and other forms of aid.
Invited by the Methodist SCAC, similar trainings by CREST were also carried out in Sibu (18-20 June) and Kuching (25-27 June).
Coordinated by the Miri Methodist District Social Concerns Ministry, 132 participants as well as the District Superintendent Rev. Esther Law from the Methodist churches and other denominations attended the free training from July 16-18, 2010.
The 13-hour training were apportioned over three days covering A Biblical Perspective on Disasters, Introduction to Crisis, Personal Preparation for Disaster Response, Personal Survival Skills, Team Dynamics in Crisis Response, Cross Cultural Issues, Mobile Clinic Setup, 1st Responders Triage, Incident Command System, Crisis Response Planning, Base Camp Setup, Holistic Missions and Community Transformation.
Team discussion and planning.
Ice breaking – a team building task.
Practical after learning – a team leader explains her team’s crisis response planning and dynamics.
A played scenario: Despite careful prior planning on the mobile clinic by one team, chaos erupted when another team of “patients” sought treatment. The lesson? Always plan for the unexpected too!
Take a break, have a mini doughnut! says Pastor Connie Yong. On her right is Magdalene Huang, the Chairperson for Miri Methodist District Social Concerns Ministry.
The magnificent trainers from CREST, L-R Olivia, Lana and Steve.
“After this training, my understanding on disaster crisis relief has more depth. More than often what we see and read in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m glad I’ve attended this useful training,” commented William Law, one of the participants from Grace Methodist Church.
“Always remember to put Christ first when you go out to volunteer. It’s all for His Glory, not ours,” reminded Steve, one of the trainers from CREST.
Mrs. Lana Wong, the Executive Director of CREST best summed up the training by saying, “Whatever reason you’re going, your perspective of life will be changed.”
If you or your church are interested in exploring the area of Disaster Response further, or if you want to be involved but do not know where to begin, please email CREST at firstname.lastname@example.org