JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) invites Missouri Baptists to train to participate in disaster call-outs. There will be four training sessions held in different parts of the state to equip future and current volunteers.
Becoming a DR volunteer provides an excellent opportunity for hands-on service to people in need. Training is open to any member of a Southern Baptist church who is at least 18 years of age. Attending training does not obligate a person to serve but is necessary before serving.
Gaylon Moss, MBC DR state director told The Pathway he believes training is important for those currently trained (to update their skills) and those considering becoming volunteers.
He said,“Would you prefer your surgeon use a club or a surgical knife when operating on you? It might work out okay with a club but it would be much more effective and less painful with a surgical knife!”
Moss continued, “Training gives you an opportunity to sharpen your skills and be more effective and efficient in a larger effort and better organized than you could do by yourself in responding to a disaster.”
He and the DR leadership team will offer training in the following locations this year: Calvary Baptist Church, Hannibal, March 5-6; First Baptist Church, O’Fallon, April 9-10; Pulaski Baptist Association Camp, Waynesville, Sept. 10-11; First Baptist Church, Blue Springs, Oct. 8-9
The training will begin on Friday evenings with registration at 5 PM, dinner at 6 PM and a general session, “Introduction to Disaster Relief,” at 6:45 PM. The next day, Saturday, the training continues after breakfast with specialization skills until lunchtime. After lunch, regional meetings will take place. For those desiring to obtain certification as chaplains there are more specific requirements and the training begins at 1 PM on Friday and continues through the next day.
The specialization skills tracks are: Chain Saw; Child Care; Communications; Flood Recovery; Mass Feeding; Shower/Laundry.
For those already trained in DR, who have certain prerequisites and are wishing to go deeper there will be training for: Chaplains; Incident Management Teams; Assessment.
The advance prerequisites and documents needed to enter into those tracks are available online at the MBC DR website.
For those receiving training for the first time and for those who are re-certifying (every 5 years) a background check must be completed. A link to a form is also available on the MBC DR website.
There is a $40 fee for first time volunteers. Those being rectified (badge is expiring this year) will have a $20 fee. For those who are currently certified but are wishing to take additional cross training in other specialization skill areas the fee is $5.
Disaster Relief clothing and gear (t-shirts, hats, jackets, etc.) will be available for purchase in addition to some that is provided as a part of the registration.
Training manuals for “Intro to DR” and all the specialization skill areas are able to be downloaded in advance at the MBC DR training website.
Joe Dayringer, an area coordinator for DR in the west-central region of the state was asked why he thought being trained as a DR volunteer is important. He said, “It falls back to the significance of being involved in missions, reaching out to people in distress. We are bringing the Word of the Lord to the disaster survivors. People are coming into their community or village and are going to help them. This is a way to show that Christians care for their well-being. Sometimes these folks lose everything including their homes.”
He said DR volunteers are in a position to help them see Jesus through the people wearing yellow shirts and hats who come in after the disaster.
Asked what specific area a volunteer should choose to start out as a DR volunteer, Dayringer said “Well, of course, you take the ‘Intro to Disaster Relief’ first. Then you choose one of the specialty areas. Take a look at the MBC DR Training webpage and see what area you are drawn to.… People are often drawn to a specific area where they may already have some experience, such as mass feeding or childcare, chainsaw, etc.”
Registration for the Hannibal and O’Fallon trainings this spring is open now at www.mobaptist.org/dr/dr-training. The registration for the Waynesville and Blue Springs trainings this fall will be open in the summer.