A day in the life of a disaster missionary
People often ask me” what is the most awesome thing you have ever seen on the mission field? “ I can certainly tell you stories about flying across the ocean to a crumpled and devasted Nepal after a major 7.9 earthquake. It was such a strange and weird feeling laying in my tent the first night, trying to fall asleep while the earth rolled and trembled beneath me. I remember feeling anxious and nervous about what the next day would entail, while I listened to strange and unknown sounds of foreign village winding down for the night. That earthquake killed over 8,000 people in about 45 seconds, we worked all week helping restore water to the village, basic medical care, and helping them find healing after such a traumatic experience.
I can also tell you about my own traumatic experience of barely surviving a 7.3 earthquake just a few days later . My body felt it and started reacting before my mind even processed that it was an earthquake, I literally ran out of my shoes. I had to travel between two,swaying three story buildings that had already been damaged in the first earthquake, I was almost hit by a huge piece of falling concrete. Once I made to a clear area, I only had minutes to prepare before having four men who were caught in a rock slide brought to me for help. Buildings were falling all around us, huge rock slides were brought down with every aftershock and the people were screaming and frantically trying to find family members amid huge clouds of dirt that were being stirred up from the rock slides and falling buildings.
I have been deployed with our search and rescue team just minutes after a tornado ripped apart a local town, so I could tell you about what its like to see people walking around in shock and how it feels to search a twisted and mangled home for precious souls who were sleeping peacefully in their beds only minutes before. Or what its like to hike up an active volcano, to cross rivers that just swept a bus away…
But my BEST story about a day in the life of a disaster missionary is simply getting to sit down and share a meal or a cold drink with someone who has been traumatized by sudden chaos. I often think how a disaster missionary is a replica of Jesus. He left the comfort of heaven and entered the chaos of this world to help me. And that is what a disaster missionary does, we leave the comfort of our home and enter the chaos of the disaster field to help others. To me, nothing communicates the love of Christ quite like the love of a disaster missionary.