What Will You Do?
When a disaster strikes a community or region, Spiritual Care Providers will be deployed by the appropriate disaster management office. This may be a county office or a regional office. It may be directly from the KDSCN leadership. Spiritual Care Providers never self-deploy.
With that deployment will come instructions and assignments of where you are needed and what the mission is.
The actual work then begins. Listening is the most important part of what you do. Verbal support, though, is also important as you give them recognition that this is a difficult time for them. Much of the Spiritual Care Provider’s care can be described as a “ministry of presence.”
Your training will help you assess the needs of the persons you are with and how you can best help them discover their own spiritual resources for finding hope and comfort. In some cases, your training will help you determine if any of these persons could benefit from mental health services and then make the appropriate referrals. You do not provide mental health services yourself.
If any of those persons are connected with their own faith communities, you will, with their permission, seek to connect them to those communities. You will always remember that God will precede you to the disaster scene and will be there long after your work is done. You are but a piece – an important one – in God’s care for those you serve. Your training will be your guide through the often fluid and unpredictable needs you will encounter.