The Sealands Field, in conjunction with Asia-Pacific Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, hosted a disaster preparedness conference on the Indonesia Nazarene Theological College campus January 30 through February 3 with more than 220 participants.
“Compassion is the church in action” was the focus of the conference. Each day explored a different aspect of disaster preparedness. The first day was about personal and family preparation for disaster, the second was about preparing a local church for disaster, and the third day was about preparing to help children in a disaster and helping to prevent human trafficking after a disaster. The final day focused on preparing local churches to help their communities in a time of disaster.
Conference speakers included Curt Luthye from the California Red Cross and Philippine-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator Stephen Gualberto, who came with Jackson Natividad, Jasmine Eugenio, and Leody Eschavez from the Philippines NCM. Asia-Pacific NCM Coordinator John Watton also brought a message to the conference.
One of the anticipated outcomes of this conference was not only to raise awareness for the need to be prepared, but to also create an opportunity for God to speak into the hearts of the participants. Sealands Field leaders want to create an NCM disaster team made up of people who have God’s heart for people in distress. This team will be further educated, coached, and given practical experiences. From there, the team will go out to the various parts of the field to train pastors, churches, zones, and districts in disaster preparedness, response, and rehabilitation.
The participants, who came from six different countries and many contexts, enjoyed vidoes translated to visually present the message, were trained in rescue skills, and were given instruction and supplies for clean water.
In preparation for the conference, NTC–Indonesia made significant changes to turn the campus into a disaster response center. Washblocks, large portable tents, and other items were built to increase the campus capacity to host displaced people.
During the conference, a new warehouse being built on campus to store disaster response items was dedicated. This warehouse will serve a wide swath of the island of Java, and warehouses in other areas are being planned.
The hosting district superintendent described the event as eye opening and challenged participants to whole-heartedly focus on ministry surrounding children and young people.
Sealands Field leaders requests prayer, that open eyes and new vision will translate into compassion as a lifestyle all across the Sealands.