Yogyakarta, Indonesia: January 30 – February 3, 2017, the Sealands Field, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM), hosted a disaster preparedness conference on the Indonesia Nazarene Theological College (INTC) campus. Over 220 participants attended.

“Compassion is the church in action,” was the focus of the conference. Each day had its own theme. The first day was about personal and family preparation for disaster, the second was about preparing a local church for disaster, the third day was about preparing to help children in a disaster and helping to prevent human trafficking after a disaster. The final day was focused on preparing local churches to help their communities in a time of disaster.

The conference was blessed with several expert speakers. Curt Luthye, from the California Red Cross was a featured speaker. Also Field Strategy Coordinator Stephen Gualberto came with a great team from the Philippines NCM which included Jackson Natividad, Jasmine Eugenio, and Leody Eschavez. Our Asia-Pacific NCM Coordinator, John Watton, also brought a message to the conference. A lively worship service ended each day’s activities.

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. The field desires 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 enthusiasatic pariticipants from six different countries and many contexts enjoyed vidoes that were translated to visually present the message, were trained in rescue skills, and were given instruction and supplies for clean water.

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In preparation for the conference, much work was completed on the INTC campus to make it a disaster response center. Washblocks, large portable tents, and other items were designed and built to increase the capacity of the campus to host displaced people.

The climax of the conference was the dedication of a new warehouse that is being built on the campus to store necessary items in preparation for a disaster. 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.

It was a time of growing capacity for compassion and action. The Sealands Field requests your prayers that open eyes and new vision will translate into compassion as a lifestyle all across the Sealands.

~ Submitted by Larry West, Sealands Field Strategy Coordinator