Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outreach/Disaster Ministries

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Disaster Ministries
North American Division

Outreach

Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 2009


Contents

Contents



This honor was developed in cooperation with Adventist Community Services.


1. Read Matthew 24:1-14 and pages 589-590 from The Great Controversy by Ellen White. Discuss with your Pathfinder unit or class how current events are reflected in these passages.

Matthew 24:1-14

Read online Matthew 24:1-14 or below:

24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (NKJV)

Great Controversy P 589-590

Quoted below or read here in Great Controversy Chapter 36

Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.
Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would--He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.
While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away," "the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Isaiah 24:4, 5.
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God's ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.

Discussion

There appears to be an increase in the quantity and severity of natural disasters especially recently. Some people blame this on climate change. Others argue that there is only a perceived increase because the 24 hour news cycle and global communications bring us news of events we never would have heard about a few years ago.

While hopefully the global conflicts of WWI and WWII will never be repeated, there are plenty of small and medium scale armed conflicts that fulfill prophecy. Wars and rumors of wars are found in nearly every newscast or newspaper.

Are we already seeing prophecy fulfilled or can we expect many more troubles ahead?

2. Explain the type of damage most likely to occur to homes and individuals for each of the following major types of disaster:

Natural disasters come in many forms. In severe cases one disaster causes another disaster. Such as a hurricane causing flooding.

All disasters can potentially lead to:

  • Loss of access to utilities with resulting discomfort and costs.
  • Loss of access or overloading of emergency services. If the roads are blocked the firefighters may not be able to reach a fire, and the police may be unable to keep order.

a. Hurricanes

Direct wind and water damage are the obvious concerns, but secondary consequences may include:

  • Flooding which may damage buildings, roads, and other infrastructure
  • Downed trees causing damage to property, loss of power, blocked roads etc.
  • Breakdown in law and order in severe cases

b. Tornado

Tornados damage and destroy buildings, trees and sometimes infrastructure like power lines. People and cars may be taken away by a storm. Generally damage is localized and the actual storm event short-lived. Rebuilding shattered lives takes much longer.

c. Floods

Floods can destroy homes and businesses and may cause loss of life. Flooding can cause landslides, damage roads, and make drinking water unsafe. In rural areas floods may destroy crops.

d. Earthquakes

Strong earthquakes often cause structural damage to buildings and other structures like bridges and dams. Building collapses may cause injury or loss of life. Damages to gas lines may cause fires, while damages to water lines may make fighting the fires difficult.

e. Wildfires

Wildfires become a big concern when they get near homes and other structured. People may lose their homes or businesses, but more people will be displaced, needing temporary housing. Smoke may also be a health concern.

3. Identify the disasters most likely to occur in your area.

This is specific to your location, so we can only give a general answer. Consider the possibility of floods, blizzards, volcanic eruption, sand storms, hail, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

Some areas may also be exposed to man-made disasters including war, power plant or electrical grid failure, environmental contamination and others. Think about the disasters you have read or heard about on the news and consider if they could occur in your area.

4. Describe briefly the types of services provided to survivors of disasters by Adventist Community Services (ACS – in the United States and Bermuda) or ADRA Canada (in Canada).

Services are coordinated through local churches, with local conferences stepping in during large scale disasters. ACS/ADRA coordinates with government and NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) to divide the responsibilities and needs among different bodies. Often ADRA/ACS will assume responsibility for logistics and warehousing based on standing agreements with other agencies.

Directly from ACS:

  • The following services are provided to assist disaster survivors and their families, disaster responders, and affected communities in cooperation with ACS Disaster Response partners:
  • Emergency distribution of relief and recovery supplies - a service that provides goods to survivors and responders such as drinking water, groceries, clothing and much more.
  • Warehouse operations - a service in which volunteers sort, package and store donated goods for distribution. Community collection centers - locations where goods are collected to assist communities affected by disasters.
  • Donations Management Consultants - ACS subject matter experts in donations management provide assistance and input to other organizations in addition to local, state and federal agencies.
  • Crisis Care - emotional and spiritual care is provided for disaster survivors, their relatives, neighbors, and responders.

Source: http://www.communityservices.org/article/42/resources/acs-ministries/disaster-response

5. Identify at least five other governmental agencies or voluntary organizations that respond to disasters in your country.

  • The Salvation Army
  • The Red Cross (American Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross etc)
  • Local Search and Rescue (volunteers, identify the name of the local team)
  • Firefighters and Paramedics (volunteer and or career, identify local name)
  • State or Provincial emergency management Agency (identify name)
  • FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency in the USA

6. Read a report from ACS (http://www.communityservices.org) or ADRA Canada (http://www.adra.ca/wp/) concerning a recent disaster response project.

Follow the provided links and get reading. This will help answer question 4 as well.

7. Complete the course “Introduction to Disaster Preparedness” provided by Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (contact your local Conference Adventist Community Services Disaster Response Coordinator for information on obtaining this training). Course from ADRA Canada must be identified.

This course is updated from time to time. At the time of writing these answers, a 82 page slide show from this course was available on the bottom of this page: http://www.communityservices.org/ It should not take more than a few hours.

Why not organize the course to be offered for not just Pathfinders but all interested church members?

8. Find a Bible text that you might use to comfort and encourage an individual of your same age and gender that has just experienced the total loss of their home, and tell why you chose that text.

There are many possible comfort texts, so choose one that speaks to you. An example:

"If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:15 New American Standard Bible

Here Paul talks about loss by fire (figuratively) but if the foundation (faith) is secure so will your salvation. Compare to *Matthew 6:19-21. Your stuff is not that important, your faith and salvation is what matters.

References