"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." AGAIN

Dickens is perfect for crisis and disaster response. The emotions can be overwhelming, the work exhausting, and the rewards priceless.

Having my own trauma history and “triggers” have to be ever conscious of what is going on in my life – mindful of my physical emotional reactions. Thus far, those reactions have had nothing to do with the trauma work I do, but with the personality conflicts that arise, or the personal trials at home and away.

Last week, I lost my keys – TWICE. In 36 years of driving I have never lost my keys. The first time truly was not my fault, as I KNOW someone picked them up off my table. Some traumatized individual probably thought they were theirs, and when they got home they may have been confused with the last 20 years worth of random keys on a key hook.

The problem is – rental cars do not give you duplicate keys for security purposes, but instead force you to have the vehicle towed back to the original location and exchanged. With the tires locked, the one car sustained damage to the vehicle when it was bounced off the flatbed truck. Of course, I did not have any insurance coverage because the sheet that I was given for risk and liability had the WRONG fax number on it, and it didn’t go through.

The second set of keys…Long story, but I was shopping for a hip pouch to put them in when I lost them. This was hours and hours of “push 3 for….push 1 for….” and a very long drive in a flat bed truck to the airport almost 2 hours away.My ‘partner’ Jen always came with me, she stated once, “You kiddin’ me, I’m not going to leave you alone!” Jen is 21, and is employed as a caseworker for the Salvation Army in MA. Thanks for taking care of me Jen. Your mom would be proud.

While all these car hassles are going on, the internal battery on my computer has died, the fan has died, I am having problems, and praying it makes it till I can purchase a new one. Then I get the news that our second car – Dave’s commuter car engine is gone, just 2 weeks after putting over $400 into fixing it.  Joy is home driving our one and only Honda Pilot now – 100k and climbing.

Myra and Angela – my emotional and spiritual care providers!

Since I teach we all have our own grief, I was able to cry – A LOT – in the last two weeks, which really were tears for children, parents, aunts, uncles, grandmothers etc. who had buried loved ones, and witnessed death and destruction that God before sin, never intended any human to endure. It keeps my own trials and losses and perspective and keeps me knowing I can give it all up for Him, and His will for my life. Oh Lord, help us to endure this fallen world with the glimpse of eternity before us.

Working with FEMA has been wonderful and it is obvious there is a real need for a constant chaplain presence to these dedicated individuals. They spend 12 hours a day without any days off (tomorrow is the first day since this began in April) hearing the stories of all the hurting. I am looking into a future presence for the FEMA personnel. I could not do what they do, and I believe our government is going to see negative health impacts of disaster personnel, and probably already have.

I apologize if there are many typos. I am weary and it is really hot (heat index of 105 and such). Just remember that there are people who need trained crisis responders all over the world, and we need you to fulfill that call to ministry. Springfield, MA, Joplin, Alabama, Oklahoma, Haiti, Japan, etc. etc. etc is prophecy coming to pass. The harvest is plentiful and our field workers are very few.

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