RescueNet is an international disaster response agency made up of volunteers who respond to disasters around the world. It was established in 1985 in Central America but soon grew to an international team of over 100 members in three regions of the world (Europe, Australia and the US). Since then RescueNet has responded to major disasters from Pakistan to Indonesia, Nepal, Haiti and others. Each region has a coordinator and a leadership council.
In 2010 the Lord led me to join RescueNet to offer my services since I have a background in emergency services going back over 30 years. After doing my Introductory Course with RescueNet I became more and more involved with the training and development of the program. In 2014 I was asked to be a part of the leadership council where I have served for the past 4 years. However, last year the US coordinator resigned and I was asked to assume his role. Part of my responsibility in that role is to represent the US region on the RescueNet International Council which meets monthly by Skype and once a year face-to-face. As I write this letter I am in Holland where we are having our yearly international leadership meetings.
In September my wife and I travelled to Orlando Florida to run a two week Introductory Course at the YWAM base there. We had four students from Haiti, Dominican Republic, England and the US. The base was very helpful and the facilities were perfect so that was a blessing. The drawback was that it was hot and there were lots of mosquitos, especially for our nighttime scenarios. We got through it though and everyone passed with flying colors, with just a few mosquito bites.
The last week of the course we began to see the news reports about Hurricane Florence which was bearing down on the Carolinas. This was personally a concern of ours since our son lives in Myrtle Beach with his family and they are only 4 blocks from the coast. Fortunately for them the storm hit just north of them in North Carolina so they didn’t have much damage, except that they were out of work for a couple of weeks.
As a team we began to think about putting a group together to respond to the Carolinas. Our course ended on the 15th so by the 17 we had a team on their way to Charlotte to stage a response. For the next two weeks they assisted with the relief and recovery effort. We are so proud of them and all the work they did. The people they helped were so blessed and many have expressed their gratitude.
We are always in the process of getting ourselves and our team ready for the next disaster. While none of us wants to see that happen we all know it is just a matter of time and so we must be ready. Next year we will be hosting an introductory course here in Costa Rica, probably in June. If you are a YWAMer and would like to join us please contact us. If you can’t come and do the training maybe you can be a part of our prayer and support team.
Terry Keith - US Coordinator