The days are flying past at breakneck speed here in Canberra! It’s hard to believe we’ve been here over a month already. Since many people have asked us what we actually do from day to day, we thought that over the next few posts we’ll describe what our roles look like and what the purpose of us being here is.
Our move here involved a fair dose of faith. We heard the voice of the Shepherd but had little idea of His purposes and how we would be provided for. Yet in the short time we have been here we have had confirmation after confirmation that this has not just been some crazy mistake.
The humanitarian sector is built on the principle that a life is inherently worth something. No matter their usefulness or place in society, a suffering person is worth giving to, even risking your life for. Doesn’t this so beautifully reflect the heart of our God? To love mercy, move with compassion and give without expecting a return. Yet disaster relief is hugely politicised and riddled with harmful practices and ulterior motives. This sector, just like any other, is much in need of God’s redemption.
So how can RescueNet be a part of God’s plan in the field of emergency and disaster response? As it turns out, Australia is the first branch of RescueNet that has been invited to register with the WHO’s Emergency Medical Team list. This is a relatively new registry that was developed following some of the horrors that took place after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Agencies that are registered are checked on their professional and ethical standards, and are linked to improve co-ordination and efficiency on the field. Having this formal stamp of approval means that this small organisation now has a voice alongside the ‘big players’. RN Australia is now standing at the open door, and we finally understand why we are here and not in the Europe branch!
My first venture through this open door will be the WHO Global Meeting of EMT’s in November. It is a huge conference for humanitarian actors in disaster work and will be held in Hong Kong. As part of my role involves facilitating RN’s registration and ensuring we are meeting the WHO standards, I’ve been invited to join this conference alongside some of the international RN leaders. We hope to make connections, get the latest updates and present RN as it is: a professional organisation that relies fully on Christian volunteers, passionate about providing impartial, compassionate and loving care.
If you feel you would like to help me attend the conference in Hong Kong please consider giving a special donation towards the cost of flights, or add your prayers to make this trip a huge success.