In late April Pastor Roy Weeden, Iowa-Missouri Conference director for Adventist Community Services – Disaster Response in Missouri, was invited to speak on Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon’s Faith-based Initiative and Disaster Recovery tour. Weeden serves as the chair of the Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) which includes 60 organizations in Missouri such as American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Here is Elder Weeden’s report:
I was able to speak at five of the six stops and presented information about the Adventist Church’s role in donations and volunteer management when significant disasters strike in the United States. And I also encouraged cooperative and collaborative disaster responses between faith-based and other organizations.
The Church’s ministry Disaster Response is playing a key role in a time in Earth’s history when disasters are becoming more frequent and intense. This work in disaster response is giving me so many opportunities to speak to people of other faiths and persuasions. Currently, I have standing invitations to speak in three non-Adventist churches, not just about disaster response but to preach the gospel. One church even asked me about my willingness to share in a positive Q & A format why Adventists believe certain theological truths.
On May 8 I was honored at the annual National VOAD Conference with the VOAD Of The Year Award on behalf of Missouri State chapter. Four years ago, I understood almost nothing concerning disaster response or even what the Adventist Church does when a disaster occurs. Today, I lead not only my church’s disaster response activities but the entire state of Missouri. God is in the process of setting the table for an incredible Adventist witness and I am excited to explore the relationships I have been privileged to build.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, through Adventist Community Services, is one of the seven founders of National VOAD that was birthed in 1970 following the terrible Gulf Hurricane, Camille, in 1969. Often confused with our wonderful sister organization ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency), ACS – Disaster Response is the responding Adventist Agency in the United States in times of disaster. More information on the work and ministry of Adventist Community Services can be seen at www.communityservices.org.
Pastor Roy Weeden is an ordained minister in Sullivan, Missouri. He is married to Laura who is an assistant director of nursing at a local nursing home. Together, they have three grown married children and one grandchild. More information concerning his ministry can be seen at http://www.gatewaytochrist.com.