Below I talk with Dr. Jamie Aten about the upcoming Disaster Ministry Conference.
Ed: What’s can attendees expect from HDI’s Disaster Ministry Conference?
Jamie: The Disaster Ministry Conference will equip church and lay leaders to prepare and care for small localized crises to large national events. When most people hear the word “disaster” they often mentally pictures natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and mass shootings. Our conference will not only address these sorts of topics, but also show how disasters are related to pressing issues like the refugee crisis and human trafficking.
In addition to learning from our keynote speakers—who come from a wide range of fields and experiences and include Eugene Cho, Richard Stearns, Jo Anne Lyon, Marcus Coleman, Emily Gray, Miriam Burnett, Kent Annan, and both you and me—we will also have 16 breakout sessions divided into Disaster, Refugee, Anti-Human Trafficking, and Development Ministry Tracks led by experts in each field.
One of the greatest strengths of this conference is its ability to bring together people from different worlds. We’ll have pastors, nonprofit leaders, FEMA officials, emergency management professionals, international humanitarian aid workers, anti-human trafficking leaders, and refugee advocates together in one place to explore best practices for helping and collaborating.
My hope is that people will leave the Disaster Ministry Conference with a strong sense of the great need that is in the world and the tools and connections to respond in their church, their community, and around the globe.
Ed: What does this year’s theme—“Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.”—have to do with disasters and humanitarian crises? Why is this important for people engaging in this work?
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