On August 22-25, the NAD Adventist Community Services led out in the National Mass Care Exercise (NMCE), which was developed by the Iowa-Missouri Conference ACS Director, Jody Dickhaut. The purpose is to simulate an actual crisis event and determine how a community would respond during a major disaster. Other NGOs that participated in this unprecedented Exercise included The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), State Emergency Management, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and etc.
Duane Hallock, an Adventist church member, is the Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City, Missouri. Being an Adventist, Hallock was quite impressed to see the Church actively involved in serving communities around the nation. "I listened in as Jody Dickhaut conducted his morning briefing, and it was obvious that considerable planning and preparation had already been done. I was given renewed confidence in the ability of Adventists to respond quickly and effectively when needed," says Hallock.
Hallock added, "I always show up on the scene of a disaster and look for “my people” – those wearing red vests. When I showed up for this exercise, I noticed that wherever I looked I also saw a large number of people in golden yellow shirts. As a Seventh-day Adventist, I was filled with pride knowing that these were also “my people” – volunteers with the Adventist Community Services Disaster Response."
Hallock was not only pleased to see the work the Adventist Church is doing, but also with the relationships ACS is developing with our peer organizations. "Once during the drill, I noticed how both groups – those in yellow shirts and those in red vests – were co-mingling. Again, I was overcome with pride as I saw all of “my people” working together seamlessly to serve the humanitarian needs of our hurting world", stated Hallock.