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Giving Hope, Comfort and Compassion

by Larry D.

The state of Oklahoma knows too well the devastation that disasters can cause. Whatever type of disaster, such as tornadoes, flooding, or terrorist attacks (such as the bombing of the Murrah Building) the physical, emotional and financial harm to people and property can be enormous.

The way to respond is with immediate action by providing shelter, food, water, and safety. Volunteer chaplains are prepared for emotional reactions. They are trained to listen and “feel into” the words and the feelings of the victims are able to give hope, comfort and compassionate care to people in grief.

In the face of loss and hurt, as a native Oklahoman and HUD employee, a Housing Program Specialist in the National Servicing Center in Oklahoma City, Larry is privileged to be able to reach out to help those affected by various disasters.

Throughout Oklahoma, federal, state and local governments continue to help provide hope by offering aid, comfort, shelter, and food, clothing and housing assistance. Through the HUD Administrative Leave for Non-Profit Volunteering he is able to work as a volunteer Chaplain. After Hurricane Katrina he was able to work in the towns of Covington, Mandeville, Slidell, Belle Chasse and New Orleans. His journeys include working other presidential declared disasters during the Southern California wildfires and in his home state of Oklahoma.

He has worked with the Red Cross, FEMA, the military and other disaster relief organizations providing hope, encouragement, meals, clean up and recovery services. A Chaplain endorsed by the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board he considers it a privilege to be able to provide hope whenever a crisis might occur. During his time away from HUD he serves as a crisis relief Chaplain and on the Chaplaincy Advisory Board with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Larry also serves on the volunteer Chaplain committee and as a volunteer Chaplain with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

It is work that begins with compassion. Compassion compels us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry with those in pain. By feeding the hungry, giving a drink to the thirsty, showing hospitality to strangers, and clothing the naked he is able to help meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. As a volunteer Chaplain he is able to convey encouragement to those needing hope.

Larry is a federal government employee who finds time to enhance his public service through his faith. Faith communities are an important component to neighborhoods across this country. Reach out to your local faith community to see how you can partner in keeping America safe and secure.

Click here to read more Safety and Security stories.

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