Jun 1, 2023

From the Heart of a Chaplain: Serving in an Earthquake Zone

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Show Notes

Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, sits down with international field chaplain, Jodie Tosh, soon after she returned from Turkey. Jodie has worked with Samaritan’s Purse since 1998, serving in multiple offices around the world. Currently, she is based at the Samaritan’s Purse affiliate office in the United Kingdom.

Since Jodie first started working with the ministry, her heart has always been for the staff—working to ensure team members are taken care of spiritually, mentally and physically. Now in her role as a chaplain she is able to delve into this work specifically. Jodie shares that she has recently been studying the theology of risk and how Christians face many trials and challenges.

“But I know that it’s in those moments that God has given us the grace that we needed. We all experience grace, but the grace is given to us when we need it.” – Jodie Tosh

Everyone faces trials in life, but disaster responses shine a light on these challenges. Disaster response specialists are trained to run towards the tragedy instead of away from it. After the Turkey earthquake, Disaster Assistance Response Team members witnessed mass trauma, aftershocks, and suffering. Jodie saw team members represent the love of God to people in their darkest days. She shares how these circumstances forced them to rely fully on God.

In addition to caring for Samaritan’s Purse staff, Jodie also pitched in to help in other areas, including delivering meals to patients in the field hospital. She took the time to understand patient’s individual needs and listen to their stories. This allowed her to serve them in unique ways, representing Christ’s love through her actions. She shares specific stories of patients that impacted her own life.

“We might not feel that we're equipped for it or feel that we are ready for that moment, but we give what we can and then allow God to step in.” – Jodie Tosh

Disasters are unpredictable, but Jodie gives practical ways that listeners can pray for our team regardless of the type of disaster or where they are responding. She encourages people to pray for physical protection, health, and that each team member will find their strength and wisdom by leaning on Christ.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (KJV)