Port Charlotte, FL - When disaster strikes, The Salvation Army is there to serve the whole person - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Currently, Emotional and Spiritual Care (ESC) Officers are on the ground in Florida, working alongside The Salvation Army's mobile feeding kitchens to provide hope and care to survivors of Hurricane Ian.
Through a partnership with the American Bible Society, the ESC officers are equipped with the booklet “Beyond Disaster – A Survivor’s Guide for Spiritual First Aid", produced by the American Bible Society. This small, blue booklet encompasses the very heart of the service The Salvation Army provides. It is a tangible extension of the emotional care and support that disaster survivors desperately need.
Scott Ross, a Pastor, and National Director for Church Engagement for The American Bible Society recently visited the operations center for The Salvation Army’s disaster services in Charlotte, DeSoto, and Sarasota counties.
During his visit, he was able to go out with an ESC officer in the morning. During that time, he witnessed and participated in the life-giving hope ESC officers provide through the word of God. He ministered and prayed with survivors while seeing The Salvation Army's ministry in action. That afternoon, he rode out on a mobile feeding unit to serve dinner to disaster survivors.
After his day working out in the field, he said, “I loved the opportunity to pray with people and have a personal interaction with the people so devastated by Hurricane Ian. There are some who I will continue to pray for after having learned of their specific situations.” He added, “It’s phenomenal how The Salvation Army can handle the logistics, engage volunteers, and continue to fulfill its mission to preach the gospel and meet human needs in the name of Jesus even in the chaos of a disaster. My visit was very educational and valuable."
Since the partnership began in 2020 with the American Bible Society, The Salvation Army has handed out over 160,000 Beyond Disaster booklets.