Posted in Chaplaincy
Chappy Sam paints a very eerie picture of Rockhampton on Friday, the 20th of February.
“We woke up in the morning and it was very calm, and we actually thought we’d slept through the cyclone! But then the winds started to pick up and we knew this was really happening,” she says.
Sam and her husband Kevin, who is also a chaplain, were caught in the middle of Cyclone Marcia as it rampaged through towns in Central Queensland. Flash flooding, destructive winds, and utter devastation were created by the category 5 cyclone.
Even though Sam and Kevin’s house was partially flooded, they immediately got out into the community to help.
“Once the danger was gone, it was time to get out and help,” says Sam. “On the first day back at school, I held Breakfast Club and made pancakes on a camp stove because there was still no power. We invited everyone to come and have a hot breakfast.”
Chappy Kevin worked with teachers at his school to pull down trees. “Kevin and his chainsaw became very valuable and he developed some great friendships with the community through the crisis,” says Sam.
Sam made herself available to talk with parents and students who needed to process what had happened.
“After a disaster, everyone wants to tell their story. And you can’t brush over that – it’s important to take the time to hear what they’re saying, and help in whatever way you can,” she says. “Once the physical loss is processed, people start to move onto the emotional loss.”
Having chaplains in a community means there is always a trained person available to help when crisis strikes. Thank you for resourcing chaplains to be there in times of need!