Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Relief Team Respond to Flooding in Colombia

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The Church of Scientology Volunteer provided natural disaster relief assistance to victims of heavy flooding in Belalcázar, Colombia.

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A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Colombia, a grassroots community service organization, which provides relief for emergencies and natural disasters, set out to help the people of their country when flooding from a prolonged rainy season killed 67 and left nearly a million homeless in the last months of 2008

The Colombian rainy season typically lasts from June until September, but last year's rains continued unchecked so that by October the flooding had reached emergency proportions. According to ACT International, by early December, an estimated 827,000 people were affected, with 1,685 houses destroyed and 75,989 damaged.

Volunteer Ministers in Colombia contacted disaster relief agencies in the country and offered their services after seeing the effects of the floods. That was how they learned that the town of Belalcázar needed immediate help. Melting mountain snow had caused an avalanche that inundated the area with mud and took out the roads and bridges connecting Belalcázar with the outside world.

Bringing their own water and canned food, four Scientology Volunteer Ministers arrived in the area in early December. The local Red Cross Coordinator met them and brought them to a primitive cable car -- the only way to cross the Paez River to get to the community.

The group found flood victims dazed by the destruction. They helped people put their lives back in order and provided them with Scientology assists techniques that orient a person to his present environment and handle the effects of trauma and stress.

Leaving smiles on the faces of people who were anxious and worried when they arrived, the Volunteer Ministers were proud to live up to the purpose of their program, as described by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard more than 30 years ago: "A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well."

To learn about the Volunteer Ministers program or enroll in a free course and training, visit volunteerministers.org.

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