When Samantha “Sam” Bussey graduated from Ohio Christian University in 2017 she never imagined her major in Emergency and Disaster Management would lead her so quickly to life-changing and impactful recovery work generated by Hurricane Harvey.
Recently, with Encompass World Partners—a faith-based organization that sends missionaries worldwide in crisis response—Sam was stationed in the heart of Houston, Texas, helping restore the Harvey-ravaged community.
At Encompass, Sam was a member of a team that is helping hurricane victims in Houston. Traveling to such areas, she assists in deploying team members to aid victims. Encouraging area churches to work with them in reaching out to victims, Sam is gaining first-hand understanding that no one better understands disaster victims than those who live nearby.
Volunteer positions like Sam’s are critical to supporting communities in crisis. As a service-above-self example to co-workers and Harvey’s victims, Sam applied what she learned in OCU’s Emergency and Disaster Management program.
“My emergency management classes taught me how to respond to a crisis. I know, for example, what to look for once a disaster strikes, what to do in response, and how to organize to go into a disaster area. Being adequately prepared for field work,” Sam says, “is key, but some things you learn only through direct experience. OCU classes and hands-on experiences gave me a solid base in knowing of how to be effective in catastrophic situations like Houston’s now.”
“I love how what I learned at OCU ties into what I am doing. For example, I learned short-term help is not as effective as long-term help. Focusing on involving people from surrounding areas, rather than bringing people in from a different area, is best practice. Local people know their neighbors, their culture, and their needs better than outsiders can.”
Sam is advancing Encompass’ goals by making an impact daily. Overcoming devastation caused by hurricanes and tropical storms is central to emergency management. She is encouraged by seeing hope in victims in the midst this chaos. Being hopeful in her work, Sam is inspired by helping others. “Staff and volunteers who didn’t know each other pull together, uniting as a body in Christ, giving energy and time to work to aid those in need.”
In faith-filled practice of her calling, Sam is making a difference. Having organized more teams to go to Texas, Sam wrapped up her assignment and is looking to what awaits her.
“I am excited to learn where God leads me next. With Encompass as a steppingstone, I hope to minister to refugees in Turkey. Without my OCU internship and connection to Encompass, I not would have learned of this amazing opportunity to go overseas.”
OCU’s Emergency and Disaster Management and Business program provides preparation and qualification to work in emergency and disaster and business management. Graduates of the program find more career opportunities. Working in emergency and disaster management, they apply theoretical and practical knowledge for saving lives and property from the devastating impacts of major crises, emergencies, and disasters.
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