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Stanley Horton
12.20.09

Wes Bartel
12.13.09

Jason Roy
11.29.09

Steve Donaldson
11.22.09

Norma Champion
11.15.09

Byron Klaus
10.25.09

Alton Garrison
10.18.09

Ed Stetzer
9.27.09

Aaron Boyd
9.20.09

Eric Treuil
9.13.09

Lynn Krogstad
8.30.09

Lew Shelton
8.23.09

Todd Starnes
8.16.09

Gary Smalley
8.9.09

Rick Cole and Dary Northrop
8.2.09

George O. Wood
7.26.09

Sarah Reeves
7.19.09

Mercy Me
7.12.09

Chuck Bengochea
7.5.09

Jeremy Camp
6.21.09

Kary Kingsland
6.7.09

Doug Clay
5.31.09

Owen C. Carr
5.24.09

James T. Bradford
5.17.09

Marlo Schalesky
5.10.09

Wally Nelson
4.26.09

Leeland and Jack Mooring
4.19.09

Mark Trammell
4.12.09

Chris Sligh
3.29.09

Scott Krippayne
3.29.09

David and Marie Works
3.22.09

Paul Baloche
3.15.09

Ellie Kay
3.8.09

Deborah Burke
2.22.09

Max Lucado
2.15.09

Sy Rogers
2.8.09

Duke Preston
1.25.09

Kenny Luck
1.18.09

Todd Tiahrt
1.11.09


2008 Conversations


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2006 Conversations


Conversation: Kary Kingsland

Seizing opportunities

Kary Kingsland serves as U.S. director of disaster response for Convoy of Hope. Recently, he spoke with Managing Editor Kirk Noonan about Convoy of Hope’s partnership with the Assemblies of God and how that shared mission has united members of both organizations to be agents of change in their local communities.

tpe: How effective has the partnership between Convoy of Hope and the Assemblies of God in the U.S. been in the past decade?

KINGSLAND: Tremendous doors have opened wide as the Assemblies of God and Convoy of Hope have served impoverished people and those impacted by disaster in the United States and throughout the world. The partnership has positioned Convoy of Hope to be a very influential organization in the field of disaster response. From the local church to the nation’s capitol, we have emerged as a leading voice to the government and the faith-based community.

tpe: Statistically, what does this partnership look like?

KINGSLAND: In the past 10 years, the Assemblies of God and Convoy of Hope have responded together to 75 disasters. That includes 9/11, the 2004 hurricanes and Hurricane Katrina. In 1998, when we launched the international division of Convoy of Hope, we also responded to floods in Del Rio, Texas. That was our first domestic disaster response. In 2004, we realized we needed to be more strategic in our domestic relief response, so we developed an arm of the ministry to reach out to help individuals and families being devastated by disasters here in the States.

tpe: When it comes to disaster relief here in the States, what is one of the things that sets Convoy of Hope apart from other like-minded organizations?

KINGSLAND: One of the things that we have become known for is our ability to transport and distribute massive amounts of product to those in need very quickly through our Points Of Distribution (POD) model. But the thing we always do is abide by the guest of honor principle, a core value of COH that keeps us focused on serving the individual while we reach the local community.

We are only able to do that because of the help of local Assemblies of God churches. Volunteers from those churches are our best face to a hurting community. In the last 10 years of our partnership with the Fellowship, more than 800 churches, 1,000 teams and 20,000 volunteers have helped those reeling from disaster.

tpe: Mobilizing laity to help during a crisis doesn’t just benefit Convoy of Hope — it also helps the local church. Why is that?

KINGSLAND: When local churches partner with us they become the face of hope and help for their neighbors and community. That allows them to serve their community with love, which in turn helps them make inroads with people from every corner of their community. Disasters level the playing field, and everyone in need is equal — in other words, everyone needs hope and help.

tpe: What goals do you have for this partnership?

KINGSLAND: One of our main disaster initiatives is H.O.P.E. Begins Here (Helping Others Prepare for Emergencies). The goal is to help local churches and districts be prepared for disasters so that they are more resilient to the effects of a disaster, are able to bounce back quickly, and are equipped to respond and can serve their communities in times of a disaster.

tpe: Assemblies of God people are some of the most generous with their time and resources, but some of them might not know how they or their church can get involved. What do you suggest?

KINGSLAND: One of the easiest ways for a church to get involved is to contact COH about developing a “Go-Team,” which is a team from their church that has the ability to quickly respond to a disaster in their own community or in another community. These teams are usually on the ground with us for several days until the residents can get back on their feet.

We are also looking for those who are amateur radio operators or have an interest to become one. We have launched CARRS — Convoy of Hope Amateur Radio Response Services. Having timely and accurate information during a crisis is crucial to an effective response, and amateur radio is a key component to our overall response plan.

We are also looking to raise up assessment teams who can assist us in assessing damage in local disasters and relay information back to our national command center following a disaster. This information will ensure we are meeting and responding to the needs represented in the community in the best way possible. Collaboration and coordination with people on the ground makes us more effective in what we do and allows us to get the right resources to where they are needed most, effectively meeting needs of survivors by matching their needs to the right products, allowing for more people to be touched.

There are many other opportunities for laypeople and churches. Visit convoyofhope.org for more information.

tpe: You often say disasters are local. What does that mean for a local church?

KINGSLAND: It’s great to have volunteers for disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, but local communities need volunteers too. When a church purposes to build inroads with their city’s emergency management leaders, they become known in the community as an organization that can be trusted and as people who are willing to serve locally. Amazing things can happen.

For example, if several units in an apartment complex burn down and families are left homeless, officials will look to the church that has established itself in the community as a partner in disaster relief. When the church helps those families, that’s an excellent opportunity for the church to serve their community unconditionally.

E-mail your comments to tpe@ag.org.

 

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