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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

SBOM offers safety, security training for missions volunteerscomment (0)

November 29, 2012

By Grace Thornton


Safety isn’t promised us when we follow Christ to the ends of the earth, but that doesn’t mean Alabama Baptists can’t stave off unnecessary danger, Reggie Quimby said.

“There’s risk and danger wherever we go,” said Quimby, director of the office of global missions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM). “We need to be equipped to the best of our ability.”

For safety’s sake, yes — but for other reasons too, he said. “We don’t want to compromise our mission of reaching people for Christ, the integrity of our missionary personnel or the integrity of the nationals that relate to Christian work in different parts of the world.”

To help with this, the SBOM is offering safety and security training for Alabama Baptist missions volunteers called Faith-Focused Security Training (FFST). Fort Sherman Academy, one of the world’s largest providers of travel-security and crime-survival courses, will train volunteers through instruction and simulation.

“The training is tailored to four main areas — natural disaster, political disaster, criminal activity and health issues,” Quimby said. “Through the course, volunteers will learn how to cope in worst-case scenarios.”

The training will be Fort Sherman Academy’s level A course, the most basic trip for volunteers who travel occasionally to low-risk areas. Topics will include travel security, code of conduct, crime and hostage survival, dealing with government detention and questioning, countersurveillance, rescue behaviors, minimizing exploitation and basic crisis policy.

All instruction will be done from a faith-based perspective.

The first training will be Jan. 31 — 9 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch included — at the Baptist Building in Montgomery, with a second planned for August.

“This is required for anyone who is a part of our Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections strategy, but it is encouraged and available for any Alabama Baptist doing any kind of missions work at home or abroad,” Quimby said.

Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections is the state’s new missions strategy, aimed at connecting overseas missionaries from Alabama with churches and associations here in the state. This supports missionaries and provides strategic volunteer opportunities for Alabama Baptist groups. (Read more about it at www.thealabamabaptist.org. Type “Alabama Acts 1:8” in the search field.)

“If we are going to be encouraging teams to support our missionaries, we want to make sure they are trained in security procedures,” said Greg Pouncey, pastor of First Baptist Church Tillman’s Corner, Mobile, who presented the security training aspect of Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections to the messengers at the state convention annual meeting Nov. 13.

Quimby agreed.

“The security training is our due diligence in preparing churches for the worst-case scenario,” he said. “We’ve been going in unprepared in the past, and the higher-alert situations worldwide are calling for us to be better prepared.”

For more information about FFST or to register, call 1-800-264-1225, ext. 238, email vgardner@alsbom.org or visit www.alsbom.org/ffst. For more information about Fort Sherman Academy’s training curriculum, visit www.fortsherman.org.

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