How the Impact of the Woolsey Fire Made One Volunteer a Believer
The California fires are now out three weeks after they began. Scientology Volunteer Ministers continue to help families cope with and recover from the devastation.
A Scientology Volunteer Minister (VM) who also works as a security guard joined the VM team helping in a neighborhood decimated three weeks ago by the Woolsey Fire. The fire, which began November 8, burned more than 96,000 acres, destroying some 1,600 buildings including 616 homes. The volunteers worked on ash-outs—sifting through ash and searching through debris in and around the burned-out homes, to locate any belongings that survived the blaze.
“I went up to the Woolsey Fire site 45 minutes north of L.A. with a team of nine security guards and we met up with several dozen Volunteer Ministers,” he said. “The place looked post-apocalyptic. From a security standpoint, it was the most important experience I have ever had when it comes to understanding fire and seeing what 1200°+ Fahrenheit can do.”
He and his team joined the Volunteer Ministers helping families sort through the remains of their homes.
“In some cases, these people had just arrived back to what was left of their homes after being made to leave 3 weeks ago at 2:30 a.m.,” he said. One woman had lost her home, her car and her two cats and was hoping to find her wedding rings in the rubble.
A family whose home was burned to the ground came to search through the ashes where the Volunteer Ministers were working. At first, the mom was acting as though everything was OK and she had it under control. But as soon as she was in the ashes she started to cry and she couldn’t stop. A Volunteer Minister gave her a Scientology assist—a technique developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that addresses the spiritual and emotional factors in stress and trauma. After a few minutes, the woman relaxed and looked calm—even happy. She hugged the VM and told her she’d decided to stop trying to hold onto the past and her lost possessions and look to the future instead.
One of the rescue workers thanked the VMs, saying, “You guys come here and completely inspire everyone enough to want to do more after three weeks straight of work. I appreciate your friendship, your dedication, and your inspiration to keep moving when we couldn't anymore.”
Volunteer Ministers are still needed to work on ash-outs, distribute supplies and help with emotional and spiritual support. Anyone trained as a Volunteer Minister should contact their Scientology Church or VM headquarters at 1 (800) 435-7498.
The Church of Scientology Volunteer Minister program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by L. Ron Hubbard. Anyone of any culture or creed may train as a Volunteer Minister and use these tools to help their families and communities. The Church provides free online training on the Volunteer Ministers website.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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