Crisis Defusing Webinar

We had a nice time partnering with “Bless Our Cops” in holding a webinar on Crisis Defusing. Celia led the lecture while Crista handled the technical issues. Celia, Vo, and Hyui led small groups for some questions, and to practice what was covered in the lecture portion. It was a good activity, we think. This was our first webinar and will look into doing more in the future.


Article on Disaster Response Chaplaincy

This was written several years ago, but some tiny changes were made to it as it was resubmitted to, so decided to provide a link to it for those interested.

Snapshots of Faith, Hope, and Growth in Disaster Response Chaplaincy

Disaster Response for Ministers

DR May 1“Disaster Response for Ministers” training. at PBTS in partnership with Bukal Life Care. This is part of PBTS’ “Summer Leadership Institute.” Dean Miller from the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia was the lead trainer. The focus was developing of relief response networks that are prepared to respond to disasters of a variety of kinds and relating to a variety of needs. It was a great time for learning and for sharing insights.

DR May B3aOn the right is Dean Miller, our lead facilitator/instructor. Additionally,, Bob and Jehny (from Bukal Life Care) assisted, particularly in giving overviews of disaster response chaplaincy as it pertains to crisis defusing (Bob) and Play and Art Therapy (Jehny)

October (2014) Updates

We have had a very busy time lately with Bob and Celia Munson, and Dr. Paul Tabon ministering in Korea, along with Cori, Jehny, and Becky getting training. But now that we are back… we can catch our breath a tiny bit in preparation before upcoming activities.

November 8.  Board of Trustees meeting. This is the 5th year anniversary of Bukal Life Care. We thought about having a big celebration… but decided to wait for the grand opening of our new office.

November 18-20. LCSBC Conference. We don’t have a primary role in it… although we may be working with some participants. However, we will have a booth there.

<November 29. Disaster Response Orientation seminar is postponed. It will be integrated into “Intro the CPO program, and the Leadership Symposium in 2015>

December 13-15. Pastoral Care trainings and meetings with Dr. Lawrence. (And staff Christmas party).

January 5-8. Lide-Walker Conference. We will have a booth, and we will have our grand opening for our new office.

January 19.  Start of Intro to Clinical Pastoral Care (CPO). 6. 100 hours (50/50). Integrating hospital chaplaincy orientation, disaster response chaplaincy, and (LIFT) palliative care.

March 23. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE/T). Summer intensive unit. 11 weeks (400 hours) starting March 23.

May.  Leadership Symposium… focusing on Disaster Response for ministers. <Tentative>

Visioning Weekend


We held a gathering of staff and trustees of Bukal Life Care on August 31 and September 1st. Thirteen attended. We were hosted at the Mission Center of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Baguio City. A number of issues were dealt with.

A few items:

1.  Priorities. We are actively involved in a number of ministries… far more than our group can handle well with our limited financial and human resources. Based on our brainstorming, the following were identified as priorities:

  • Clinical Pastoral Training (CPE/CPT). Hospital ministry
  • Disaster Response Training, and crisis response work
  • Pastoral Care Training and Ministry

2.  Ladderization. Develop training programs that are all of certification and progression.  For example, for Disaster Response:

DR Training Program3.  Improve our financial structure and office management.

There are more things… but this is a good start for now. We are so thankful to those who joined and added insights. We are also appreciative of our great hosts.

June 2014 Updates

Here are a few things in the recent past, present, and recent future.

1.  Gabby Mecca (from Virginia in the US) is joining our group for a few weeks… assisting us in Disaster Response, and Hospital work and more.

2.  May 25 – June 5th. Visayas Trip. This was our… 4th or 5th trip to the area devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (aka Haiyan) since December. This trip was in partnership with PBTS, PWMU, and others. 6 team members went. Celia, Alexis, Joylene, Jeanard, Gabby, and Lea were at two evacuation centers in the Tacloban (Leyte) area for half of the trip. Half did Vacation Bible School (Faith, Hope, Love) with the children, while the other half did Psychosocial Processing with the adults. Joylene and Jeanard went on to Mindanao, while the other four travelled to Concepcion, Iloilo. They split their work there between two islands, Mangalabang, and Baliguian. Their they continued the work done in Tacloban, and added the initial groundwork towards a community development program there.

3.  June 2nd. This was the start of an introductory clinical pastoral training group led by Celia and assisted by Jehny and Becky. 6 trainees are Fr. German, Sr. Amelia, Alexis, JB, Gabby, and Joel. Most of their practical ministry work will be done through Baguio General Hospital.

4.  June 19th. “Models of Pastoral Care and Christian Counseling.” This will be a mini-seminar on various forms of Christian ministry in the area of counseling and pastoral care. The goal is a basic understanding of hte different goals of each and their belief regarding the relationship between psychology and theology. This is a free seminar starting at 6:30pm and ending at 9pm at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (Baguio City, Philippines)

Children in Mangalabang Island

Children in Mangalabang Island


Baliguian Island

Baliguian Island


Disaster Response Chaplaincy Presentation

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Disaster Response Crisis Care Overview” target=”_blank”>Disaster Response Crisis Care Overview</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Bob Munson</a></strong> </div>

Relief Team Guidance: Ventilation or Retraumatization??

With the Disaster Response here in the Philippines, we have had to revisit an issue that has been with us since 2009. The issue is whether having a victim in a disaster relive the events is a freeing, ventilating event, or a retraumatization of the event. We use the NOVA method. One of the steps is Ventilation/Validation. In that, the counselor invites the individual or group to go through to describe their experience. There are other methods (CISM/CISD, PFA, OSFA) and this issue is an area where they diverge commonly.

Obviously, we are on a mission of healing so we don’t wish to further harm. There are people out there that are more experienced in this delicate issue. But talking to some and reviewing some literature leads us to recommend a middle road. Methods typically require some level of review of the events they have been through. This seems to be necessary. It is hard to imagine how to listen and respond effectively to the individual or group while avoiding the events that they have gone through. We interpret our lives in terms of stories. Inviting individuals to process experiences into narration seems to be a useful thing… something that has to happen at some point. Additionally, in group the common themes of shared experiences has the potential of healing. However, storytelling as an interpretive event, and act of ventilation, may be hurt by methods that seek to return to and relive the events that traumatized once. Understanding and interpreting can be good, but not reliving it.

Therefore, we are adding the following guidance.

  • While using the NOVA (National Organization of Victim Assistance) we will seek story ventilation, but not seek recollection and sharing of specific sights, sounds, smells, etc.
  • Similarly, for children, art therapy will still be used to allow them to share their own interpretation of events, but without seeking to share detailed sensory memories.

We would welcome further thoughts and insights in this matter.

Some Questions on Disaster Response at Bukal Life Care

Question #1: We’ve been getting questions about helping in response to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. We don’t normally solicit help so this is a bit new to us. But we certainly appreciate all who care about those suffering due to the devastation in the Visayas and Southern Luzon. If you feel led to help, Jehny Pedazo is the one who takes care of acknowledgement receipts. She can be contacted at our number 0933-302-0373. You can also contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.

Question #2: We have also been asked about Medical Missions in response to the disaster of Typhoon Yolanda. We did do medical missions in response to Typhoon Pepeng and Tropical Storm Ondoy. But not this time. We have decided to focus on crisis care chaplaincy (and teams), materials, and training. We will leave medical response to the many fine groups that specialize in that type of ministry.

Question #3: What about other organizations doing relief work in the Philippines? There are many good groups working over here. We have worked with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and so know they are a great and reliable group. World Vision is another group that does good work here. There are many others. Research. Don’t just give to the group that makes the most noise.

Prepping to Go

Three members of our chaplaincy team are expecting to travel with a Disaster Recovery Team to Leyte.  This will probably be the first of many trips. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Also, please remember those in Zamboanga struggling in relocation centers because of the violence there, and those still reeling from the earthquake in Bohol. There are many needs but also many opportunities to serve and help.