It’s certainly not living in the lap of luxury, but Scientology Volunteer Ministers wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

What’s it like being a Scientology Volunteer Minister? It’s tough.

Volunteer Ministers helping provide food, water and ice for those in need on Grand Bahama Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

As Francesca, one volunteer on the Scientology Bahamas Disaster Response Team, explained, “We have been sleeping in sleeping bags and tents, eating canned goods. We just got electricity two or three days ago. Our shower is a hose that runs with saltwater, outside of the YMTA (Young Men’s Training Association headquarters) surrounded by boards, so we can rinse off. We are definitely not being pampered. But we are here to help—not for a vacation but to actually help.”

A typical day begins at dawn with the team of Volunteer Ministers gathering for a short meeting where they coordinate their assignments for the day.

“Then it’s off to the Royal Caribbean Relief Kitchen in Lucaya in the middle of Freeport on the southwest side of the island. This is where we help package hot meals and pass out water and ice. There are chefs who make the food and about 20 people putting it into containers to be passed out. We jump on the line, help package each individual meal with the Relief Kitchen team and then put them in large boxes, each holding 150 meals. We take the boxes of 150 and load them into carts for distributors such as pastors, schools, hospitals, other NGOs—groups that will take the meals and distribute them.

“We packaged 6,000 meals today, passed out over 500 bags of ice and handed out 500 cases of water,” she says.

After packing the food, the Volunteer Ministers pick up supplies and pass out meals and water to the farthest reaches of the east end of the island.

Other teams are removing trees that are blocking roads and helping people with their homes.

Over the weekend, the Volunteer Ministers handed out supplies to hundreds of families in the park—everything from cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, canned food and water to feminine products, diapers and wipes.

Scientology Churches in Florida have organized teams of volunteers who are unable to contribute their services full time, but who can fly into Freeport each weekend to provide additional resources to the main body of Volunteer Ministers on the ground.

Anyone who can help should contact their local Church of Scientology or International Volunteer Ministers Headquarters at (800) Help-4YU.

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.

Watch films based on the tools of the Volunteer Minister on the Scientology Network.

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