Sewells Explore World Trauma Spots
International Disaster Relief Coordinators Consult on Army Responses to Need
by Susan Schumann Warner –
The Salvation Army’s foremost experts in international relief work, Majors Roland and Dawn Sewell, recently spent a week in the West where they reported on the Army’s ongoing global refugee and disaster work. The Sewells are based at International Headquarters in London, where they serve as International Disaster and Refugee Services Coordinators.
“It’s been so encouraging to us to discover people here who can share the vision God has placed on our hearts,” said Major Roland Sewell. “It’s been wonderful to have a chance to say thank you as well. The Western Territory has been generous from the beginning–from releasing Lt. Lisa (Brodin) Smith to Rwanda in 1994, to the financial support of programs that kept more than 600 families alive in Bosnia last winter, to the coverage in New Frontier, who shares with the world-wide Army.”
The Sewells provided global updates at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps, the Los Angeles Korean Corps, the College for Officer Training, and at a territorial headquarters chapel service. They were also featured presenters at a territorial disaster relief conference led by Community Relations and Development Secretary Captain Robert Rudd and New Frontier Editor Dr. Robert Docter, and attended by National Disaster Services Coordinator Major David Dalberg, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 9 representative Dave Vargo, and a dozen divisional and territorial delegates.
Speaking at the Los Angeles Korean Corps, under the leadership of Lts. John Yong Woo and Ruth Lee, provided an opportunity to share about Roland’s recent trip to North Korea, where he had been invited to ascertain if there was a realistic opportunity for The Salvation Army to be directly involved in work in that country. The Army is now looking at helping train child care workers at a children’s home there.
Roland, a civil engineer, has had short term assignments with other non-governmental agencies, including the Red Cross, UNICEF and OXFAM, which have taken him to The Sudan, Ethiopia, Jordan, Iraq, and AFghanistan in famine, war and other complex emergencies. In 1992, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honored him with Membership of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Dawn is a registered nurse, specializing in infectious and tropical diseases. They were introduced to relief work while serving in Zambia from 1976-84.