The fifth stop on the IFOC Ambassador Tour 2016 was to Sangre De Cristo Chaplain Corps, Taos, NM. They have their hands full. They serve over 2200 sq. miles, several mountain passes, 5 eco zones and lots of windy mountain roads. They are a rural County with Taos being the County seat with 25,000 in the county and 5,600 in the Town of Taos. Their Chaplains represent the diversity that is Taos.
The area they serve is tri-cultural, with approximately 47% Hispanic, 42% Anglo, 8% Native American and 5% Christian. Sometimes having so many cultural differences can lead to animosity and sometimes violence. So they have to be on their toes every time they get called out. This area never really recovered from the recession and due to the cultural differences the Chaplains sometimes find it difficult to be accepted. But God provides and goes before them and behind them. There are many Buddhists, Sufis, New Agers, Satanists and old hippies.
The Chaplains drive long distances due to the terrain. The area has problems with: unemployment, domestic abuse, pedestrian deaths, DUI’s and unfortunately the 4th most popular destination in the USA for suicide. The suicide rate is 3 times the National average.
In big emergency callouts, the whole Corps shows up. They are highly trained in CISM and work regularly with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Their Corps is built around relationships. They take care of their Chaplains. They believe in Servant Leadership and in situational leadership. The care of their Chaplains is high on the list. They train and enable people to problem solve. This group is very close and spend time really getting to know each other and have some fun too.
As a side note, Jeo’s husband made national news that read “Man slugs bear, Saves goat.” Google this!
Command Staff and this Corps, we recognize the work you do in a difficult area. Many thanks for your time. I know that your work is very busy and it is very noticeable in how you provide care so many areas. As part of IFOC, we are amazed at the work you do there. And what a Blessing you are to us as well!!
Until we meet again…