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About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Crossing the Rubicon

Team Rubicon in Chile A story in today’s paper focused on King George County resident Mark Hayward and his work with Team Rubicon, a new grassroots disaster relief group.

Hayward, an emergency physician’s assistant and former Army medic, responded to disasters in both Haiti and Chile. On his way to Haiti, he met members of Team Rubicon and joined their efforts. Hayward and other team members kept up with friends and family back home, via a blog that’s available to read on the Team Rubicon site.

The blogs share many insights into the daily life of the volunteers. First, I was intrigued by the use of social media. While trying to interview Hayward from Chile, he told me that often Facebook came through more reliably than his email. That social networking site actually played a pretty big role in Team Rubicon’s efforts. The group started with a Facebook post from Jake Wood asking for help. The social media site came to the rescue again in Chile, when team members heard that a Catholic relief group named Caritas needed help. But they didn’t have any contact info. Mark Hayward posted a request for help on his Facebook page. Answers came from contacts in the U.S. and Slovenia.

I also liked reading about the members’ nightly reflections. They’d gather around and talk about the day and things they learned. Here is an excerpt from a blog by Hayward:

Clay, who is not particularly religious, also reflected on the fact that he had thought of a verse of scripture a number of times during this mission — “Be still, and know that I am God.” He wanted to know where it was in the Bible, but none of us knew exactly where it was, so I looked it up, and laughed out loud when I found it in context, in the 46th Psalm. I read the whole psalm aloud to the team, which I was able to do because my phone had internet access at the time; I don’t have it now, so I will have to ask you to look the verse up yourself. But we all found a certain resonance in the psalmist’s reassurance that though the mountains might tremble, and the waves of the ocean might rage against the land, we are invited to be comforted and unafraid.

Want to read the Scripture? Click here. And if you want to visit Team Rubicon’s site, click here.