Growing up in Portugal from the age of six through high school, Chris Dudley has truly lived an international life. After high school, Chris lived in many places like Minnesota, Florida, Brussels and Denmark. Now, as Convoy of Hope’s Director of International Disaster Response, Chris continues to travel, preparing for and responding to disasters all over the world.
What brought you to Convoy of Hope?
The guy who started Convoy of Hope Europe had been a missionary in Portugal when I lived there. He has known me since I was six years old. So, he asked if I wanted to come and work with him.
How often do you travel?
About once a month. It depends on the year and what’s going on in the world. I go to all of our focus countries to help get prepositioned disaster relief supplies in-country, work with our staff to try to be prepared and then respond to disasters.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I get to eat all over the planet. I get to eat some of the strangest and grossest food at times, and some of the most delicious, amazing food at other times.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten?
There’s nothing like Lebanese food. Lebanese food is absolutely amazing.
What are some of the biggest disasters you have been responded to?
Haiti was the first really big one that I was a part of and I wasn’t even really on the disaster team at that point. I was still in Europe. So, I came over to represent the Europe office. And then, probably next to that, would be Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which was a monster of a storm. I spent A LOT of time in the Philippines after that. I thought about becoming a citizen because it just would’ve made my life easier, going in and out of the airport in Manila.
What do people not realize about disaster response?
People, I think, watch TV and they see very sensational images that kind of pull at their heart strings, which it should. But, I think people who have never lived through a disaster don’t understand the depth of how it impacts an individual. Disaster can have a lifetime effect on people. So by us going in and helping people in sort of their darkest hour, for me, is really fulfilling.