|Disasters provide a unique opportunity for churches to be involved in their community and engaged in sharing the love of Christ. A primary goal of Samaritan’s Purse is to empower the local church, and the Lighthouse Church initiative provides opportunities for the local church to respond to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs arising after a disaster. These churches become better equipped to respond with compassion in times of disaster, cultivating relationships both within the church and the community. Long after the cleanup has ended, the Lighthouse Church remains as a stable foundation for those who have been impacted by the disaster.
Impacts from a disaster in a community are felt in two ways – those who have received help and those who have volunteered – and through these different experiences people will make decisions for Christ. When this occurs, Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team Chaplains will seek to connect that person to a local Church (often the Lighthouse Church) for follow-up and discipleship.
The work of Samaritan’s Purse Canadian Disaster Relief could not happen without our incredible volunteers and partnering churches. There are two ways churches can be a Lighthouse with Samaritan’s Purse:
- Lighthouse Host Churches: These act as a home base in the days following a disaster by housing volunteers, storing equipment, and sharing information and insight, both about the community with Samaritan’s Purse staff, and, through the church’s network, sharing what we are doing with other church leaders.
- Lighthouse Sending Churches: These organize teams within their congregation who are willing to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse and then send these work teams to disaster relief responses.
If you would like to know more about Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s Canadian Disaster Relief Program and its Lighthouse Church initiative, please contact Steve Elliott, Regional Disaster Response Coordinator – Central Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org 705-917-0529.