“It’s not about our church or our denomination; it’s about people finding Christ and getting plugged into a church that preaches the truth.”
As New Brunswick’s Journey Wesleyan Church hosted Samaritan’s Purse while it did flood relief work in the Fredericton region, it experienced significant blessings—not only for the congregation, but for other churches in the area.
“We love the partnership and we’re hoping you never have to return, but if you do, you always have a welcome door here,” said Scott Wood, Journey’s outreach and missions pastor. “We love the professionalism and how Samaritan’s Purse interacts with our staff. It’s a great relationship.”
Journey Wesleyan has been a “Lighthouse Church” with Samaritan’s Purse in the wake of flooding along the St. John River in 2008, 2018 and 2019.
The congregation was home base for one of our Disaster Relief Unit tractor-trailers, other support vehicles, and the Mobile Ministry Center truck for chaplains with our sister organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Electrical access, high-speed internet
As part of this Lighthouse Church role, Journey Wesleyan also provided several weeks of electrical access, high-speed internet, temporary accommodations for volunteers and staff members, food for staff and volunteers, and more.
“We’re really blessed because our size means we can handle a lot of things,” said Scott, whose church has an average weekly attendance of 370.
“One of those things is last year, we were able to receive and store almost 40 beds and mattresses that we gave to flooded families identified by Samaritan’s Purse.”
During these gatherings, they:
- Reviewed the day’s highlights.
- Revealed how Christ worked through them and through situations to show His love and compassion.
- Prayed for volunteers and for residents in need.
Other churches benefit
Scott noted that because Journey was not in the 2008, 2018 or 2019 flood zones, it did not directly benefit from people receiving physical and spiritual help from Samaritan’s Purse, then deciding to attend the church. And he’s fine with that.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about our church or our denomination; it’s about people finding Christ and getting plugged into a church that preaches the truth,” Scott explained.
One of those congregations in the Fredericton region is Maugerville Baptist Church. It was flooded in 2018 and 2019, but some church members still found time both years to help others by volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse.
“There has been a connection that has developed indirectly to our church as if we had brought Samaritan’s Purse to the region,” said Pastor Neville Gosman.
As flood victims near Maugerville Baptist received physical and spiritual help from Samaritan’s Purse, Neville noted their often-negative attitudes toward Christianity and churches changed.
“People associated us with the good work of Samaritan’s Purse,” Neville said. “The hard labor of helping people in disaster relief has changed our reputation to being a church that cares for its neighbors.”
As some flood victims decided to “trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5, ESV), Maugerville Baptist was often the church they began attending. In fact, church attendance has more than doubled in the past three years. Praise God!
You can be part of this mighty Kingdom work through your donations and prayers. And your congregation can prepare to serve the community in the aftermath of a disaster by becoming a Samaritan’s Purse Lighthouse Church.
Please join us so that together, people in need can learn and believe the Good News that “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).