Be a Lighthouse Sending Church

When disaster strikes, will your church be a light in the darkness?

When Samaritan’s Purse responds to natural disasters, we partner with churches, working together to share the love of Jesus Christ with people facing grief and uncertainty.

Lighthouse Sending Churches organize teams within their congregation that are willing to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, and then send these teams to disaster responses within Canada.

Why be a Lighthouse Sending Church?

Impact. Disasters provide a unique opportunity for churches to be directly involved and engaged in sharing the love of Christ, and building relationships with Canadians who may never otherwise enter a church.

Outreach. The greatest impact is often realized by those who have been so affected from the efforts of Samaritan’s Purse, that they make a decision for Christ. When this occurs, Samaritan’s Purse will seek to connect that person to a local church, which can provide follow-up and discipleship.

Serve people. Lighthouse Host Church volunteers have a special chance to respond to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people across Canada. Rallying around hurting people in their time of need can bring great purpose and fulfillment to volunteers who seek to serve in Jesus’ name.

Frequently asked questions about becoming a Lighthouse Sending Church

What are the responsibilities of being a Lighthouse Sending Church?

Lighthouse Sending Churches identify volunteers within their congregation who are willing to serve others in a time of disaster, either in their own community or elsewhere in Canada. When deployed, volunteers assist uninsured or under-insured homeowners with tasks such as possession recovery, mud-outs (after flooding), ash sifting (after fires), debris removal and more. Read this article about a day in the life of a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief volunteer.

Do volunteers need experience or special skills?

No, anyone can volunteer! We provide all the training that you need, then pair you with trained and experienced leaders to facilitate your volunteer experience.

How old do volunteers need to be?

For safety reasons, we recommend that volunteers are over the age of 18. Youth 14-17 require prior permission from us, and must work with a parent or legal guardian.

Will Samaritan’s Purse cover our transportation, accommodation and food costs?

Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the disaster response location, and any incidentals during the stay. We take care of the accommodation, food and safety gear.

Who does Samaritan’s Purse serve during a disaster response?

Our priority is to serve the most vulnerable first, including low-income individuals, the elderly, those without insurance, veterans, and those who serve in public service such as fire, police, and medical response as they often are not able to be home as a result of their duties. Upon completion of all the work at each home, a Bible (signed by every volunteer that worked at the home) is presented to the homeowner.

Does Samaritan’s Purse charge residents for work done in response to a disaster?

No. Because of volunteers and donors like you, Samaritan’s Purse can provide services at no cost to the homeowner, assisting them in their ongoing recovery.

If we want to apply to be a Lighthouse Sending Church, what happens next?

Ensure your church leadership understands and supports our program, then contact us. We will review your request, and if approved, an acceptance letter will be sent out to your church. We will then invite you to participate in future disaster responses as needs arise.

What if the disaster takes place in our own town or city?

We are also interested in recruiting churches to serve as Lighthouse Host Churches. These churches assume additional responsibilities and provide additional support for the local community, as well as hosting equipment and volunteers who may be coming to your area from out of town. Learn more here.


Still have questions? Please call us at 1-800-663-6500 and ask to speak to the Canadian Disaster Relief Manager or email

Lighthouse host churches

Lighthouse Host Churches are close to areas affected by disaster. They act as a home base in the days following a disaster by housing volunteers, storing equipment, and sharing information and insight about the community with Samaritan’s Purse staff.

Volunteer internationally

Each year, Samaritan’s Purse takes church groups and volunteers on short-term mission trips around the world. Visit our Trips page and see what upcoming trip opportunities are available.

“This disaster was able to bring Christ to so many people that maybe would have never had the opportunity to hear that before.”

~ Jeremy, church minister

Stories about our Canadian Disaster Responses

Other ways you can get involved