The coronavirus can strike anywhere, even in Canada’s remote First Nations reserves. Many health care staff and emergency first responders in these communities can’t access enough personal protective equipment—or if they can, the equipment is too expensive to afford.
Through these dangerous times, God has made a way to serve isolated communities through a partnership of Canadian Christian ministries, including Samaritan’s Purse.
With organizations like Northern Youth Programs, we are working together to get critical protective equipment to where it is urgently needed to guard against COVID-19.
Through your prayers and gifts, more than 300 community preparedness kits have already left our Canadian Response Center in Calgary on their way to almost 100 reserves in northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, plus the Yukon.
Each kit contains masks, gloves, hospital-grade disinfectant, and spray bottles for one community’s frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Our partners are giving the kits to reserve leaders, who are distributing them as needed. Our partners are also supplying Bibles and Christian literature to pastors or community leaders who ask for them.
“We’re giving these groups the kits and enabling them to minister to the communities they’re involved with,” said Samaritan’s Purse’s Larry Nanninga, who’s involved with some of the distributions. “Without them, we wouldn’t have the connections with the First Nations communities.”
The kits play a vital role in opening doors for the Gospel, said Norm Miller, the CEO of Northern Youth Programs. “And right now, there’s a significant amount of fear and uncertainty in these reserves. People have a sense of vulnerability against an unseen enemy.”
Miller has been delighted at seeing how the kits are providing opportunities for pastors and Christian community leaders to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and offer spiritual comfort to their anxious people. “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, ESV).
“One leader was very grateful for kits, but he said their youths needed Bibles,” Miller said. “As a Christian ministry, the onus is on us to feed spiritually hungry people. Now’s our time to rise to the occasion.”
Help Samaritan’s Purse strengthen the impact of local churches in communities recovering in the aftermath of disasters. As caring Christians are trained and empowered to walk alongside individuals and families to find solutions to complex needs, God opens doors to share the Gospel.