Canadian Relief Projects - 080504 Canadian Disaster Relief

Love in action – serving amid a COVID-19 emergency in Thunder Bay

The shifts were long—usually 12 hours and often overnight—but Samaritan’s Purse staff were happy to fill in a big gap as the northern Ontario city of Thunder Bay struggled to fight a serious COVID-19 outbreak.

The outbreak overwhelmed the shelters for those experiencing homelessness, forcing them to send residents to hotels for the duration of their isolation. Combined with several shelter staff getting the virus, that put a significant strain on the shelters’ ability to serve clients.

In response to the city’s urgent request for help, Samaritan’s Purse supporters like you made it possible to send 16 people to the city to help.

Observing all safety protocols, we helped provide meals, snacks, and supplies to people in the hotels serving as isolation units. We also helped to sanitize hallways and other parts of the hotels where people experiencing homelessness were living.

Love in Action

By the time the team returned home March 22, it had completed more than 2,200 hours of assistance and assembled 60 hygiene kits for people in isolation.

“The difference we made was being able to serve on the frontlines and support the local workers,” said Claus Burchert, who led the Samaritan’s Purse team. ”We were able to help relieve the immense pressure and stress these hardworking staff were under during a time of crisis.”

Our work also opened doors for chaplains from our sister organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, to offer spiritual and emotional care to staff and residents.

We praise God for how He used those combined efforts, often through small acts of kindness and service, to reach many with His love. We praise God that 13 people put their faith in His Son.

“Our team really loved on the people who were in isolation, too,” said Claus’s wife Wanda, who served as a Billy Graham chaplain. “There were many comments where (cynical, weary) residents said ‘you guys aren’t bad’. That, to me, is a huge compliment.”

Your prayers and gifts made this work possible. Through your partnership, you can help prepare for the next opportunity for God’s people to provide vital physical and emotional assistance in times of crisis.

Canadian Relief Projects - 080504 Canadian Disaster Relief

Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters within Canada, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.