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Connecting Communities to Churches in COVID-19

Since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, Samaritan’s Purse has been partnering with local churches across Australia to support struggling communities in the midst of the health and economic crisis.

The local church is able to identify the needs in their community. Together, we can reach hurting Australians with physical relief in Jesus’ Name.

Samaritan’s Purse connected with churches, many of which were already serving their community, to come alongside their existing programs and empower them to meet needs such as providing food to unemployed international students, and essential care packages to refugee and immigrant families.

One of our church partners based on the Queensland coast, called OurChurch, provided over 52,000 meal portions to hurting families and individuals along the Gold Coast.

Utilising the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre’s kitchen facilities, the church partnered with local churches and schools to prepare and distribute the meals.

“We distributed meals to families who had been significantly impacted by COVID-19, specifically those facing job loss and seniors having to stay at home,” said Ruth Arnold, pastor at OurChurch.

“At one stage, our project was nearing its close. This was when Samaritan’s Purse stepped in to support us; it was their generosity and partnership that kept the project going.”

Ruth was able to witness many encouraging and overwhelming moments where her project was able to meet specific people with urgent needs at just the right time.

One recipient was a single father who was speaking with his son’s principal in the school’s car park one afternoon. As they talked, the man noticed people arriving to collect something and the principal explained about the meals. “The man had lost his job that very day,” she said. “We were able to give him a meal and build a relationship to follow up with.”

Like this man, hundreds of families and individuals have been blessed through the partnership between OurChurch and Samaritan’s Purse.

“This has been a beautiful partnership. Everyone brought what they could to the table and the end result of us linking arms was that needs were met,” said Ruth.

“This isn’t just a random food drop-off. We are building ongoing relationships with those in our community – in the true Australian spirit. In a time of such disconnect, the best action we can take is to love thy neighbour.”

Another church partner, Wellspring Anglican Church, based in Tasmania fed over 1,000 international students and temporary residents through our COVID-19 community response partnership.

The church also distributed blankets and jackets to keep many warm in the frosty winter

“International students lost their jobs and were unable to receive financial support from their families when the lockdown started,” said Sam Gough, a pastor at Wellspring Anglican. “Our church is privileged to serve with Samaritan’s Purse.”

We praise God for the opportunities we have had to partner with local churches across Australia during this global crisis.

Thank you for continuing to support the mission of Samaritan’s Purse to serve hurting communities in Jesus’ Name.

Please continue to pray for these partnerships and for the ongoing church programs.

By giving to Australian Disaster Relief, you can help churches like these continue to bring light to their communities. 

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