Since February, Samaritan’s Purse continues to support flood and cyclone victims through local churches.
During January and March, heavy rainfall and severe weather systems led to flash flooding and cyclones in New Zealand’s North Island, causing widespread damage to homes, including dangerous landslides.
Samaritan’s Purse continues to support local churches in Auckland and the Hawke’s Bay region, filling the gap to support their affected communities with food, essentials, lodging and practical trades assistance.
On the 27th of January this year, the equivalent of three months of rain battered the city of Auckland in a single day, continuing for days afterward. The disaster impacted over a thousand homes in the Auckland area, leaving many without access to utilities like running water and electricity.
House Churches Give Hope Across Auckland
Seeing the devastation in Auckland, Pastors James and Viv from Faithpointe sought to put their network of 11 house churches front and centre of their affected communities. Each house church has ministered to the physical needs of their communities across Auckland, and consciously stepped up their response in wake of the floods.
Through our network of meeting houses, we were able to address the parts of the flood that needed addressing in each of our neighbourhoods..it’s not just finding the big things, it’s finding the little things like isolated people, vulnerable people who had nobody to ask for help.
Samaritan’s Purse has allowed us to not have boundaries when people ask for help…Having Samaritan’s Purse’s help we can actually do things and we can do them as an individual, for instance if someone has dietary needs, then we are able to actually ring them and say, “tell me what you need”, rather than “here’s a standard parcel.”
Viv – Faithpointe Church
Supported by Samaritan’s Purse, Faithpointe’s network of churches have been able to over a thousand affected residents throughout North, West, East and Central Auckland. Each house church continues to offer a wide range of assistance to their surrounding community, ranging from food and essentials distribution to hubs providing hot meals for the vulnerable.
Community Ministry Grows Church in Hawke’s Bay
Just weeks after the torrential rain, Cyclone Gabrielle, the worst storm to hit New Zealand this century, wreaked havoc with huge amounts of rain and extreme winds. The storm resulted in flooding and landslides across the North Island’s mountainous East Coast. It has been reported one-third of the country’s five million residents were affected by the cyclone, including the displacement of over ten thousand residents.
Among the worst affected areas in the coastal region of Hawke’s Bay, Engage Church worked in coordination with the churches of the region to distribute food and clothing to meet the immediate needs of their community in Napier.
Soon after, Engage Church began to see a growing need among vulnerable homeowners who were returning to their flood-damaged properties. Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Volunteers met with Andrew to develop a plan to meet practical needs in peoples homes. Thanks to Samaritan’s Purse supporters, Engage were able to invest in equipment to meet a wide range of relief work for residents including clearing muddy debris, removal of fencing, flooring and walls, and perfroming partial rebuilds.
It’s just been really beautiful to see how the church has come together and serve, we’ve been blessed tremendously, we think we’re blessing people but actually serving together is a blessing for us. We’re building that community, we’re building that togetherness.
Andrew – Engage Church
Since Feburary, Samaritan’s Purse has supported churches like Faithpoint, Enagage and more to serve their communities as hands and feet of Jesus, meeting their practical needs. We are priviliged to come alongside churches in Australia and New Zealand during times of disaster, to further share the hope we have in Christ during disasater.
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