When the heaviest spring flooding in 25 years left 250 homes badly damaged in the Belleville, Ontario, region, Maranatha Christian Reformed Church hosted the headquarters for the flood clean-up.
The cleanup effort was spearheaded by Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational Christian agency known for the Christmas Child program as well as for disaster relief work.
Steve Elliott, a member of Living Hope CRC in nearby Peterborough, serves as regional coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse. Until his retirement last year, Elliott was an employee of Emergency Management Ontario in Belleville.
Three Samaritan’s Purse transport trailers were parked on Maranatha’s church property; local governments and media outlets were contacted; and local pastors and churches pitched in for the flood relief effort.
More than 45 members of Maranatha volunteered to help with the disaster relief project. They helped remove sandbags from affected properties, moved homeowners’ possessions to safe locations, and “gutted” damaged drywall and other materials so that homes could dry properly. The 40 work orders completed focused on families with low income, seniors, single parents, and people with disabilities.
“Our volunteers began work every morning with a prayer circle at headquarters,” explained Steve Elliott. “When a work order was finished, we gave each homeowner a Bible signed by all the crew members who had worked there. Many of them were overwhelmed.”