When a Disaster Strikes, Will Your Church Be the Light in the Darkness?

North American Ministries Disaster Relief Seeks Willing Churches

Apply to be a Lighthouse Church

What Is a Lighthouse Church?

When Samaritan’s Purse responds to natural disasters, we partner with churches in the affected community, working together to share the love of Jesus Christ with people facing grief and uncertainty. Deployments may last for a day, a weekend, or multiple weeks, as determined by the church team and the level of need. There are two ways churches can be a Lighthouse with Samaritan’s Purse:

  • Host Churches:
    Many Lighthouse Churches act as a “home base” in the days following a disaster by housing volunteers, storing equipment, and sharing information and insight about the community with Samaritan’s Purse staff.
  • Volunteer Relief Teams:
    Other Lighthouse Churches organize groups within their congregation who are willing to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse and then send these work teams to disaster relief responses in their state or region.

Is My Church Equipped to Be a Lighthouse Church?

Deployment Host Facility Requirements:

A certain degree of planning before these situations arise can make a big difference. How would your church respond to the following questions, given that a disaster deployment may require some disruption of normal routines and schedules?

  • Sleeping Quarters

    • What is our strategy to house Samaritan’s Purse volunteers?
    • How many can we comfortably provide sleeping space, ensuring separate areas for men and women?
  • Kitchen Facilities (if available)

    • How can we utilize the kitchen to prepare meals for volunteers?
  • Bathroom Facilities & Showers (if available)

    • How can we make sure these facilities are ready to meet the demands of the volunteers who will be staying?
  • Parking Areas

    Do we have a parking plan that will accommodate:

    • Disaster Relief Unit – Road tractor and 53-foot trailer
    • Shower trailer, if showers are not available inside church
    • Mobile kitchen, if kitchen is not available inside church
    • Flatbed truck(s) and skid steer trailers (depending on disaster)
    • Additional pickup trucks
    • Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Mobile Ministry Center — 40-foot truck
    • What is our parking plan for volunteers?

Lighthouse Volunteer Teams:

If you your congregation can offer a group of willing volunteers, you can organize a Lighthouse Volunteer Team. Below are some ways to prepare your congregation for deployment:

  • Confirm with your congregation its commitment to serve as a Samaritan’s Purse Lighthouse Church in response to U.S. disasters.
  • Gather your volunteer team, reminding everyone that there will be work for all skill levels and ages (14 years old and up). Anyone feeling the Lord calling them to serve can find a place to use their talents.
  • Develop a church plan for when the call to serve comes in. Each church’s plan will be unique to their congregation and processes. We will be happy to assist in your planning as you develop this strategy.

Fill out the form below to apply to be a Lighthouse Church.