"As a Chaplain for the Billy Graham rapid response team I traveled to Vernon in the 2nd week of July to come alongside workers from Samaritans Purse as together we ministered to those that had been flooded out at the head of Lake Okanagan. We were ministering on First Nations land. Interestingly most of those that had been flooded are not First Nations but they lease their property from those who hold the land rights. To begin with three of us went to the Band emergency office to meet those in charge and discuss the strategy of how we could offer help in the area.
In the afternoon I joined a team of assessors from Samaritan’s Purse going to homes that had requested our help. This is also a great opportunity to build relationships and offer prayer to those in need. As a team we came out of one place and noticed a man across the street who seemed a bit agitated. We greeted him and offered our help, and as a result, the assessors went through his home as I befriended him. Then when they were done I prayed for this man, Russel with the Samaritans Purse workers. After that Russel would say that, "when John prayed for me everything changed." He had lost hope and was overwhelmed with what had to be done to fix up his place. All of a sudden after prayer he had hope. Over the next day I spent much time with Russell and his girlfriend.
There were may more opportunities around the community to share the gospel and to pray for people in need. Even when were were off duty opportunities to share the gospel presented themselves. We all attended a town hall meeting for those facing this emergency and again with our presence we established critical relationships and built trust with people.
Our Chaplain and Samaritans Purse team have moved on to help the many who have been affected by BC’s fires. It has been a busy summer for our team."