During a time of crisis, BaptistCare partnered with local church teams to support a community in need.
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In March 2022, BaptistCare drew on its longstanding connection with Lismore Baptist Church to offer practical, emotional, and spiritual support to those impacted by one of the worst flooding events our nation has seen.
With thousands of people across the region having lost their homes – many of whom fled the rising waters with only the clothes on their backs – BaptistCare HopeStreet community services teams in Newcastle and Grafton/Lismore activated an emergency response, partnering with Lismore Baptist Church to source and deliver over $10,000 worth of food and clothing donations in the initial days of the disaster.
“Making the eight-hour journey from Newcastle to Lismore through such challenging weather conditions wasn’t easy,” said David Gibson, Manager of BaptistCare HopeStreet in Newcastle. “After delivering the supplies, we were able to speak to a few people and pray with them before heading back home, but the teams in Lismore really walked with the community during that time – and continue to do so.”
As flood waters receded, BaptistCare and Lismore Baptist Church teams worked tirelessly to support the community with the ongoing clean-up operation, delivering water and food relief to affected areas and operating a free sausage sizzle from their food truck every single day for more than four weeks.
In April 2022, BaptistCare HopeStreet and Lismore Baptist Church together established a community food bank, so that locals could obtain much-needed staple items in the aftermath of the disaster. Over the course of five months, ongoing food donations were managed and delivered to the church by BaptistCare, with the church’s volunteers driving and operating the hub. During this time, staff and volunteers were able to build strong relationships with locals regularly attending the food hub, offering prayers and a caring conversation where needed.
A long-term partnership
BaptistCare’s connections to Lismore Baptist Church goes back more than seven years when the two organisations came together to run the local StreetCare program, offering a regular barbeque for those experiencing homelessness.
John Wilson, Senior Pastor at Lismore Baptist Church said, “Our relationship with BaptistCare has always been strong and it’s been a blessing to come together in support of the Lismore community where many people continue to suffer the consequences of this natural disaster.”
BaptistCare’s partnership with Lismore Baptist Church is founded on a simple shared value – to lend a helping hand to those in need by following the loving example of Christ.