Northern Rivers Flood Relief Team – 22 - 24 May

A team of 13 students and 4 staff set off on Friday afternoon to flood-devastated northern NSW. Traffic was busy but we arrived to a fantastic welcome by Samaritan’s Purse staff and local chaplains. Hot chocolate and snacks were in supply. 

Our accommodation was at the Wollongbar Christian Church. Mrs. Morrison gave a devotion and debrief on her prior experience volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse following the Brisbane floods, letting students know what to expect.  Our students joined their Friday night youth group for fun and games and an introduction to Alpha. It was great to connect with youth from the area.

After going straight to bed, an early breakfast, and a safety induction briefing we then got to work.  The teams helped clean the better part of 5 houses on the Saturday. Some comments from homeowners:

I am so glad you came. I needed the help, but I am even more glad for the visit as I have not had a visitor since the floods. A staff member and student prayed with him which he was grateful for. 

I wasn’t sure if I could do this again. I was going to just close the door but I am going to stay.  Thank you.

We debriefed that night and it became apparent that another reason we came was to encourage the Samaritans’ Purse team who have been cleaning for months in Brisbane and then Lismore. A staff member said how amazing the NCC students had blessed them with their hard work and non-stop effort. One lady shared said she was ‘quite cynical about the children of today but watching these students, how they behave and they have worked, I have renewed faith in the next generation. Praise God!

We also brought hampers from Bridgeman Downs Baptist Church and gave them to the flood victims and the rest to the church we visited. Centrechurch flooded in Lismore and we attended on the Sunday morning, held at Summerland Christian College. The church thanked the College for the hampers and for bringing hope. 

It was not only a cleaning mission but a mission of hope, support, and encouragement. The connections we made were wonderful.  The students blessed many they met and rose to the challenge. I’m sure they too were blessed in many ways over the weekend.

After such a fantastic opportunity, we are planning another trip at the end of this term on Friday 24 June as part of our Faith in Action

Laurie Bell

Head of Student Life