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Pastor Luke Skipper of Rivers Church of Christ has seen the need for Jesus’s love to be shown in his community, and has established a new outreach initiative to help people in their greatest time of need.
The Christian Crisis Caravan Initiative provides emergency accommodation to people in desperate need for a roof over their head, who have been displaced by domestic and family violence or poverty.
“In the Moreton Bay area, there was a need for crisis accommodation, particularly for families needing to stay together. The Christian Crisis Caravan Initiative will provide short-term accommodation to help people make successful move into more permanent accommodation,” Luke said.
The idea for the Christian Crisis Caravan Initiative came after seeing the need in the community they saw and were made aware of through the establishment of the Moreton Bay Community Matters foodbank.
“We got a name for helping people, not just through the foodbank, but through our community garden and social events as well as intentionally reaching out to the marginalised in the area. We came across many people who through unexpected circumstances have found themselves homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless or experiencing crisis.”
Luke said there were tales of people who were in desperate need following a series of life events that left them with nowhere to stay. One young man had relocated from Victoria to the region for work. When he arrived he was informed that the work had fallen through and the company had nothing for him. He had spent all his money relocating and was left with nowhere to turn, and no network to support him. This, Luke said, is where the Crisis Caravan would help the community.
“We believe that the caravan will bring the light of Christ into the community by showing the love of Christ to people in desperate need of care, kindness and compassion by providing the most basic needs in their time of need. We feel this allows us to be authentic in showing the love of Christ to them in a tangible and real way. We also believe that this is a way that will show the community that the church is committed to devoted service of others as ambassadors of Christ’s love for them.”
Word spread of the initiative, and Luke engaged with other local Christian organisations who were interested in partnering in the initiative.
Earlier this year, Luke was nominated for the Westfield North Lakes Local Hero Award, and was announced as one of three winners of the award.
He was awarded $10,000, which he used to put towards the purchase of a caravan. This was accompanied by funding from a Centenary Development Foundation grant of $5,000 and contributions from other local organisations.
Find out more about our recent endeavours in the latest edition of Networking.