When heavy monsoonal rain caused massive flooding in Townsville in early February, the new Uniting Church community church at Mt Louisa immediately opened its doors to help. Journey reports.
The flooding in the North Queensland coastal city of Townsville was unprecedented, with hundreds of people evacuated and thousands of homes inundated. Members of the newly formed Mt Louisa Community Church (formerly Mt Louisa House of Praise) were quick to respond to the crisis.
Church pastor Dr David Pohlmann, (who is also an emergency services chaplain) says, “The members of our church were keen to reach out to assist those from our Townsville community who are doing life tough at the moment, especially in the wake of these unprecedented floods.”
The church opened their facilities as a community hub, staffed by volunteers, on every day of the week from 9am to 1pm. Flood-affected residents are provided with access to power for charging devices, a free WIFI hot spot, a computer, the children’s playground and a free cuppa, biscuit and chat.
Those in need are given access to the food pantry and free goods from the shop op, and volunteers are on hand to help with grant applications and to provide personal and financial counselling. The church also offers Justice of the Peace and Auslan services, and Millies Community Café on Thursday nights is providing a free two-course meal.
Four weeks after the initial crisis the help is ongoing, says David.
“We’ve now given away over 300kg of meat in cooked meals for people who have lost everything. We still have people walking off the street destitute, as insurance payouts and government grants have not yet been received in many cases.
“I suspect this event is going to continue to create ripples that affect us well into the end part of this year.”
Church Elder Graham Wood says, “This is exactly what the church is here to do … to extend the love of God in practical ways to those in our community.”