“Come unto me all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The town of High River AB has been devastated by flood waters. The National news media is telling that story for all to see. It is estimated that two-thirds of the homes in a town of approximately 13,000 residents have been affected. Many homes will be bulldozed (current estimate is 1,000). Others are at varying stages of drying out in preparation for restorations. Mountains of flood-ruined furniture and contents lie in the streets at the time of this writing. Current reports say that all churches are flooded and not able to accommodate worship and ministry. Some, including the High River Baptist Church have been condemned for demolition (see www.cbwc.ca and national news media sites).
Through the caring initiative of the Compassion Ministries of the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa ON, an inquiry was made on or about June 28, as to how they could best express the compassion of Jesus for the residents of High River. In ensuing conversations with Jason Johnson, Pastor of High River Baptist Church, the Ottawa folks proposed the purchase and distribution of mattresses to those with the greatest need. Pastor Jason and leaders in HRBC affirmed the value of that offer and encouraged others outside of High River to proceed to build the project.
Conversations have been continuing and have led to an affirmation and partnership in this project with the Canadian Baptist of Western Canada, Metropolitan Bible Church (Ottawa) and with Sleep Country Canada for publicity, receiving donations, offering HR residents a free mattress (in Jesus’ name) and purchase & delivery of mattresses for victims of the flood in High River.
- Compassion Ministries of MBC contacted the CEO of Sleep Country Canada and through her staff received an exceptional quote on good quality name brand mattresses.
- MBC accepted responsibility to design an information brochure to hand out with each mattress to inform the recipient of the source of the gift from the people of God across Canada and to emphasize a message based upon Mat. 11:28, that Jesus offers “rest” to anyone who comes to him and to say that the gift is given “in the name of Jesus”. Contact information for HRBC is included on the brochure should a mattress recipient wish to take some next step in exploring the fullness of the “rest” that Jesus has to offer.
- Local CBWC Calgary people, in conversation with Pastor Jason Johnson and other leaders of the High River Baptist Church, began to build some infrastructure for the project considering how to publicize the project, receive donations, purchase mattresses and manage the distribution of mattresses in both a compassionate and an equitable manner, recording mattresses recipients so that a duplication of gifting does not occur.
- Offers of a mattress to a household will be made in person in neighbourhoods of High River by volunteers (including some pastors) from churches in Calgary and area, and acting upon the advice and direction of Pastor Jason and his church leaders.
- A brief assessment questionnaire will be used to determine greatest need so that those who will not have insurance coverage will be given greatest priority.
- Mattresses will be ordered from and delivered and set up by Sleep Country at the home of the recipient in High River.
A directional flow for funds has been arranged through the denominational office of the CBWC (Canadian Baptists of Western Canada) in Calgary for CBWC churches and individuals. The Calgary office will keep an account of donations for the “H.R. Mattress Compassion Project”. Funds can then be transferred electronically to the Mattress Company for purchase of Gift Cards.
***NOTE TO OTHER DENOMINATIONAL GROUPS OR ORGANIZATIONS:
Sleep Country will happily set up a transfer account for your organization should you wish to conduct your own collection and transfer of funds to Sleep Country for this project. To arrange for this please see contact information below for Hugh Fraser (CBWC Pastor).
Send cheques or direct fund transfers to the office of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada or use the “Donation” tab on the CBWC website (www.cbwc.ca) and click on “Disaster Relief Fund”. Until a specific tab is set up for the “High River Mattress Project”, you will need to notify the CBWC office that your gift has been sent and you wish it designated specifically for the Mattress Project. Donate Online Now
Duration of the Project:
As the entire town of High River remains in a State of Emergency as of July 6, 2013 and the renovation and rebuilding of homes will carry on for months (and certainly into 2014) we are projecting this project will remain active through into the fall of 2013. An end date will be posted on the CBWC and MBC websites.
By phone or mail:
Suite 1100, 550 – 11 Ave. SW
Louanne Haugan (CBWC – Disaster Relief Coordinator)
1 403 228-9559 ext. 301
For additional Inquiries about the project or the involvement of your organization:
Hugh Fraser (CBWC Pastor)
For local information (and for contact with Pastor Jason Johnson):
Beryl Harbridge (Admin. HRBC)
High River Baptist Church
2176 Prince of Wales Drive
Ottawa, ON K2E 0A1
1 613 238-8182
MBC Compassion Ministries