The Somang Mission Community (SMC) has been hard at work supporting Merrittonians who need it most throughout the pandemic, flood, and fire filled year that was 2020. To kick off Asian Heritage Month, the church opened its doors for a night of culture, food, dance, and togetherness.
The sounds of singing and conversation between neighbours filled the air at SMC’s “Korean Event,” which took place May 1 at the organization’s church on Coldwater Avenue. Volunteers organized traditional Korean music and dance, served a culturally infused potluck dinner, and even offered activities such as acupuncture and hair cuts, all free of charge.
Looking to bring comfort to the city, Pastor John Kim and his team at SMC often organize cultural and community based events such as this, which advances their mission to serve. The church aims to provide wraparound support in any way possible to its parishioners.
“The mission of our church is to serve all of the community, particularly First Nations. Pastor John goes out to Shackan, Nooaitch, Coldwater, and we serve Lytton now that many of them are in Merritt,” said Bonita Eagles, Director for the SMC.
“He visits all the motels of displaced parishioners once a week, gathers up the flock and provides transportation.”
Through weekly services and outreach services to connect with those in vulnerable sectors of the population, the church looks to build connections and promote togetherness in a community that continues to heal from floodwaters and wildfires, as well as the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We kept coming during the pandemic. We kept our doors open, we masked up and followed all the regulations. We never gave up.”
This sense of community has led to positive outcomes for many, according to Eagles, who says she has seen many struggle with addiction and mental health struggles find a place to be.
“We’re seeing the good works of the Lord because he’s saving our people. We’ve seen vast changes in a lot of the people that have been downtrodden and suffering with addiction. He’s saving them.”
Moving forward, the Somang Mission Community looks to continue its support and service in Merritt, and the atmosphere at Korean Night certainly confirmed Merrittonians were on board.
Those looking for more information should contact Somang Mission Community at 250-280-1268.