Finding a place of normalcy that involves having fun during this time of disaster has become almost impossible for Minot residents, however, according to First Assembly of God, that problem can be fixed. The solution: one big tent.
Pastor John Brady, along with the community of Minot, has created a haven away from the 24-hour news coverage, sandbagging and other tasks related to the 2011 flood fight in Minot.
"We wanted to provide a place for the people of Minot for a 'time-out' from this stressful period," Brady said. The enormous tent you see outside of the church at 1805-2nd St. SE was intended for children, families, and people of all ages to go and have fun while socializing with a compassionate community to allow time for healing.
First Assembly of God youth pastor Allon Loven stands in front of the community fun tent that is located across the street from First Assembly of God in southeast Minot.
Known as a tent of encouragement, First Assembly, surrounding churches and communities have developed a place for honoring families and time to share their stories, pray, cry and heal. The community fun nights have held a variety of activities already such as children's haircuts, face-painting, outdoor sports and fellowship for those in need of someone just to talk to.
Along with bringing the community together, First Assembly's congregation has grown stronger as well.
"You see people face their faith. It brings out every trial of emotion," Brady said. The amount of effort and strength to keep everything and everyone going is what defines what Brady tends to claim as a credible motto: Church, Care and Compassion.
The commitment alone is a way to show everyone in need that there are people at the ready for them, and establish relationships between the community, church and God. Besides commitment, there are other factors that play a part in repairing Minot after the flood.
"Something our community has found is a passion to serve those in need. Doing all they can to serve," said Brady. Seeing that more than 50 families from First Assembly alone have been affected by the flood was a reminder of how many have been affected across Minot and Burlington and would be in need of restoration of their spiritual roots and their relationship with God.
Like all disaster organizations, First Assembly's Community Fun Tent does not have an unlimited amount of resources, but has been blessed enough to receive donations from local businesses and other establishments, such as food, water, services and other useful supplies so they are able to continue to run the community fun nights every Wednesday and Friday.
Brady was extremely grateful on behalf of First Assembly for the amount of support and sense of locality in which they have found that the relationship between churches and communities have been very generous and kind.
"We give honor to all our churches in Minot and have compassion for our communities such as the valley, North Hill, Burlington and others that are in need."