‘In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
Here Paul is talking to the elders at Ephesus, reflecting on his work with them and giving guidance, before setting off for Jerusalem.
As we continue to live our daily lives through the changing stages of this pandemic, it is easy to focus inwardly on our own world. But we can see how it is impacting people all over the world in different ways; health, emotions, relationships, practically, jobs, money …
Charities able to help are facing soaring demands for their services – at the same time seeing reduced income (cancelled fund raising events/activities and reduced personal donations). I expect you, like me, will be seeing an increasing number of local, national and international charitable appeals on social media, TV or in your post or in box – we have plenty of opportunities to be blessed by giving!
We have an example of Christians helping the weak on our doorstep. On the Gurnell Grove Estate, an area in our parish with already high levels of deprivation, Mark Tate and the mission team there offered to shop for those isolating or shielding but it didn’t stop there. For one lady with special health needs, and on a frighteningly small budget, ‘normal’ shopping usually involved going to different shops and picking up the ‘reduced’ bargains – impossible for her to do in lockdown. Others on the estate are already suffering from being laid off.
So The Grove set up an Emergency Food Hub, with volunteers from the estate and local churches, then scaled it up at Greenford Hall to serve more people in the borough with free food packs twice a week. It is now back on the estate for August and they are praying and planning on how to continue alleviating poverty there.
Others examples are Ealing Foodbank, Ealing Soup Kitchen, or Naomi Rattrey’s Family Support Service.
Local and International challenges continue to grow, so I am challenging myself to use August to review my giving and be as intentional as I am in my church giving.
Prayer: Lord – help us to be generous in our time and money towards those in need.
Prayer Request: for organisations serving others in our area and particularly for The Grove Community as they plan for the future.