I wrote a while back about a trip Anne and I made into a hard-hit area of town to give $1000 to a couple who, with their young children, were struggling (you can track the story on my blog listed below).
I want to update people on some of the outcomes to that story. Like many things around here in Christchurch, one things seems to lead to another, and one act of kindness seems to generate other acts. It really is the gospel in action in so many ways, among so many people. Our cups are depleted and then they overflow – such has been the kindness of generosity of so many.
A week or so after I wrote that story up the members of a trust indicated to me that they would like to donate $15,000 towards works of that nature! $15,000! They did more than indicate – they sent the cheque! I have been preaching in a few churches here (St Stephen’s, St Giles & St Mark’s this week) about a grand idea – to turn that $15,000 into $200 supermarket vouchers and that people of the three parishes walk door to door in a hard-hit suburb one Sunday afternoon and give any people we find a voucher and some home-made biscuits and fruit. I have also indicated that I will be visiting some of the westside supermarkets to buy the vouchers and encourage them to consider matching us – maybe dollar for dollar!
The response has been very warm – even enthusiastic.
I know that there is consistent prolonged help needed in these hard-hit suburbs where I have heard that a recent survey has indicated that about one quarter of people are quite depressed – but maybe our one-off gesture will help people understand that they are in the thought and prayers and consciences of the people in their city – even 3-4 months after the dust has settled. There might be agencies we could donate the money to but I feel very strongly that we need to walk in their streets and meet people at their doors as well.
Anyway – since then, $2,200 has been pledged from some of my parishioners and from a small women’s group in Timaru. And I learned overnight that approximately NZ$6000 is about to be sent from a group of women in Stonehaven, Scotland (where our colleague Fyfe Blair now ministers) – so it is up to $23,000 already – that is $200 to 115 homes. What a week!!!
I wonder if anyone else wants to help us. Because the cup seems to be overflowing without all that much of a sales-pitch, I want to dangle the idea out there to any individuals who might want to partner with us in the gathering of money. I have a modest target of $50,000 before I talk to the supermarket chains. What if we could get to 250 homes or 500 homes?!!!
I am aware that people have given sacrificially already to the PCANZ national appeal – I am not asking for more from you and yours… but maybe you can spread the word wider…
Any donations can be sent to St Stephen’s Church, PO Box 29-346, Fendalton, Christchurch – we will offer a receipt for tax purposes!!!
Have a good whatever you are having!