I thought I would give people an update on where we have got to in Christchurch with regards to the little project of handing out some supermarket vouchers to folk on the eastside of the city.
People may recall that the project kick-started some months back after Anne and I went over and handed out $1000 to a family we had heard about who were struggling after the February earthquake. The family were strangers to us (but not to God, we believe!!). I wrote about what took place that bleak but hopeful day and how the Highgate Parish in Dunedin had given us the money to do something special with, and within days several people had committed quite some thousands of dollars to help us do it again in some form. Over the last 3 months, thanks to people talking and Angela Singer from the national office picking up on the story, over $70,000 has now been raised! Even people and parishes from far off places like Auckland and Scotland have donated generously and Foodstuffs have come up with a percentage discount enabling us to make the money go further.
So… on 14 August, people from St Stephen’s, St Mark’s and St Giles in Christchurch are going to walk out more than 350 $200 supermarket vouchers after church. It is a classic case of the mustard seed parable, the feeding of the five thousand, and any other biblical illustrations of the way that the kingdom of God, with the Spirit of God at work, moves mountains. We are so thrilled to be playing some small part in this expression of the unfolding of God’s generous grace and we wonder what God will now do with this.
Thanks to the many who have been inspired to contribute to this wonderful effort – I will post a few photos after the 14th but also encourage you to read the Presbyterian Church of NZ publication Spanz as Angela is kindly making room for this story to be part of the follow-up to the Christchurch earthquakes storyline that has unfolded these last 11 months.