In times of crisis and pandemic many of us have the privilege and the responsibility to stand in the “gap” for those around us. Love, courage, tenacity and generosity don’t come in a vacuum. We look at Jesus. And when we realise the wonder of his love – our hearts are transformed.
Because the message of the gospel never gets boring. When we were weak, vulnerable and in danger, Jesus stepped out of the comfort of the glory of heaven to give, not just His time, but His life for you and me. He didn’t just risk His reputation, but Jesus loved us so much he poured out his blood for us.
People who are in desperate need may have nothing to offer us in return for our care. And that’s how Jesus loves us – unconditionally – and that’s what it means for us to love people in need.
Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25ff) demonstrates what it means to stand in the gap for someone. We need to notice – to see others’ needs, be they spiritual, physical, relational or emotional.
Compassion is one of the marks of a person who stands in the gap.
And, like the Good Samaritan, we need a plan.
That plan unfolded a year ago when we went into Hard Lockdown for the first time as we faced the novel corona virus pandemic. The Covid 19 lockdowns have made us aware that we need to be “gap people”.
Fortunately, at St John’s, we have had a structured approach for more than 15 years through our Centre of Concern, which is based on five pillars, Soup Kitchen and Feeding Schemes, Care for the Destitute Elderly (Ruth Project), Havens for marginalised children, a Play & Learn Pre-School Centre and the Equipping of People living with HIV/Aids.
The largest “gap” during the past 12 months has been those who were faced with extreme hunger. To give you some idea, we are currently distributing at least 150 loaves of bread daily, or 750 loaves a week, which is adjusted depending on attendance at the soup kitchen. This month we recorded attendances of over 170 hungry people per day being assisted directly by the soup kitchen, or between 500-1000 per week, excluding their extended families.
This is over and above the almost 200 families that we feed with food parcels each month.
With the donated funds to our Food4Hungry project we were also able to purchase a further ½ ton of nutritious relief aid porridge with the help of Rotary Uitenhage South who provided the transport from Potchefstroom in January.
Our “back door” counselling and feeding ministry for street dwellers and the destitute has also increased way beyond expectation. The need is great for us to stand in the gap.
A team of five people from the Centre of Concern will also be sponsored to attend a Farming God’s Way Course with a view to establishing a food garden and empowering people in the community with skills to grow their own vegetables.
Thank you once again for your support, may you be abundantly blessed for your generosity.
Please enjoy this documentary that Petro Stroud has put together on our Food4Needy outreaches to give you a greater understanding of what it means to stand in the “gap”. Thanks again for your compassion, encouragement and support: Click here to watch the video.
Lockdown prayers every Thursday @ 2:30pm. All welcome!
Please contact Andrew (083 546 2451) for the Zoom link.
We would appreciate it if you could deposit your dedicated giving contributions via EFT into our bank acount:
Branch Code: 050417
A/C Name: St John the Baptist Church
A/C Number: 080281206
(Please make sure your number & reference is included)
Contact Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have a pledge number.
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