This is a story of radical love and practical generosity coming against the current tide of fear and financial difficulty.
In early spring 2022, the UK government announced there would be a cost-of-living crisis as Covid, the war in Ukraine and other factors created a ‘perfect storm’ of price increases.
With this news as the backdrop, we heard on a Sunday how ‘Godly wisdom cares for the poor’. How wise believers always, no matter the financial climate, care for those in need.
This provoked what I can only describe as a deep discontentment that the cost-of-living crisis would have the last word. “No”, I thought. “My town will think that debt/fear is inevitable and our God who saves will be robbed of Glory. Surely there is a ‘kingdom response’ to all this crisis.”
A wave of discontentment and deep compassion came for those who have cut the cloth in recent years, only to find that this wouldn’t be good enough. Debts, sorrow and despair were now a very real reality for so many – time for the Church to rise up!
There is a hymn which goes “..the Son of God given for me, my debt he pays and my death he dies, that I might live.!”
We believe in a debt-cancelling, life-giving God; and we are to be those who look and sound so much like this God that we would be nicknamed “little Christs”!
..Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25
So, in this place of tears, compassion, and indignation an idea was born. An idea that would see our Church raise a gift of over £55,000 to give to the need in Ukraine and this Kingdom response to the cost-of-living crisis.
This money is being broken down into monthly vouchers which can be spent in a local supermarket. The month-on-month support should enable individuals to re-allocate funds towards other rising costs.
We are planning to stand with about 35 individuals/families over the next 7 months giving £50-£80 per month. Bridging the gap and preventing debt from spiralling.
Connect volunteers are ready to listen to stories, offer to pray and signpost where there is further opportunity for support and love.
Our heart is that the love and mercy of God would be shared in this time through the practical generosity of a local church to their ‘neighbours’.
As each voucher is given out, we are praying for God to bring hope and life as only he can. We are then here waiting to listen to people’s stories, to signpost to other resources and to remind our community that there are a people who love and care.
I share this to encourage all the Nehemiah-hearted ones seeking to walk in step with a God of mercy. Let His compassion stir you and may we see His love revive our parched nation.