Friday, May 31, 2013

THEY DARED TO BE GENEROUS....

...and their actions made a difference


There's an inspiring, example-filled Kiwi web site www.loveyourneighbour.co.nz . Well, I've 'stolen' some headlines from their examples in the hope that you'll be inspired too. But you'll need to check out their website to get the encouraging details. So, under each heading (below) there's the introduction to an outstanding story. But to get the mouth-watering details, you'll need to do a couple of clicks and get onto the site. Here's a sample...........



BLESSING THE EARTHQUAKE CITY - CHRISTCHURCH
At the end of the day, it didn't matter what church we did or didn't go to. In this project, we had unbelievers, church-goers and people from house churches all contributing their donations, time and effort to help the people of Christchurch. We worked side-by-side and accomplished something wonderful. Our agenda wasn't to have them join our particular church or denomination. It was only to bless, to comfort, and to come alongside those who were struggling. In the midst of it, in a quiet and gentle way, God was glorified, and through kindness and generosity, perhaps we turned a few hearts that little bit more towards Him....

CHURCH SHUTS DOWN SUNDAY SERVICE TO SERVE LOCAL SCHOOL.
There were no cars in the car park of Mt Albert Baptist Church on Sunday morning the 2nd of November. Why? The people of the church community headed down the road all day Saturday and Sunday to help spruce up Mt Albert Primary School. Along with members of the Kiwanis and families from Mt Albert Primary, they charged through a remarkable number of helpful projects for the school....

COMMUNITY OUTREACH THAT WORKED FOR ME
When I became a Christian I waited for the church I belonged to 'release me' into my community. For a dozen years I attended 3 different churches in my community and I felt frustrated that despite how wonderful the churches were there was not a connection with the community.
 
Seven years ago I was contacted by a lady who ran a craft group and they were looking for an art teacher. She explained that some of the teachers and some of the students were believers but most were not.
 
At that time a group had been active in the community for more than two decades and followed a simple formula love + craft = community outreach. Each Tuesday, between 50 and 100 women from the community came to Orewa Community Church. She concludes....."It is amazing how God who gives us our talents and desires can guide us into a situation where we can both love Him and love our neighbour...."

EVEN GEEKS CAN SERVE
Wellington South Baptist Church community hopes this initiative (checking and correcting computors for free) inspires other churches to take a deeper look at what they can offer their neighbors and pursue their own creative outreaches.
 
The community board is thrilled with the outcome, even if they are a little mystified as to why a church would do such a thing. “One of them made the comment, 'I don't know what's in your communion wine, but keep using it, it's doing a good job!'....

RENOVATING A COMMUNITY FACILITY
What was going to cost the community 90k was all done for $30K, and we got the chance to serve in a way that is consistent with the Gospel. Relationships within the church were strengthened, and our relationship with the community board and local school will open doors to more opportunities in the future!”
 
'Neighbour Network', with the ambitious (but we believe God-given) plan of seeing a lighthouse of prayer-care-share established on every street of the Hibiscus Coast.... WOW!
 


STREET WORKS: HAMILTON YOUTHFUL COMMUNITY CHANGE AGENTS
When close friends get inspired to do something together, they are pretty much unstoppable. So it proved to be for Jo, Sharma, and Claire who, in their first year at Waikato University, had their eyes opened to the needs of their city and decided to make a difference.

They went along to help out at a meal for poor and homeless people being offered by Gateway Church, where they were attending. Claire tells me of the impact this had on her and her friends. “Until that moment we didn't realize there were people in our town that didn't have any food. We had no idea what needs there were in our city. God just opened our eyes and we all wanted to do something about it....”

NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Gerald had given up a life of drugs and gang affiliations several years ago and had turned his life over to Christ, but had no Christian friends. Enter Treena Davis from River Valley Baptist Church, who gave him a basket of Easter goodies and not only touched his life with kindness but also introduced him to her husband, Clinton. Gerald and Clinton now lead worship together in a local church....


JUST GET STARTED WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD NETWORK!
What if the Christians in you street knew each other, got together and began to pray for the other neighbours in your street? What would happen if you proactively started lookng for 'felt needs' and began together to meet them...?

I believe that before long you could be having coffee with some of them, and as questions began to be asked, you would be able to share your faith and some sort of regular simple church could begin.

You will remember the story of the 'religious' person who wanted to know who his neighbour was? Jesus answered by telling the famous story of the Good Samaritan. At the end of the story the man understood who his neighbour was and Jesus simple instructions were....."Now go and do the same!"

Selah! = 'Stop and think of that'!! And then take action.

God bless and inspire you.....Jack

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