Winter hit Sydney hard and fast this year.
Waking up for work before the crack of dawn, then walking in the frozen and/or foggy and/or rainy dim mornings isn’t fun – but I can’t help but be deeply grateful and humbled knowing that I am able-bodied, that I possess an education, and a profession. All of this being GIFTED by God.
These photographs are from last year when I joined a BFFL’s dad, Charlie (and co!) – cool dad and true inspiration who ignited a small movement of volunteers spurred by Christ’s call to love and serve all, specifically the homeless and hungry. After work or school a group of volunteers from Charlie’s church meet every Thursday night to distribute a range of food and drinks, new blankets and clothing, as well as some company.
It really astounds me to hear how this unofficial program developed from a single man’s desire to put love and godly obedience into action with every expense out of his own pocket, to a dedicated group of volunteers and donations from commercial (Baker’s Delight – props to you!) as well as independent business and even random people! Slowly but surely there’s a snowball effect and I pray that it only grows larger. This is all truly a testimony of how God blesses faithful work done in His name and for His kingdom.
Many faces, handshakes, smiles and introductions, sips of steaming beverages, chewing of still-warm pies.. a warmth beyond the physical items was felt that chilly night. Central Station then Wolloomooloo, then a visual break to see the annual Vivid lights as a thank you treat from Charlie.
Then Jesus declared,
“I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me,
that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
For my Father’s will is that everyone
who looks to the Son
and believes in him
shall have eternal life,
and I will raise them up at the last day.”
JOHN 6 : 35 – 40
Jesus lays it all down here – He came in human form in God’s loving choice to save us from the slavery of sin and Hell, to sacrifice Himself to atone for our sins and be the one and only bridge to eternal life. Free. Undeserved. Grace. All it takes (the easiest yet hardest requirement) is saving belief in Jesus Christ. We love because we were first loved by God, as freely and graciously as we can.
There’s no shadow of a doubt that Sydney is a remarkably beautiful and vibrant city – yet the number of homeless people are growing, and as fellow citizens of this city and country who are more privileged and regardless of beliefs we absolutely can make a significant positive impact. If everyone shared, there would be no starvation, no?
One of my favourite quotes of all time:
“I am only one, but I am one.
I can’t do everything, but I can do something.
The something I ought to do, I can do.
And by the grace of God, I will.”
– EDWARD EVERETT HALE
Bread of Life? : http://www.biblebasics.co.uk/sayings/sayings3.htm
Volunteering in Sydney:
- Charlie & co. volunteering at Central Station – Thursday nights.
- Care packages can easily be assembled on your next grocery trip (e.g: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, bread, spread, canned food, fresh fruit and veg, towel, socks) and given to the next homeless person you meet in the city. There are plenty even just along George Street.