Jim has been in ministry for many years, having served as a minister in the Churches of Christ for 30 years. Jim and his wife Ann have been at BPCC for 10 years, coming on staff soon after their arrival. Jim heads up our BPCC Care Team working closely with other local churches to provide support for people in both our church and local community. When he can Jim loves to spend an afternoon in his garden.
Each week I receive a devotional thought written by Max Lucado and I thought I would like to share some of his thoughts with you.
Have you ever wondered why we have so many stories in the Bible of people who feel their life has reached a hopeless situation and they are seeking help from outside themselves?
Have you ever heard the statement, “you have not because you ask not? I thought it came from the Bible but now I am not sure.
As you enter the church through the front foyer there is a trolley on which people place food for distribution to needy families in our area. Well this trolley has been a challenge to the ushers who move it to open and close the doors. Well I showed it to Kevin Dekker and asked for help. Within two days is was reborn and looks 100% and moves in all directions. Please also note we have added a donation box for the people who remember that they forgot to shop for the food cupboard. One of the care team will now shop for you, so please use the donation tin. Thank You.
“If you help the poor, you are lending to the lord – and he will repay you.”
Proverbs 19: 17
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in.”
I have just completed a review of 2012 and discovered that we handed out 214 food parcels in the year, an average of four a week. This year so far we have helped forty four people. That is an average of seven a week. By this you can see that the need has increased greatly. We have also assisted people with $20.00 fuel vouchers. A total of 80 of these were handed out last year. I attended the Pine Rivers Care Network meeting this week and all the churches are reporting the same increase in people asking for help.
The other day I read this quote from Mother Teresa, “We, the willing, led by the unknown, are doing the im-possible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do any-thing with nothing”.
While this may have been true for Mother Teresa, I see our situation as very different. We have the willing, people like you and I, who led hopefully by the Holy Spirit, sometimes try to do the impossible, but most peo-ple we help are very grateful and we have a vast array of support.
There are so many opportunities for people who are willing to reach out and help the needy in our community. Let me list a few examples.
I want to thank those of you who remember to bring in food for the Community Cupboard. We have been able to bless on average five families each week. You might wonder what we give to people! Sandwich spreads, things for school lunches, breakfast cereals, pasta and pasta sauces, baked beans and spaghetti, tuna, tinned vegetables, sugar, long life milk, tea, coffee. We buy mince or sausages to add to each parcel. We also provide toilet rolls, washing soap, shampoo, and tooth paste when we have them.
Let me try to share the excitement I felt when representing our church at the monthly meeting of the” PineRivers Care Network Meeting” this week. Eight Churches were represented plus the Intake and Response worker from Pine Rivers Neighbourhood centre, two homeless intervention workers and a representative from Men’s shed.
As a network each church is rostered for Emergency Food distribution. Our day is Wednesday. In April the network helped 488 families, all of whom live in our district. Our food comes from your donations which many of you bring in on a Sunday. Thank You for your support. We top up the cupboard by purchasing needed items each week.
Matthew 25: 40 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
It is my privilege to represent you at the Care network meeting this week. Six churches are part of this network and our aim is minister to needy people in our community. Our major roll is to provide emergency food. Some of you bring food on a Sunday and leave in the foyer of the church and we give it out on a Wednesday. This year we have averaged five families each week looking for help.
This week I have been thinking a lot about PRAYER and doing some honest soul searching and looking at ways to be more disciplined. I have to admit that last year was a bit hit and miss and I know that is not what it should be.
It has been suggested that prayer prepares us for ministry but I’m starting to think that prayer is ministry. In prayer Jesus fought the battles. How many times do we read that he spent the night alone in prayer?
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a three day workshop run by Lifeline Community Care Queensland entitled “Financial Literacy Education”. Jim Gustafson, Errit Petrusma and Sylivia Michalak also attended. We were given invaluable tips on budgeting and money management. If you would like some information on what we learned then please speak to one of us.
There are two organisations in our area that have people qualified to give financial counselling. One is Lifeline and the other is Christians against Poverty. An appointment is necessary to access these people.The most interesting thing for me was to learn how many people struggle with forming a budget and keeping to it. An interesting thought was shared that one should keep a note book handy and record every dollar or cent spent, to learn just where one spends their money. Sounds simple—why not try it for a month. You could get many surprises.