We’ve less to fear from tomorrow if we join hands today
Sometimes I like imagining the scenes unfolding in back rooms and on dusty roads in the days and weeks following Jesus’ death and resurrection.
There’s a bunch of different characters – some brash, some cautious – all a bit traumatised by everything they’ve seen and heard. One thing they know for sure: the road ahead is going to be tough. Jesus may have beaten death, but death, nonetheless, is all around.
“Okay,” says one, and its probably Peter because he’s always been a bit rash, and that incident in the courtyard means he has something to prove. “I will if you will.”
The others look at each other. “Yeah? Are you in?”
“I’m in,” confirms John, and Thomas touches his side and then nods.
Mary rolls her eyes and looks at Martha. “Well obviously…”
And that’s how it starts, the birth of the early church. Just ordinary people who have each other’s backs, joining hands and making a start.
They go on to change the world.
2,000 years later and here we are – the living legacy of that act of faith. We’ve survived through the centuries, but every single day, each of us is faced with that same challenge: are we still in? Are we up for joining hands and walking forward, together, to create the kind of world we long for?
Any time I ask myself that question, I find myself thinking of people I’ve met who live in parts of the world where the need for redemption is both tragically obvious and powerfully in play.
Men and women die because they don’t have clean water to drink, or oxygen tanks to give life to COVID-wracked lungs. Girls are forced out of school as soon as they’re old enough to work, while their brothers keep hitting the books and go on to earn the living that their sisters can’t.
And in response? People join hands, and they walk forward together. And they see the fruit of their labour, the answers to their prayers. It’s not often dramatic. It’s rarely quick. But it’s the only way, and it always will be.
As we approach the end of the financial year, UnitingWorld is once again joining hands with smart creative people working to overcome poverty, the Australian Government, and those with the means to share their resources with others.
UnitingWorld, as the Uniting Church agency holding relationships with our church family around the world, is a trusted partner of the Australian Government. We’re given flexible funding under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to implement overseas projects that fight poverty, hunger, disease, the impact of climate change and gender inequality.
We’ve committed to raise $1 for every $5 we receive from the Australian Government. This means that right now, any donation to UnitingWorld allows us to extend the reach of our programs and have as much as six times greater impact.
What kind of impact?
Your donation can create more women like Hashini, a seamstress and disability rights defender in Sri Lanka. Born unable to walk and growing up during the civil war, she suffered the tragic loss of her father when she needed him most. She joined hands with Uniting Church partner, the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, to take control of her own life and invest back into her community.
It can create more stories like Raj’s, a young man with Down syndrome who never expected to finish school, let alone have a successful career. He joined hands with the Church to undertake training and employment skills, and now he makes an independent living as a mechanic.
And it’ll have a greater impact for each of us, here in Australia. Our government watches carefully to see how generous the Australian population is willing to be, and to whom. In response, they shape policy and allocate funding. When they see the trust and resources that ordinary citizens are willing to invest, they hear us loud and clear:
“We are citizens of a world in need. We’re willing to work together to bring dignity and hope to our brothers and sisters, and we want your leadership.”
That’s why at UnitingWorld, we’re asking you to join hands and give generously to our end of financial year appeal. Every donation, no matter its size, will be combined with Australian Government funding to help us increase the reach of our projects beating poverty and building hope. Pray, give and learn more here.
I’m in if you are.
Supervisor Training Program10/05/2021 - 05/11/2021
Safe Church Awareness Training17/06/2021 - 24/06/2021
200 years of Parramatta Mission20/06/2021