During my furlough in the States during 2009 I began volunteering in my community because it gave me a chance to help others, and make new friends. These experiences were a great blessing so after coming back for my second term of service I began getting involved in volunteering opportunities within Melbourne.
On Tuesday mornings I work with an organization called Broadmeadows Uniting Care in their emergency relief department. This involves interviewing clients who are in need of food or financial help, and providing them with groceries or vouchers for meat and vegetables. Being in emergency relief is a blessing because you are able to help those who have fallen behind on their bills, but also individuals who in desperate need of much more than just food.
Last week a woman came (I will call her Jessica) with three children asking for help. She actually had four children and recently divorced her husband which led to a huge fight when he showed up at her son’s birthday party the week before. Because of that Jessica was on antidepressants which she couldn’t pay for, and struggling to afford her youngest sons asthma medication as well (she had prescriptions for each of her medications). As she told me her story my heart truly was saddened to hear all that Jessica was experiencing and I truly wanted to help. Thankfully we were able to provide not only food and vouchers, but the money needed to purchase her necessary medication.
Its was encouraging to see the smile on Jessica’s face and hear how happy she was as she thanked me, but I was still burdened over her need. In a week or two that food would be gone and Jessica would be left right where she was before, and in about three months she will probably be sitting in that same room asking me for help again.
I am more than happy to do this of course, but would love to share the Gospel of Christ with Jessica because becoming God’s child would fill her heart with a hope that hunger or financial problems could never take away. Of course food and finances are important (particularly to people like Jessica) but those things don’t bring her hope, only Christ can.
Getting to know these people in their time of greatest need has led me to pray about meeting with them outside of the emergency relief ministry and share the Gospel. This is something that needs much prayer since some of the individuals will use that as an opportunity to try to take advantage of me or ask for money. However there is a need to give more than just food to these people to fill their bodies without the living bread which will satisfy their souls. Pray that I will look for opportunities to share Christ with those around me like Jessica, and by doing so minister to their deeper need.
Because of Who He is,