There is something we can’t see and are struggling to understand, but it is changing everything. It is spreading from person to person, from one community to the next, from one nation to another. It is unsettling … but in this case … it is the best thing that has ever happened in all of human history. I am not referring to Covid 19 … but to the good news.
Loss and grief, pain and confusion, hurt and blame, anger and injury, sadness and despair … in the end … they won’t win. How can I say this? Because He’s alive. He faced all these things, head on, and they lost.
They say habits die hard, and the gospels tell us that Jesus was in the habit of getting up early in the morning to be with his Father … but the fact that he still did it on the first day of the week after they killed Him is more than the power of habit. A lot more.
That power is something we can’t see and struggle to understand, but it changes everything. It is spreading person to person, community to community, across nations … and it is especially good news right now.
Here in Jamaica, due to the Covid 19 crisis, we have had to shut down our regular programmes in Trench Town, but this has been an amazing opportunity to share the good news in different ways and see the power impacting people.
A prayer request from Albania (which neighbours Italy), came through the Fusion network and someone in Jamaica responded by giving to the team in Albania to help them distribute care packages to families whose livelihood had been immediately affected by the restrictions. As this blessing went to Albania we started to get calls and e-mails about how others could bless our work in Jamaica. Some missionaries we work closely with in Trench Town were planning a similar project, so we worked with them to provide 48 care packages the Saturday before last to families in the most need. The packages included non-perishable food, fresh food, and other essentials like soap and toilet paper. The team offered to pray for each person, asking a question from some “Healing on the Streets” training I had done recently; “If God could do one miracle in your life, what would it be?” Some wanted prayer for healing, some for long life, some for the virus to be stopped and things to go back to normal.
Through this have been able to serve as a team and connect in significant ways with the community, the young people in our programmes and their families.
One of the young people from Trench Town who is on the team wrote this afterwards:
“Good evening everyone, the one stood out for me was the lady that miss Charmaine told us really need it. While we were delivering the items to her I could not only see her happiness and appreciation but also felt it look like the first ina long time someone did something good for her. I could see it through her breaking in tears that she was really grateful of not just the items but that she being recognised by us.”
Several networks and churches heard about the project and then wanted to give, so that others in need could get some assistance. One church paid for 50 packages from the Lasco Foundation with more tinned food and essentials. Other donations came in from Jamaica and overseas so we were able to buy fresh food as well.
We then connected with parents of the children in our programmes and got them to help us identify the elderly who were particularly in need in the community, and it was a blessing to see them so keen to make sure the most vulnerable were taken care of. Another donation came in which allowed us to give all kids club families a voucher to use at a local wholesale so that they could stretch their grocery money in preparation for Easter a bit further. We did the distribution last Thursday, giving out another 50 packages and all the vouchers. We had prayed that God would be in each interaction, because people in poverty can behave in a grasping way, especially when times are even more stressful than normal. Each interaction was a remarkable moment of connection, through the practical help and the prayer. Two older ladies were so struck that they asked the team to pray for God to help them find their way back to Him, and were very sincere as they prayed.
One of the families sent this message afterwards:
Thanks much for the groceries n the voucher …God bless the hands that stretched ….me n my household truely appreciated all you’ve done over the years …i pray the lord continue to bless you n your family ❤ i want you to keep me n my family always in prayers ….pray for me with my business …..pray for the world crisis going on now ….love n appreciate u in my community.
Through the week even more donations came in to Fusion and to our friends at the Jesus Way Jamaica … so we are already able to plan for another distribution this coming weekend and then another after that!
We have never seen this level of blessing in order to be a blessing to others … and it is happening when so much is uncertain and shaking around the world. The hope of the good news continues to spread person to person … who will be affected through you?