When we read the Gospels we find that Jesus ministry was 'filled with compassion' [Matthew 9:35–38] Following in His footsteps, Adventist Christians enjoy making a positive difference in their community. Here are just a few samples of what is happening around the country.
ADVENTIST SPECIAL NEEDS ASSOCIATION
From a special summer camp in North Wales for those with special needs, to weekend retreats, carers events and social get-togethers, ASNA also provides specialist advice to churches to help make worship more accessible to those either with learning or physical difficulties. Sophia and Nigel Nicholls who run the charity, know from experience the love for a child with severe physical and learning difficulties, but their love goes far beyond their own family, impacting lives across the British Isles and beyond.
BEST LUNCH OF THE WEEK
The children of Manor Park, an area of social deprivation in Sheffield, have become an integral part of Manor Park Adventist church, where they not only enjoy a Saturday morning craft club and a time of worship, but take a full and active part in their healthiest meal of the week – Saturday lunch. Gloucester, Guildford, Ipswich and Middlesbrough are among churches that feed the homeless or financially struggling each week.
CHARITY FUND RAISING
Pupils at Newbold Adventist Primary School, Berkshire, hold their teacher in awe following her charity leap from an aircraft in aid of Motor Neurone Disease. Mel Jennings (40), wife, mother, teacher and charity fundraiser, thrilled to a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet at 140 mph while raising over £2,500 for her chosen charity. She is typical of the fundraising activities that we find all across the British Isles. This January four kayakers raised £1,800 with a mid-winter kayak down the River Wye. The money raised in being used to dig a well for a village in Burkina Faso, meaning that girls can go to school instead of walking up to 8 miles to collect water.
A Youth Club meeting at New Life Church, Finsbury Park, North London, is motivating young people, running drama programmes, photography workshops and giving advice and counsel. Run solely by volunteers, the club aims to work with the youth to empower them to bring about a positive change in their community, not only enhancing their lives, but the lives of others. More:
CORK is just one of many locations where members of the public have found their health impacted. With more than 20 volunteers, health checks including blood pressure measurements, lung capacity tests, and calculation of Body Mass Indexes, led to a very grateful public, over 350 of whom found their lives improved. The same story could be told in Newport, Wales; Bury, Stafford, and a host of other locations. An Adventist lifestyle generally improves longevity and quality of life. That is a gift Adventists health professionals and volunteers love to share.
Murielle Galvani is a people person. Her first language is French but every week she is talking with Polish, Ukrainian, Spanish and a variety of other languages in a 'language café' she set up to help cross cultural boundaries and bring cohesion in Coventry. A winner of the Coventry Community Cohesion Award 2012 for the category 'small community group', Murielle is now setting up a second café in London.