Amidst Covid-19, San Souci Baptist Church decided to bless people within their community who were doing it tough by putting together some non-perishable grocery packs. Lead Pastor Dan Walz says, “We realised people within our own church community were doing it tough with cutbacks at work. So we just said, ‘if you’re in a position to do it, as you feel led, we encourage you to be generous in this way’. We had one couple in particular donate 10 grocery bags, which was a huge blessing in itself. We also saw an older member of our congregation, who was stuck at home and unable to go out, transfer money to me so we could do an online order. It was great to see a number in our church get involved.”
The church collectively put together 18 grocery packs. 5 of those packs went to families in need through Project Youth, 2 went to families from the church’s Girls Brigade ministry, an SRE teacher that the church supports picked one up for a family, and 10 packs went to families at Brighton-Le-Sands Public School. This story got picked up by The Educator Magazine who reached out to the school’s principal Steven Mead. They learnt that many of the school’s families had been impacted by Covid-19 with pay cuts, temporary stand-down directives, and job losses. Steven told them, “We contacted him [Dan] and he sprung into action, providing imperishable food hampers that were organised by the congregational members.”
Steven shared that some of the families who received packs wrote to the school. One parent said: “I just want to say a huge thanks for another hamper packed with love from you and the Baptist Church,” a student wrote that they would provide half of the hamper to their father who “wasn’t looking after himself”, and another recipient noted that the hamper had been especially helpful as it contained many items that are in short supply in the supermarket at the moment – such as toilet paper, rice, pasta, bolognese sauce, and cereal.
The packs also included a special little card…
“Our local mission initiative is branded ‘Agape Sans Souci’ which means ‘Love Sans Souci’ – but the word ‘agape’ is specifically about charitable love. The tagline is, ‘We love because Christ loved us’,” Dan explains. “We popped one of those cards in just to say, ‘we’re thinking of and praying for you at this time, and hope that this is a blessing to you’…We prayed over the packs before we sent them out – that they would bless the community and give people a sense of peace at this time.” Dan says that his prayer was that this act of love and kindness would also help people to stop and say ‘hey – maybe the church isn’t so bad after all’. “Hopefully as they drive past they may see our signage and think, ‘Oh – that’s the church that gave us those packs!’”