“We know that just as you share in our sufferings, you also share in the help we receive”.
2 Cor 1:7 GNB
When there are crises in one area of the church and help is extended from another a great sense of solidarity develops. In the early nineteen eighties a cruel drought hit the northern regions of one church’s missionary district in South Africa. Ministers in these drought-stricken areas – where the people live a precarious existence at the best of times, – told the wider family of the church about the additional suffering of these poor people as a result of the drought. The leadership of the church organised a crisis campaign called “Feed my Sheep”. Money poured in and large amounts of food were purchased and sent to those most badly affected. Messages of thanks were received and all felt the church had been the church. Money continued to pour in even when the crisis was over and it was kept in a “Drought Fund” just in case! Years passed and messages came in from a nearby country (Mozambique) that they had now been stricken with a life-threatening drought. People in the South African church were asked to help. The bishop of the diocese that was sitting with the now-unused drought fund asked the ministers of his area if they would agree to send a small portion from this fund to help the Mozambique Christians. One minister jumped up and shouted, “No sir! Send the lot!” And the whole assembly murmured “Hear here” . Sometimes we sing, “We are one in the body of Christ”. Prompted by the Holy Spirit we give help (of various kinds) where we know there is a need. And maybe one day our need will be met by the love of others in the body.
Lord, make us a sharing community.