Standing Alone Together
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the normal practices and expectations of people, communities and nations have been challenged and disrupted resulting in many people being thrust into a world of daily uncertainty and anxiety, our Lord gently says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matt 11:28.
Whilst recognising the pain and anxiety that so many people are suffering around the world, could it be that we are also witnessing an insight to what social responsibility means in both local and global arenas? I have always held to the scriptural assertion that the light shines in the darkness… and the darkness has never overcome it. Could it also be that this pandemic is levering us out of our complacency and revealing to us a unique insight into what it means to live on the margins of an otherwise healthy and vibrant society. For the next few months, many of us are going to experience what it’s like to find yourself standing alone, cut off from the usual connections and supports.
As I reflect on these unique circumstances, I have been encouraged to see that the Baptist movement has been faithfully responding to the needs and aspirations of isolated, anxious, vulnerable, and ‘burdened’ people in South Australia for over 100 years.
This faithful heritage of service began with a Chapel being established in 1913, where the WestCare Baptist Church still worships today. This missional work was established (an outreach of Flinders Street Baptist Church) just before WW 1 (1914-18), the Spanish Flu pandemic (that killed 15,000 out of Australia’s population of five million in 1918-20) and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Through those harrowing times, Australia, along with many other nations, suffered years of high unemployment, poverty, drastic economic downturn, low profits, plunging incomes and lost opportunities for societal advancement… but with the Lord’s help and for His glory the Baptist movement has sustained our transformational social mission through provision of an increasingly diverse range of restorative services that are providing transition pathways from adversity toward opportunity for fullness of life.
Now, in the midst of the pandemic, building upon this heritage of faithful service that spans well over 100 years, Baptist Care SA is dedicated to working with and on behalf of the Baptist Churches of SA to express care and compassion to those who are struggling under layers of adversity. Our dedicated staff are continuing to playing pivotal roles in supporting people and communities by:
- Collecting and distributing food and essential household cleaning and personal hygiene items
- Providing Emergency Accommodation and support for people who would have been sleeping rough on the streets of Adelaide and monitoring their health and well-being daily
- Maintaining Outreach support for over 500 ‘at risk’ young people who are anxious, homeless and who require alternative learning programs outside the public schooling system
- Providing safe and supported accommodation for 50-60 Aboriginal women and children at the Mylor Camp. These Aboriginal people from the APY lands, who were stranded in Adelaide when the virus hit our city, are likely to be living in the camp’s recently upgraded facilities for 3-6 months
- Sustaining a Community Food Hub in Wright Street in Adelaide that provides affordable food for people with a concession card
- Providing homes and daily support for 60-80 child and young people who are living in our care under State Guardianship
Please watch below about how Baptist Care SA is proactively responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
We would welcome your generous support with:
- donations of food, household cleaning and personal hygiene products
- tax deductible donations via our web site at www.baptistcaresa.org.au
- Prayer for our dedicated staff and volunteers and the vulnerable people they seek to serve.
Blessings to all as we stand alone together!
CEO Baptist Care SA