Two years of seen and unseen community service, in 20 pictures.
1. A different Thanksgiving Day
Autumn 2017 – Thanksgiving Day. Dublin West Seventh-day Adventist Church decided to give away as humanitarian help all the food collected on that occasion. Accordingly all went to the team of Hope in the Darkness.
November 2017 – More than food. We collected and gave more than food: clothes, footwear, sleeping bags, hygiene products and toiletries, money. All clearly sorted, boxed an delivered.
2. Going front lines, on the street
Winter 2017. Serving in the streets, at GPO Dublin. Leaders and members decided not only giving, but also taking part in helping with serving, sharing, cleaning. See all details and links at Greetings from Gadara.
3. Helping every quarter
Every Communion Service. Starting December 2017, at every Lord’s Supper event (that is every quarter), at Dublin West we collected all that could be helpful for the homeless people and for the team that serves them hot food and more.
4. More volunteers
2018 – Volunteers helping. More volunteers from other churches (Adventist, Pentecostal) joined in helping. Whether cold winter or hot summer, we tried to help on a weekly basis.
5. Next step – Sandwiches
Summer 2018 – enter Sandwiches. Dublin Romanian Seventh-day Adventist Church joined the efforts deciding to provide every week with +100 rich and healthy sandwiches. Every Thursday night, members and families will provide the sandwiches.
March 2019. Dublin West joined also in the Sandwiches ministry, so every month, both churches will provide sandwiches, every single Sunday. See full timetable here: http://bisericaadventista.ie/sandwiches/
6. Partners from the church
May 2019. The topic of helping the homeless came on the agenda of a special meeting of elders and pastors from Adventist churches in Dublin. Other churches (Drumcondra) or organizations (IMASA) manifested interest to join, while individual members were already helping.
7. Big call for help
August 2019. While the ministry evolved in getting money, food, regular help on a quarterly and weekly basis, on summer 2019 there was a big cry for help. The van of Hope in the Darkness was unusable anymore. We helped with a substantial amount, each of the two churches giving a round figure.
Summer 2019. One other significant moment came when Hope in the Darkness organized a Sleepout event. Two of our members spent the night in the street along with the others, in order to raise awareness, show compassion, understanding and support.
9. Partners from outside the church
September 2019. One pallet pushed toward more – thinking of the next level. A member facilitated a donation of a pallet of food. Delivering it we realized that, if such effort continues, we will need to set a food pantry, providing Hope in the Darkness on a regular basis.
In the mean time, the idea came more powerful: why not providing food ourselves, along with others, on a night at the GPO?
As Hope in the Darkness still struggles (see below), there is obvious need for more organized effort in supporting and developing the services offered.
“If you can help us…”
Where in the Bible do we find a similar question, addressed to Jesus? 🙂
10. Enter ACS Adventist Community Services Dublin
While our Dorcas and Women Ministry and many volunteers (including youth and kids) helped all along these two years, it looks like now is the time to step forward and do the serving in a more organized way. Talking to the board members, presenting the case to the congregations, we decided it is the time to act more visibly and regularly.
The challenge ahead?
We want to come to that level where we can offer hot food and other support on a regular basis, one night a week. Starting once a month, then twice a month, and then on a weekly basis. Every Saturday night, for example, the place can be ours – and be known to them as “the Saturday people” – some loving and lovable Christians.
Please join us! We need volunteers, donations, support and sharing. Get in touch with us on Facebook