This is heartbreaking.

The hunger amongst the poorest was evident well before the lockdown began but has been exacerbated by it. As a church we've done what we can within the available resources to feed as many people as we can, and we will continue to do so.

But just as we continue, so too do the WhatsApps and SMSs from folk who are desperate for food. I think one of the realities here is that as the majority have returned to work so there's a feeling that the lockdown is all but over, when the reality is quite the opposite.

Sadly this means that the neediest and most vulnerable are being neglected or worse, sidelined.

This WhatsApp above was from a young mum who had been given our number by someone else because they knew we would do our utmost to help. I'm glad to say that we were able to provide her with a food voucher on Saturday so she should be okay for a couple of weeks at least.

We were also recently approached indirectly by the South African Council of Churches with a view to distributing food vouchers. It would appear that the SACC have been appointed by the Department for Social Development (remember them?) in the distribution of their food vouchers/hampers. However this is far from straightforward or easy and one of the problems we're experiencing with this is the criteria for beneficiaries. The criteria are so tight you're left wondering just who does qualify?!? Also, being asked to come up with a list of possible beneficiaries with just 12 hours notice isn't helpful.

We're very happy to put ourselves out there to be of service, but it would be nice to think there might be some degree of partnership in it, especially when we keep getting messages from those who are struggling and looking for help. What I hate though is being asked to go back and check how many of the people we put forward have received the vouchers only to find that none have. It feels like we're mocking them and I find that quite disturbing.

Another cry for help
I've said it before and this current crisis just confirms my view that the only hope for the nations is the local church. Relying on governments and other organisations for help is futile.

Please Lord let our resources go further!


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