October 2013

Harvesting Tools

At Christ Church we always have a project coming up to Harvest, normally something overseas. Of course we also support local charities with our dry good. I remember once visiting (what became) HARP (the Homeless Action Resource Project) in Southend, and was told that the support they gave to the homeless couldn’t take place without the supply of good from the churches at all times of the year but especially as shown around Harvest Time.

But we also tend to have a focus outside our immediate area. Sometimes it’s been Water Aid – supplying water for drinking, sanitation and irrigation. Other times we have linked up with a project through an organisation like Christian Aid, and through these we have help provide the finances for goats and gardens, planted trees and helped provide basic education and skills. In all these cases it enables the recipients to then use their own hard work to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty they find themselves and their children in. In time, with the support they receive, it is hoped that they too can have a Harvest of plenty, something that we take almost for granted in a rich country like Britain.

So, sometime before the summer, this congregations’ Church and Society Committee, at one of their bi-monthly meetings, have a look at possible projects and make a recommendation to Church Meeting. This year we have agreed to support Tools with a Mission (TWAM).

TWAM enables people to earn a living and to support themselves. In many countries of the world people have few skills, little education and no means of earning a living. A switch from aid dependency to self-sufficiency is impossible without help. To enable this switch, TWAM started almost 30 years ago, and has since then provided this help by collecting and refurbishing tools and equipment no longer required in the UK and sending them overseas. From its warehouse base in Ipswich, it links with partner organisations in Africa and India who, with TWAMs backing, provide training and support. No one is just handed a refurbished wood plain, hoe or a sew machine and told to get on with it. But they are given the skills to enable them to use their new tools to the best advantage – enabling a step change in their prospects for them and their families.

Perhaps this year alongside the cans and packages to support HARP etc, you could also recycle some old tools and give a bit extra. Then in the years to come, others will know that they have received a blessing through us as we acknowledge all God has given to us.


October 2013