Festivals

Festivals, food and faith

How do Christians respond to poverty?

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At Harvest, Christians are thankful for the way God gives people everything they need to live. As part of this, it is a time to think about people who need a helping hand.

The Bible teaches Christians that they can’t just talk about loving God – they need to show it by what they do:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:14 – 18)

A couple of charities that are helping people in need are Food Banks in the UK and Send a Cow in Africa.

 

Trussell Trust Food Banks

In many towns across the UK you will find a Food Bank run by the Trussell Trust. These are places that people can go if they have run out of food and need emergency supplies. Food banks rely on volunteers – from supplying stocks of dried and tinned food to helping give out food to clients. Many of these volunteers come from local churches, inspired by Jesus’ teaching in the Book of Matthew: ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…’ (Matthew 25:35)

 

Send a Cow

Send a Cow’s vision is to give people in Africa the chance to secure their own futures from the land. It works hand in hand with families, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger. It gives training in farming techniques, livestock, seeds and support.

The story however does not stop there. In turn, the families who have received the help then pass on young livestock, seeds or training to others, so that more and more families and communities will receive help. It also sees that big questions like how women are treated, how easy it is to get health care and how families treat each other are important for people to do well in life. So as well as teaching people how to be great farmers, Send a Cow also provides courses in subjects such as gender equality, conflict resolution, health and hygiene and HIV/Aids awareness.

 

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