It’s the title of a book, published in August by Presbyterian World Service & Development to commemorate 75 years of working to help others through relief, development and refugee sponsorship programs.
Full of engaging photos that illustrate how a helping hand can change lives, Practical Compassion shares the human stories that show how Presbyterians in Canada became the helping hand of Christ. There are photos of people learning to farm, students graduating from high school and launching into the world of employment, and families struggling to rebuild their lives after an earthquake. You can see more online via a video, at https://youtu.be/tXoAursDSkQ
The people in the book are inspiring.
It’s this kind of life-changing, family-changing, community-building potential that inspires St. Andrew’s Women’s Missionary Society members to raise funds creatively and support an array of projects that make the world, be it in Barrie or a far-off land.
Among those services and agencies our Women’s Missionary Society has or continues to support are Youth Haven, the David Busby Street Centre and the Little Food Pantry – services that provide food and essentials for those struggling with the basics we too often take for granted.
The Listening Post is another project they support. Kitty-corner to St. Andrew’s is the Barrie Public Library’s main branch; as the temperatures cool, those struggling with no place to call home or those who are struggling with loneliness gather at the library. The library provides a break from the elements and lots to explore in its collection. For some, the Listening Post provides someone who actively listens but who doesn’t judge – a human connection that provides understanding and acceptance. You can read more at https://www.listeningpostbarrie.ca/
Further afield, the WMS has supported a group of grandmothers in Malawi as well as individuals who are learning practical skills to bring back to their small rural community in Malawi. Hope is a teenage girl who is attending an Anglican school about 100 km away from her home; she dreams of becoming a lawyer. Her mother has died and her father is struggling with cancer, yet she is determined to learn and to help others, including ensuring her little brother can get an education. The group at St. Andrew’s raises $1,800 each year to help with her school expenses.
Oct. 30 is Mission Awareness Sunday at St. Andrew’s, and our WMS will be leading the service.
“I enjoy doing the outreach and getting involved in the projects at home and abroad,” said retired teacher Kathy Tutty, “especially right now with Hope in Malawi.”
At age 3, Hope lost her mother. Now 13, she sees her father struggling with cancer. She worries about her younger brother. She is determined to finish high school and get a job, so she can ensure her brother can get at least a high school education. Hope follows in the footsteps of another girl St. Andrew’s has sponsored; that young woman has graduated from nursing college and is working in a hospital St. Andrew’s sponsors Hope; there is an opportunity to contribute to helping Hope.
Listen and be inspired to practically show compassion and care to all God’s children. The guest speaker will be Rev. Joel Sherbino, who has been the minister at Paris Presbyterian for 15 years as well as the Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Malawi liaison for the past six years.
Join us Sunday at 10 a.m. or follow up online.