Every Christmas we endeavour to put food on the table for those who would otherwise go without. It is our goal to share the love of Jesus Christ through purposeful action and to make a tangible and lasting difference in our communities.
For many New Zealanders, this Christmas comes at a particularly trying time. A year full of lockdowns and ever-changing Alert Levels has proven to accelerate the effects of poverty for those already in need. On top of this, families who haven’t needed support in the past have found themselves struggling to put food on the table. We couldn’t sit back and watch it unfold, so we partnered with our friends at Christmas Box to make a difference this Christmas.
We were blown away by the response of our ARISE Church family who donated 2,500 Big Hearts boxes worth an incredible $175,000. These were packed full of essential food items – flour, milk, rice and so much more – to make Christmas happen for families who otherwise might go without.
Last Saturday the ARISE Care Team across the country set out to deliver the boxes. Here are just a few of the stories from the day:
“Things have been really hard the past couple of years and last week things got even harder. I didn’t have any food in the house. Not even basic things like tins of food. You have no idea how much it meant that I was not having to wonder where my next meals were coming from. Michael turned up and I looked a mess after crying for 2 days straight but he didn’t even bat an eyelid.
A friend brought me to a house on Sunday and the message couldn’t have hit home more. I’ve rejected my faith for the past few years but it took one man on my doorstep for God to say He is still here.”
— Christmas Box Recipient
“I delivered a box to a lady who was nominated by a member of our church. She shook and started crying and said “you don’t know how this week has been.”
— Michael, ARISE Care Team Leader
“Just wanted to let you all know how amazing the Christmas boxes are! I work at Christchurch East School and all our whānau picked up their boxes today and so many parents were tearing up when they were given them. Honestly such a blessing to so many families!”
— Livvy, ARISE Care Team Member
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Our heart is to love everyone no matter what. Let’s remember to keep this at the forefront of our minds this Christmas.