It’s 2021, and here we are in the midst of another lockdown, unsure exactly how long this one will last. Could it stretch right into the spring? We do not quite know. We may have been hoping to say goodbye to the challenging year we faced in 2020, and step into a new
year with fresh hope. Yet here we are….
We still have some very murky waters to navigate our way through in the year ahead with so much uncertainty around when we will be able to get back to some sort of ‘normality’. We have questions of what the economic impact will be on us personally, on our businesses and the funding climate of the charitable sector. What about the psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of all we have been through since last March, and must go through still.
So, what is needed? One word sums it all up for me…Love. As a Christian organisation, we are motivated and inspired by the life of Jesus, and Jesus himself summed up the whole law and prophets around the word Love.
He effectively says: Love God and people. If you do this, you fulfil God’s laws.
A few weeks ago, I asked God if He had a theme for me and my ministry for the year ahead, and the word Love came to mind immediately. A simple word, but to outlive this effectively takes a lot of effort and sacrifice on our part.
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a bestselling book called the 5 Love Languages. In it he states that each of us have one or two primary Love languages from: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts and physical touch. My primary love language is acts of service. The way we like to receive love is often the way we show love. But may not be how the recipient of our love actually receives love. This is where sacrificial love comes into play – we need to operate in a way that isn’t our natural or go to language but loving the recipient in the way they receive love the most. This takes time and effort on our behalf. As we need to actively seek to understand the other person and what Love looks like to them, and then implement this in our actions.
At Street Connect we exist primarily to serve our participants, offering hope and opportunity of life transformation. Effectively we exist to love them. By showing love to our participants, we hope to be able to support them to their desired destination and help facilitate the outworking of this transformation process in their lives. This has been an extremely challenging time for many of our participants, and I dread to see the statistics from 2020 and aftereffects of this global pandemic. However, we will be there to support our communities to the best of our ability.
Internally, we need to be loving towards our team of staff and volunteers. Without our workers, we would not be able to love our participants the way we do. At a time where our frontline workers are going above and beyond to ensure we can offer the highest level of support possible, we also have workers balancing the challenges of home schooling with work and the difficulties of working from home. Our people really need our love and support, perhaps more than ever. To continue doing what we do, we need a healthy team, which means looking out for and caring for one another through this challenging time.
We are so thankful for our many partners. Our church partners, partner organisations, donors, funders, and other key stakeholders.
Without whom, we would not be able to do what we do. We have been so encouraged and blessed by the support we have received from so many different sources in 2020 and into 2021.
One of our core values is:
Servanthood – a commitment to sacrificial service at all levels of the organisation, both internally and externally.
We thank God for the sacrificial service and love all our partners have shown us, and we hope you have also felt that reciprocated. To truly love all of the above mentioned will take the outworking of our core value of servanthood.
Finally, wider society and our communities need us to be showing love at this time. If we each clothe ourselves with love, sacrificially serving one another, then we will be able to effectively navigate our way through this year, this pandemic and into what lies beyond. Love, the language of God and the way to live a truly meaningful life in the midst of an extremely challenging time will make the difference in all the lives we touch in 2021.
This blog post was written by Ricky McAddock, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Street Connect.