FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE IN PRACTICE: church doing good stuff

It’s always encouraging to find the church making itself useful in places of conflict and violence – doing what we should, in my book.

After the Libyan uprising, a Christian NGO called ACT provided 20,000 meals a day to refugees on the Tunisian border, then sensibly trained local volunteers so they could take over. No point in doing something if you are only going to take it away when you go.

The Anglican church in Egypt sprang into action when the economy ground to a halt, with its 7 community development centres each of which cares for around 2,500 families. It also started a micro-enterprise scheme, and there’s a nice story here: a man who could not find work in the construction industry asked for a loan to buy a donkey and cart to sell vegetables. He and his wife worked together in this and made enough for their family needs. Now he’s dreaming of starting a small shop … good for them, not sitting down and feeling sorry for themselves and expecting handouts, but beavering away to provide for themselves. These micro-finance schemes are excellent, not only in Egypt but in many other places too.


The church is also organising workshops to teach people about democracy. How else are they going to find out what it is? Further, the Anglican Bishop, Mouneer Hanna Anis, is working away with others to try and ensure peace between Muslims and Christians.

It reminds me of something I read earlier: ‘We set prayer against the evil forces, and do not give up hope‘. (David Scott, from ‘An Anglo-Saxon Passion’) Not prayer only, but common sense and practical help.

More power to their elbows, say I.


15 thoughts on “FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE IN PRACTICE: church doing good stuff

  1. Your comments are interesting Gillyk;with regard to the Romanians and no doubt many other nations. . . .I share a common bond in that I have always been ruled by others,happily accepting democracy,its responsibilities and limits on my freedom.Thankyou for the discussion.


    1. It’s something that interests me, because when we lived in Romania, after the fall of communism, it became clear that Romanians don’t really understand democracy. They see it entirely in terms of making life better for themselves. They have no historical experience of it, as they have always been ruled by others. Consequently, when they don’t get what they want materially, they become very disenchanted with democracy and I met young intellectuals who were no longer bothering to vote. Because nobody seems to understand that democracy brings responsibilities as well as rights, the new freedom and opportunities are being squandered and lost in corruption.

      It’s very sad, so I’m pleased to see that church leaders in Egypt are taking it seriously, and I hope they will do the same in S Sudan.

      Thanks for this comment, bb.


  2. If the Archbishop of Canterbury can do the job of the Labour Party and sound like one of the few truly left wing voices we have left, then I can see no harm in priests teaching people in other countries about democracy!


  3. It is inspiring to hear of people doing good works. Egypt is still a very volatile country.
    I think the Co-operative Bank also is involved in micro-finance projects.
    Great title.


    1. Thanks, Silver. Yes, Egypt is still in the melting pot, but I’m heartened that the church is trying to provide support and the right sort of leadership. There are lots of people involved in micro-finance – it’s the way to go!


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