A few weeks ago, the day arrived that we had waited for, prayed about and sowed into as a church over Easter! Our desire for the day was to put the Cross Equals Love message into action in our own backyard! Items to cover some basic needs for homeless people were collected and packed into care packs together with encouraging notes in each one of the packs. And off we went – as one team we gathered to then scatter into three different strategic areas of Copenhagen.
What greeted the street team was deep amazement all round. It’s incredible what a toothbrush can mean to someone who has not brushed his or her teeth in 10 days. Wet wipes were immediately taken into use and body lotion applied on dry, cold hands. A woman commented how she saw this care pack as the Christmas present she did not receive last year.
From Copenhagen across the bridge to Malmö, we visited a shelter for homeless women. Our volunteer, Anett, describes her experience of sitting with a girl who was high on drugs. The girl, who had a distant look on her face, was hard to reach and wouldn’t look Anett in the eyes. But as Anett started to unpack the care packs and show the girl the items one by one, something happened. The girl lightened up and looked Anett in the eyes for the first time and said that she wanted to try the face cream. Anett’s own words from the experience were: “My heart cried out when I looked at her. Somewhere, something had gone wrong and no one had been there to help her. As we held hands and gave each other a hug, I was thinking to myself that I was so glad to be “the one” to her that day”.
Not only were the homeless people uplifted. We were too.
We truly experienced that ‘those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed’ and we enjoyed the opportunity to live out God’s heart for the poor:
“It’s criminal to ignore a neighbour in need, but compassion for the poor – what a blessing!” (Proverbs 14,20 MSG)
“As we stood in the park chatting, I realised that we’re all one in humanity and that it is laughter that connects us”.
Our heart in CityCare is to build relationships and love people to the point where people ask: ”Why would you want to do this for me… a stranger?” From that point on, we have the invitation to share our story and the hope we have in Jesus Christ!
For those friendships to be built, consistency is key! That is why, the Easter initiative is just the starting point of the new, regular street team for homeless that we are launching in May – simply because we care and because we can.
You can sign up here to be part of it: citycare.hillsong.dk
Thank you church for your amazing willingness to be part of the answer – it all matters!
– Sandra Hultén