Big step of faith with a lorry

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At this week’s AGM of Churches Together in Rye, which began with the traditional Bring and Share Supper, Chairman Paul Martin welcomed Samara Levy, a young mother from Brighton who decided one day to fill a lorry with warm clothes for the Middle East, as guest speaker.

She spoke with passion and enthusiasm to a captivated and humbled audience about the charity which she started 18 months ago, and which has been generously supported by the people of Rye .

Concerned about stories in the media of the plight of refugees, especially families with small children like her own, and inspired by the Christian teaching of sharing with the needy, she undertook to collect enough clothes to fill a lorry to go to Iraq, as well as finding £6,500 to pay the cost involved.

And what began as a big step of faith on her part, has expanded from her own church, town and county to a nationwide network of support. So far 34 lorries have gone, delivering not only clothing and bedding, but also nine ambulances, first-aid kits and medicare supplies.

It was good to hear the practical details of how this was organised, to learn of the various partnerships made with Christian organisations in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and to be assured that this little charity has managed to get supplies directly to all in need regardless of their faith. There is more information about this on the website.

Janet Waddams, who is the local organiser for the charity, reminded everyone that the final date for donations of clothing and bedding to the current winter appeal is January 27, and any donations can be left in St Mary’s Church.

During the rest of the meeting, it was good to hear that the Food Bank had proved to be a great asset to many local people, and special mention was made of Rye Community College who helped at Christmas with special Christmas hampers.

Street Pastors had also flourished, building up good relations with local businesses and many young people, as well as visitors to the town. They currently operate on a fortnightly basis, but it is hoped that with further recruitment this can be expanded to three times a month.

 

Photo: David Frost

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