The timeless message of Easter is about hope. It’s about new life springing out of darkness and despair. Here at my Exodus Foundation we believe in doing hope, not just talking about it.
Every day we see lives changed by caring acts of service performed by our wonderful staff and volunteers. Sometimes it’s giving a free meal to a hungry homeless person in our Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant, but often it’s much more than that.
Often it’s life changing and it all happens thanks to the thoughtful support of people just like you.
Everything we do is about giving them a better future. All the while I make sure that our work is performed with kindness, or rather loving kindness, because without that we’d just be another charity doing its job.
A few weeks ago I was down at our free food van which visits Woolloomooloo each night. I noticed a dishevelled young homeless woman emerging from the shadows. Like many of the homeless she was very timid and was only coming to us because she was hungry. I could see she needed more than just a meal, so I went up and spoke to her.
She told me her name was Mary and that she slept in a squat near by. After she had eaten, we talked some more, and I offered her a hamper with clothing and some more food. Her eyes filled with tears and she gratefully received it, saying it would be really helpful.
It was a very moving time for us both and I knew a connection had been made – one which might lead to her trusting us enough to help change the life she found herself in.
Other times it’s the simple act of our dentist providing new false teeth that makes all the difference. When a homeless person gets new teeth they can eat and they can smile. It can even give them the confidence they need to get a job!
We’re giving hope every day at my Exodus Foundation. Just this morning a guest came up to me and thanked me. “I don’t know what I’d do without this place”, he said. “I’ve been sleeping in my car for weeks and if I didn’t have you to turn to for showers and food and stuff like that, I don’t know how I’d survive”.
Your generosity enables us to give hope to all our guests!
Sometimes the things life throws at the down-and-outs really breaks my heart. The other day we gave one of our needy guests a black shirt, tie and trousers.
It was so he could attend his son’s funeral. It was very sad. “My son should be burying me, not the other way around”, he said. Thankfully, he won’t be alone in his grieving. Your support means we will be there with loving kindness to support him.
Hardly a day goes by when me and my team don’t help a single mum with kids. It’s not uncommon to find them all living out of a car. Usually, they’re escaping family violence. We give them food, clothing, accommodation and support. For you and me these things seem simple, but for them it’s a new beginning and hope for a better future.
So many people live lonely isolated lives today – especially the homeless, the poor and the needy. That is why my Exodus Foundation is building a supportive community amongst them. One Sunday each month I hold a big lunch for our guests and volunteers. Afterwards we all share time with each other. This has created a real sense of community.
It’s the sort of thing that I think Jesus would like to be part of.
Everything I’ve told you in this letter shows the importance of hope and how each one of us can give it. Here at my Exodus Foundation we give hope in spades and it makes me so proud – especially at Easter.
That’s why I’m asking you to support me once more. It is a Holy time of year, a time when the words of Jesus seem especially at one with the work that me and my team do.
You can help us feed the hungry. You can help us clothe the needy. And you can help us bring new hope. So please, I urge you to make a kind donation to our Exodus Foundation Easter Appeal today.
Rev. Bill Crews
P.S. You would be amazed how much good your donation achieves at my Exodus Foundation. It gives far more than just nourishment, it gives hope for a better future.