In March 2021 we had a season of 12 Days of Gospel Stories. We’re now reproducing these stories here for all to see and be inspired by!

I joined the faith community at Ormiston Community Baptist Church (OCBC) in the middle of lockdown last year, and I was amazed to see what God has been doing through this small band of faithful believers to bless our community. One great example of this is our Community Pantry.

Close to the iconic Ormiston bridge, you’ll see a large plot of land where we hope to one day have our own church building. In one corner of this plot, you’ll find a wooden cupboard, lovingly hand-built by OCBC members. And in this cupboard, there are shelves regularly replenished with non-perishable food and a message that says, “Take what you need, leave what you can.”

I love that OCBC has included the second half of this message—“leave what you can.” It invites others to participate in God’s redemptive purposes, the way Jesus modelled. When Jesus fed the hungry five thousand, He could easily have called bread and fish to rain down from heaven, but instead, He said to His disciples “You give them something to eat.”

How wonderful for a church to be known not just as a place of generosity, but one that empowers and inspires in others the self-giving generosity of Jesus. Like the Māori proverb says, “Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri. With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive.”

Lord Jesus, may the Baptist churches of New Zealand reflect your generosity to their communities, and inspire and empower others to “leave what they can.”
Amen.

Contributor: Santhosh George, Ormiston Community Baptist Church