A street encounter under the cover of darkness leads to a project of light…
It’s a cold Autumn evening in 2017. A church member volunteers with the Hope in the Darkness community project outside the Dublin General Post Office. People of all ages and all walks of life have the same thing in common tonight. They are hungry. This eye-opening experience prompts Irish Mission members to begin serving others as Jesus taught us to.
Dublin West church, in the name of ACS, supports this project with communion service Love Offerings in 2017/8. Summer 2018, Dublin Romanian church joins by providing sandwiches. At this point ACS Dublin begins supporting Hope in the Darkness on a weekly basis with donations and volunteers.
Church members are now feeling elated from the positive experiences of engaging with those in need. Walking in Christ’s footsteps ignites a desire to provide the people with spiritual food too. Soon, ACS decides to independently meet the need for a Saturday night soup kitchen. They nickname themselves #theSaturdayPeople, referring to those who serve and those being served.
Dublin Ranelagh joins in Summer 2020. Soon followed by the Discover Truth team that weekly brings free literature to hand out to all who are interested. Currently the churches take turns hosting a Saturday night, with the Youth hosting one night too (see a relevant video here).
So, what is it that makes ACS so successful in moving members to Engage with those in need? It’s simple: they provide them with the opportunity to follow Jesus’s example. Ellen White beautifully describes His method here:
Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ (Ministry of Healing, p. 143)
You can imagine how many lives are being impacted. Comments and letters received from those served testify to the success of Christ’s method. One letter names ACS as “the best soup run in town because their TLC is tasted in the food and felt in the service”.
What about Irish Mission members? To answer this, we can consider what Jerry (9 years old) was moved to do. He didn’t realise that so many are in need. Serving with his mother one night moves him to compassion. He decides to donate half of his birthday money to ACS inspiring the creation of Jerry’s fund – a fund dedicated to helping homeless children.
How are other members of the community impacted? Need we say more when local community members watch the work being done and then join in as volunteers and donators. One of them said, “It’s a brilliant way to support the Adventists. It’s just great to be part of such a great organisation.”
Human voices and hands are truly giving angelic wings to end-time messages of hope in Ireland’s communities through the practical Christianity of seeing a need and then meeting the need.
ACS seeks to Engage members across the Irish Mission in one way or another. This is done through various requests: from donation requests – besides regular food and clothing donations, a van has been purchased; to requests for volunteers; and even requests for drawings (from the children), letters, and scripture promises to be handed out along with the food and clothing.
ACS Cork is also active by supporting needy families in Cork, Tralee, Waterford and Kilkenny with weekly food supplies and Family Hampers.
Established in God, ACS members are Empowered by the Holy Spirit to Engage with their communities to introduce them to their Saviour, Jesus, who can supply all their needs.
For more information on ACS, and to see how you can get involved, go to https://acsdublin.org/ or for Cork enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org