Your home has been bombed
Your family has been separated
You have no food
You are forced to flee
What do you do?
Nearly a thousand teens from across the South England Conference (SEC) gathered at the Emmanuel Centre in Central London on Sabbath, 10 December, for their yearly Day of Fellowship. But this year, a presentation about the challenges facing another teenager from Ukraine, presented to them by the ADRA-UK team who did the catering for their event that day, made a visible impact on them.
As they excitedly arrived at the venue, meeting old friends and making new ones in anticipation of the spiritual blessings to be presented, little did they know that their whole mindset would be challenged on social responsibility that day.
The ADRA staff and some volunteers prepared food for all attendees, including 1,000 vegetarian hot dogs, 1,000 veggie patties, and 1,000 bottles of water. Also, 1,000 pieces of cakes and biscuits and flipped 1,000 roti to go with the massive pot of curry.
The praise and worship team set the tone for the day with inspiring songs. Earl Ramharacksingh, Finance Controller at ADRA-UK, represented the team. In his ten-minute slot, he opened the minds of the young people in attendance to the traumas facing other teenagers right here in Europe and challenged them to help in whatever way they could.
Thousands of similar Ukrainian teenagers made the almost biblical mass exodus to their neighbouring countries, not knowing what to expect or who would help them in their plight. They have next to nothing. Just what they could carry on their long sojourn.
Ramharacksingh said, "no teenager should have to suffer like this. Christ, in His ministry here on Earth, met felt needs in the most meaningful and tangible way. We too can do our part to alleviate the pain and suffering both locally and abroad."
He showed a short clip of a young Ukrainian person explaining her plight. She recognises the help that the church and ADRA have made to provide for the refugees. The members of the British Union territory have raised just nearly £200,000 to date to help the Ukrainian relief work. ADRA offices worldwide have sent US $ 39.37 million, benefitting 4 million people across 69 specific projects.
Go to ADRA-UK's YouTube channel to see the video: https://youtu.be/qw6g0-tZlzc.
Ramharacksingh also introduced the two-pronged strategy of ADRA to the teens:
- Emergency relief work, such as in Ukraine and the recent floods in Pakistan.
- Development work. ADRA will provide the means to communities abroad to deliver sustainable programmes to help them provide for themselves.
Ramharacksingh then showed a short video of one such development programme in Nepal https://youtu.be/T-jw7JkU2yA.
The youth showed appreciation for the work and the church through ADRA with a resounding round of applause after the presentation. We pray for all those affected and disadvantaged by the society they find themselves in in the vast arena called Earth. We all can do our part.