Our Term 2 major mission project is the Downs and West Community Support Appeal. In the current COVID-19 environment fundraising for this very worthy cause is proving to be challenging. The Year 12 Charity Ball, which was postponed from 2 May to 5 September (health advice permitting), is one of our major College events which contributes to this appeal.
Downs and West Community Support is a cause which is very dear to my heart. Some members of our community would be aware that my parents have a farm. (Most infamously remembered as the site of my accident with a horse in September 2017!) My mother grew up on the Darling Downs and for a few years in the late 1980s my parents worked a farm just west of Toowoomba, so I am very aware of the issues that can arise for people who work our land.
It was a pleasant (and timely) surprise in the last couple of weeks to receive a copy of a new publication called “Being Extensively Useful...in the service of the poor” by Sr Jeannie Johnston rsc. This book celebrates ten years of Downs and West Community Support caring for the people in rural and remote regions of the South East, Darling Downs, South West and the South Burnett, in Queensland.
In the introduction of this book it is written:
Like the founder of the Sisters of Charity, Mary Aikenhead, who responded to the needs of the poor in her time, Downs and West Community Support is motivated by a sense of responsibility to communicate God’s love by word and concrete action. We do this through the provision of compassionate care and sharing available resources with those who are deemed to be amongst the neediest knowing that:
The blessing of Him who will not leave a cup of cold water without its reward, will be with you in Abundance and aid (you in) all your undertakings. Mary Aikenhead 8 February 1842.
As I glanced through the pages, I felt myself drawn to this story…
“We have noticed your tractor in the paddock every time we traveled out your way in the past 18 months. We wondered why and discovered it needed a new tyre. We would like to help you out.
On Wednesday 27 May a new tyre will be delivered and put on for you. You will be contacted the day before to organize the time of arrival.
The invoice and receipt are enclosed. We care for our farmers.
The postscript to this story is that on a subsequent visit the tractor was parked on the side of the road and the paddock had been ploughed.
If I were to put myself in the shoes of that farming family, I imagine that they would have been experiencing a myriad of feelings as a result of this gesture. Perhaps they were feeling…
We can model this act of kindness. Where in our community at this time can we see need? What can we do about it?
MSM are very proud supporters of Downs and West Community Support. They change lives! While it is difficult to provide financial support at this time, we can give our prayerful support to Sr Christine and her volunteers for the amazing work that they do…God’s work!
In faith and love