Christian mission 'not complicated' says Darwen Asylum and Refugee Enterprise (DARE)

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dare rFor Darwen Asylum and Refugee Enterprise in Lancashire, Christian mission isn’t complicated. All you need is an idea, and the kind of love that may seem small to us, but is, in fact, huge in God’s eyes. They look to scripture for inspiration, reading in John 12:34: “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

In the face of Covid-19, the project has had to find fresh ways of supporting the community, especially asylum seekers and refugees. Has closing the doors of the building to protect people against the spread of the virus stopped this important work? No!

Food parcels, perhaps the most urgent of all the support offered by Darwen Asylum and Refugee Enterprise (DARE), continued to be delivered under the government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission. Jean, a church elder who is over 80 years of age, thought carefully about the many asylum seekers and refugees who might feel lonely, forgotten and uncared for in these strange times

She baked three large cakes and left them on the wall outside her house to be collected by volunteers for delivery to vulnerable people, with a socially-distant knock on the door and a wave through the window, along with and a few tears of thankfulness.

In catering for the needs of the body, we must not forget the importance of art in feeding the soul. One DARE volunteer has been supporting a young man from Iraq in developing his painting skills.

Central URC Darwen's church secretary, who personally looks after quite a few DARE clients, finds herself frustrated that she currently can’t do more to support people right now due to her own health issues confining her to her home. So now, she finds one of the families she cares for, caring for her, as they deliver her shopping, showing their appreciation for the support they have received.

The congregation’s desire to love neighbours does not stop in Darwen, however. Local URCs, other churches and local charities and organisations have been linking up with Mosques as part of the Mosque Twinning project to provide containers of much needed supplies for refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece.

Here is a short video about this important work:

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