Greetings from Norwich where I’ve been for the last week. I’ve had an opportunity to get involved in so much this week and it’s been great. But there is one thing of all the different places and projects I’ve been to and got involved with and that is something called ‘Who Cares?’
What who cares is, is a project that went city and county wide to ask people of all faiths, races, backgrounds etc., ‘what hurts the most?’ There was all types of answers that were given: racism, homophobia, bullying, sexism, death of a loved one/pet, falling out with friends, not being able to be me. All real issues, and that only names a few!!! Over 22,000 people answered that question and local Churches as well as the organisation I’ve been working with this week, Norwich Youth For Christ, sought to go into the towns, go into schools, go into parks, go into the City Centre and respond to that question!
What a response as well! On Saturday night, there was a thanksgiving service to celebrate all this had done in the area and one guy who was talking about it, told all of us in the Church about this amazing selfie one of the ‘Who Cares?’ volunteers took in Norwich city centre and behind her, a lady was being prayed for by one of the team. It’s stories like this that have made this whole project such a huge success and seen many people become Christians as a result of what has been going on. But there’s three things in particular I want to highlight and let you ponder:
I had the opportunity to look through some of the responses and in them all, my favourite response to the question “what hurts the most?” to which one person replied, “what hurts the most is that so many young people have an answer to this question!” For me, that hit and it hurt because it was right, as I looked through hundreds of these cards, issue after issue, problem after problem, hurt after hurt, pain after pain. Life hurts! It really does and it sucks that its hurting so many people, too many people in matter of fact! We all feel rough and down and destroyed and bashed and bruised at some point in our lives but what we don’t always know is that there is a way to deal with it. Jesus says himself, “Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will bring you rest.” It seems a cop out but Jesus has got an answer if we truly give our things to him. He can bring us peace, he can bring us rest, he can show us a way to being able to deal with these things.
Why did this strike me so much? honestly, because purely and simply it was the Church going to the people and asking what can the Church help you with? and when we say the Church, we are saying, what do you really talk to God about! What actually, when we think about it, do we care about? What needs responding to? It provoked something in me to ask and answer the question myself. Theres a clip from Bruce Almighty here to give you an idea of what it means to ask what do you/we really care about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPXtr8dbArA
Thirdly and finally, Why ask the question? Well because the Church should be trying to! What i’ve loved about seeing a culmination of this project here in Norfolk is because finally the Church is getting known for doing something SO RIGHT! Churches all over Norwich and Norfolk put on events, alpha courses (including an alpha night for 1200 people, the largest in the UK) , dinners, services to answer these questions that people have and care about.
“The Church looks at each person in it and cares about what they believe! Everyone outside looks and the Church and asks, what do they do?” Based on this project, it is trying to make a difference to the community and bring hope to these places of darkness.
Who Cares? Jesus does so We Should do! What do we need to do? show people that we care!! fairly simple….isn’t it?
– Joel Newall« Overflow Café | Overflow Cafe »