Polesworth Baptist Church


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Syrian refugee appeal

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Syrian Appeal
Syrian Appeal
Syrian Appeal
Syrian Appeal
Syrian Appeal
Syrian Appeal
"I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me." Matthew 25: 35-36

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25: 40

Sometimes it really does take a picture to start a conversation. In this case, it proved to be the photograph of three year old Aylan Kurdi washed up on the shoreline of a Turkish beach alongside his five year old brother Galip and mother Rihan. The refugee crisis had the full glare of the media upon it, and the world could not remain in the dark. In September, Polesworth Baptist Church launched their own Syrian Refugee Appeal.

We spent time finding an established charity that worked for the refugees, Syria Relief. Reports came back to us of refugees living in rooms with no heat, sewerage or running water, in abandoned chicken coops, derelict structures and storage sheds - anywhere they could find shelter. People were hungry, cold and frightened. Conditions were desperate and items were needed urgently, so we asked church members and friends for donations of shoes and clothing. The appeal was then placed on our Facebook page and in the Tamworth Herald. As people learned that we were their closest donation centre, fairly soon the donations were appearing weekly, then daily, then several a day.

We extended our donations to include toiletries, pots and pans, tents and sleeping bags and some toys. The 1st Polesworth Brigades did a fantastic job sorting through the donations into categories of men, women, boys, girls and general (such as blankets, tents and toiletries). Linking with CP Motors in Polesworth to organise the collection of donations, the first transport arrived on October 13th. We had collected so much that the team had to leave some behind towards the next run - they were staggered by the fantastic response of our community. We have had donations from far and wide. After piling bags into the vehicles, the team began their journey. The first stop was to be Subotica, on the Serbian side of the Hungary border where a lot of refugees were stuck because the border had closed. The second stop was in Bodrum, Turkey, where the remainder was to be taken over to Kos, Greece.

The second run hopes to go out in December or January as this crisis shows no signs of abating. We would still appreciate your donations for these people. Winter for us means a fire, central heating, hot food and comfort. Who knows what it will bring to the refugees? The Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that anybody in need, no matter what their creed - or colour - or name, is our neighbour. As people of the Bible, we share God's love in word and action to all of our neighbours. We will continue to collect so please contact either Brian Dimbleby: secretary@polesworthbaptistchurch.co.uk or Juliet Davies: julietdavies@outlook.com H.01827 893983 to arrange to bring your donations to the church. May the love and peace of God go with you all and your families this winter.

Our second lot of donations were collected from Polesworth Baptist Church by Mr Hazrat Khan from Syria Relief at 5pm last night. I had previously double checked who he was with the organisation to make sure that he did work for them and even had the opportunity of an ID photo check ahead of his arrival.

The large van was loaded up to ceiling height for 2/3 of it. The charity workers were up until 2am unloading and sorting our donations and two of them immediately emailed me to say how delighted they were with the quality of items donated and sheer number of items. We had collected more than many large companies and organisations. Yesterday morning a dry cleaners donated 16 cleaned and packaged duvets that had never been reclaimed.

Our donations will join a container that will leave for the Port of Mersin in South East Turkey on December 5th. They have strict regulations for containers going into Syria but our container's donation certificate is already in place. It will then be moved to 'zero point' (the border between Turkey and Syria). The contents are then unloaded into trucks and taken to the charity's warehouse for sorting and distribution in the camps and surrounding areas. There is still a desperate need for these displaced people.

HUGE thanks to Jackie Jones (for also staying an hour over her time) and to Gaur for helping to get the items from the church hall to the van. I'd spent all day bringing it all downstairs into the church so can confirm that upstairs is currently clear of all donations - but I have some more coming in this afternoon.

Thanks - Juliet


Polesworth Baptist Church
The Gullet, Polesworth, Warwickshire, B78 1HH
Telephone The Minister: 01827 912821
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Updated December 11th, 2018
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