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Becoming a Safer Society – Standing Apart Together.

What the heck is going on?

We all know that the last two months have been very challenging… but have you stopped to consider how absolutely transformational this experience may be for our society? Just like living through a natural disaster (e.g. bushfire or flood), our entire community has faced fear, experienced anxiety and shared grief … as we have faced an inflicted trauma together. No-one has been spared… all have been included! As we have walked along similar protective paths over the last few months, I wonder if you have been asking similar questions to me?

 

How much can a ‘koala bear’?

  • Many individuals and families have experienced trauma from uncertainty and sadly a few have been overcome with desperate grief
  • We have all harboured a disturbing concern that any one of us or the people we know and love could be next to suffer COVID-19
  • The isolation has been very tough for many of us… how marginalised did you feel from your family and community?
  • Many have been fearing that our world and our relationships may never be the same…
  • Have you found yourself feeling vulnerable recently… and wondering what it’s like to feel vulnerable and alone all the time?
  • Have you wondered how people who are homeless or who had a pre-existing mental or physical illness have coped?

 

How has South Australia been able to achieve world-leading containment of the aggressive coronavirus?

  • Well… there’s no doubt that living on a large sparsely populated island with dispersed cities and state borders in remote places is a pretty good head start!
  • Perhaps we might also acknowledge and celebrate our stable, democratic, socially responsible and accountable government
  • Whilst witnessing tragic mortality statistics around the world, SA’s families, workplaces and individual citizens have readily accepted that each of us are mutuallyresponsible for each other’s safety and well-being
  • On behalf of the Baptist Movement in SA, Baptist Care SA has played a key role by:
    – Sustaining our professional support services for thousands of vulnerable children, young people and adults across our State;
    – Accommodating and supporting over 150 Aboriginal people who were very exposed to risk of virus infection by providing:
    a) Case Management and meals to approximately 100 people whilst in temporary accommodation
    b) Accommodation for another 50-60 Anangu women and children at our Mylor Adventure Camp
    c) A bio-security haven for another 28 people from the APY lands at Wirraway Homestead.
  • In short, we have become more COVID-Safe because we have worked together toward that common goal!

 

So what are we learning together?

  • Hasn’t it been amazing and encouraging to see how creative people can be when they have recorded and shared their talents and quirkiness via on-line media
  • And hasn’t it been inspiring to see how generous people can be
  • Did you know that 15 professional chefs from some of Adelaide’s best restaurants have volunteered to cook meals for homeless people?
  • Whilst we never applied for it…. it seems that we have all had a crash course in the benefits of social responsibility?
  • The Spirit of the living God is at work through us and amongst us, even when we don’t know it!

 

So how will we move forward together?

  • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the normal practices and expectations of nations and communities have been challenged and disrupted resulting in many people being thrust into a world of daily uncertainty and anxiety, our Lord gently says:
    “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matt 11:28.
  • In a very strange way, I wonder if we just have caught a glimpse of ‘Heaven on Earth’ in the way that people have made sacrifices and taken steps to protect and care for people that they don’t even know… now there’s a point for thanksgiving!

 

On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Baptist Care SA, I say a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who, throughout the pandemic, has continued to:

  • Pray for the transformational impact of our COVID-19 interventions and our ongoing support services
  • Generously given financial support so we can extend our reach beyond what we normally do
  • Respond to our calls for donations of food and household goods.

 

Blessings to you for the contributions you are making so that everyone can be safer, and more included.

 

Graham Brown

Chief Executive Officer

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