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Even in the Depths…
In the depths of adversity… Jesus sides with the poor

 

As I reflect upon the last few months, I am very grateful to each and every:

 

  • STAFF member who has persevered by turning up for shifts and sustaining high levels of professionalism and productivity even when working remotely, and for the flexibility of staff helpers who have been willing to step in and carry the workload of other teams and worksites that we heavily impacted by COVID-19 precautions;
  • VOLUNTEER who has generously offered hours of your time and effort to sustain and add value to our services over many years. Note: We especially acknowledge their patience and loyalty whilst, for safety and insurance reasons, we have had to suspend volunteer roles to ensure their well-being over the last few months.
  • STUDENT on Placement – for your flexibility and willingness to perform special tasks to support our vulnerable clients through these extraordinary times.

 

I also reflected that it’s not actually about what you or I may have done…. it’s about what we have achieved together as we have sought to stay alongside disadvantaged people who would have been vulnerable to deep despair and high anxiety for themselves and their families through these challenging times. By working together, Baptist Care SA has continued to inspire hope and assisted thousands of people to courageously keep looking and moving forward.

 

Rather than give up amid adversity, we are reminded that ‘Jesus sides with the poor, oppressed and outcasts but he does not leave them wallowing in victimhood’… (Tim Foster at 4D Conference 2019) He leads them toward fullness of life!

 

Even in the depths of adversity… great things have continued to happen:

  • 70-80 children and young people have been supported in safe, homelike environments with the skilled and compassionate care of our Care Pathways staff;
  • Anangu Women and Children have returned to the homes in the APY Lands safe, happy, healthy and encouraged after spending a few months in the culturally enriching environment respectfully provided by our Adventure Pathways team at the Mylor Adventure and Wirraway Camp sites;
  • Disability Pathways staff have sustained daily routines for people living with disabilities so that they would not be unsettled by rapid change;
  • The specialist Aboriginal Homelessness Team in our Community Pathways staff have undertaken intensive case management for approximately 100 Aboriginal people who were sleeping rough around Adelaide but were given safe haven in hotels over recent months (we applaud the Emergency Accommodation initiative of SA Housing Trust!) and are now being assisted to transition into stable ongoing accommodation with support for the next 12 months;
  • Our resourceful FLO Teams have supported over 400 young people to stay connected with an education pathway;
  • Our new Family Pathways portfolio is being established through realignment of Family Mental Health and Youth Homelessness Services and the development of innovative new approaches and service models that aim to engage with and strengthen risk families;
  • Thousands of international students who were stranded away from the support of their families and without work to help pay their living expenses have been able to access free or low cost food via our Community Food Hub in Wright Street;
  • Hundreds of people living in poverty have been compassionately greeted and provided with daily meals and other emergency relief services.

 

It seems to me that in the dark Depths of Adversity, the Light of Humanity planted deep within all of creation by the Creator, shines through. Thanks be to God!

 

Prayer for our nation

 

Gracious God, 

We give thanks anew for your providence and presence. 

We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas. 

We pray for those in need of healing.

We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving.

We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response.

We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders.

We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable.

This prayer for our nation in the family of nations, with all that is on our hearts, we gather now and pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN. 

 

Update on CEO and Executive Movements

 

As many of you may recall our Graham, our CEO, was due to have heart surgery earlier this year but this had to be postponed because of the increased risks presented by the Coronavirus Pandemic. We can now advise that, assuming all goes well, Graham Brown is now rescheduled for this procedure in mid-August and will be taking personal and annual leave over 2-3 months. Graham is looking forward to returning to his role after taking the necessary time to recuperate.

We are pleased to advise that:

  • Michael Hynes will be serving as Acting CEO during this period. Michael has previously served as Acting CEO and is a well-established and respected member of the Executive Leadership Team. Michael has a very sound understanding of the organisation’s operations and strategic priorities;
  • Peter Branson will be undertaking the role of Acting Executive Leader Corporate Services during this period. Peter has been undertaking key project roles alongside Executive Leaders over the last 2 years including coordination of our COVID-19 Emergency Response Management Project and has a strong insights into the organisation’s corporate functions;
  • With strong and skilled support of the Executive Leadership Team, Senior Managers and staff, we anticipate that our high-quality services and sound corporate operations will be sustained throughout this period.

Please uphold Graham in prayer throughout this period as we look forward to his full recovery and return.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to Michael Hynes or any member of the Executive Leadership Team

 

Blessings to you all

Graham Brown

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