Norfolk church sends 15 tons of aid to Romania
More than 15 tons of aid to help struggling communities and churches in rural Romania has been collected and delivered by big-hearted South African Christians in Norfolk over the past two years. Mike Wiltshire reports.
Now they are gearing up for another South African Festival, an annual fund-raising event at Hethersett Village Hall, six miles south-west of Norwich, on Sunday, September 18. Everyone is welcome.
‘Loving by Giving’ is the festival theme in support of churches and worthy causes in Romania and other nations – ‘to relieve poverty, build communities and give hope.’
Encouraged by their energetic pastor and life-coach, Dr Jaco Beukes and his wife, Eldre, the inter-denominational South African Congregation which partners with the LBG (Loving by Giving) Fellowship, meets regularly at West Costessey Hall, Queens Hills, NR8 5BP at 10am on Sundays. Dr Jaco, who preaches in English rather than Afrikaans, adds: “We are really here in Norwich for ‘everyone’ – not just for those of us with South African backgrounds.”
Members and friends have achieved remarkable goals in providing overseas aid – for example, a 10-ton truck-load of clothing, toys and bicycles was sent to Romania, where they also help to build churches in areas of extreme poverty and reach out in evangelistic projects.
Working alongside other churches in support of the Besom project in Norwich, (moto: ‘sweep away suffering’), the South African church has supplied backpack ‘survival kits’ for homeless people in need, plus support for water aid projects in Tanzania.
“People across East Anglia are amazingly generous – they just give in abundance,” says Dr Jaco, who has just returned from another trip to Romania where they support church planting projects.
For seven years, Dr Jaco, who is well-trained in social care as well as theology, worked with the Norwich-based Matthew Project, which provides advice and support services for people facing drug and alcohol problems. As a life-coach, he has a strong interest in ‘inspiring and empowering people – and helping those who are hurting to find recovery in fulfilled lives.’
He says the church is always looking for storage space in Norwich as friends gather more aid to send to Romania where they work in partnership with the global mission group, Operation Mobilisation. Any suggestions for storage space can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above, South African Christians in Norwich loading up a 10-ton truck with aid for churches in poverty-stricken areas of Romania, surrounded by storage containers.