Charity matters, and as Christians, it’s in our hearts to lend a helping hand to those in need.

After what has been an unprecedented summer of fires, floods, drought and now pandemics here in Australia, it might be easy to feel overwhelmed or helpless.

However, as Christians, we acknowledge the responsibility is on all of us to help others, our neighbours and our friends, in this time of misfortune.

Charity matters, and as Christians, it’s in our hearts to lend a helping hand to those in need.

But when the problems are complex, we might ask ourselves, where do we start?

As members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC), for us the obvious and practical solution to getting boots on the ground and lending a practical helping hand is through the Rapid Relief Team (RRT).

As a church, we are passionate about the difference the RRT as a charity has made – and continues to make – in the lives of families, neighbours, communities and country: to the many who have recently fallen on tough times.

Being a global charity with a local heart has been the key to our success in being able to identify and fill a practical need – whether it be bushfires, water solutions, finances or food.

Putting our hands to initiatives that align with our values as a church Community has ensured that we serve our communities with care and compassion in their time of need.

The RRT expresses our Christian principles of care and compassion through providing practical solutions for everyday Aussies.

This is especially crucial when the needs of the broader community are so time sensitive, particularly in the immediate period following a natural disaster or having to go into social isolation immediately.

As such, our PBCC and RRT leadership teams continue to meet those needs with initiatives that are explicit, timely, and designed to fulfil a specific need.

Recent examples include:

RRT Food Boxes

After wanting to do more for families and individuals affected by domestic violence, RRT designed the Food Box to act an emergency food bank for people and families in need.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, RRT have pivoted to also delivered RRT Food Boxes to people in need across Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Operation Drought Relief

Since 2018, as part of our ongoing Operation Drought Relief, volunteers from our Community have distributed over 12,525 tonnes of hay and 1,621 bulker-bags of livestock supplement to 2,773 farmers and their families across Australia.

Operation Fire Relief

In response to the catastrophic bushfires here in Australia, the RRT continue to support those who have lost their homes with the Operation Fire Relief initiative.

Operation Fire Relief is designed to bring hope, and a helping hand to fire ravaged communities by donating a $1,000 gift card to families who have lost their home, an RRT Family Food Box and a Cookie the Kookaburra to children affected.

The Rapid Relief Team continue to visit fire-ravaged communities through New South Wales and Queensland, with the aim of helping 1,000 Aussie families who have lost everything.

Operation Christmas Dinner

Off the back of the ongoing drought in December 2019, Operation Christmas Dinner gifted a total 750 farming families a $250 cash card, totalling $187,000, to drought-affected families.

RRT Rapid Water System

RRT designed and engineered a mobile water pump and frac tank to provide fire trucks on the frontline access to hard to reach water.

The $450,000 RWS has been designed to assist Australia’s firefighting efforts by making previously inaccessible water due to remote locations, available for emergency services to use by pumping this water to a central staging area for use by fire trucks and aerial bombers.

If we can’t get the water to the people, then through a bit of ingenuity, we can get it to the firies trying to get it to the people.

You might ask, what are the key factors to our success in meeting the needs of our fellow Aussies?

It’s our people. Our hard-working, talented volunteers from the PBCC who embody community spirit and the heart of giving.

The fact is, every day in some small way across the globe, our Plymouth Brethren Christian Church volunteers are ambassadors of goodwill, offering a helping hand to those in need.

And so, as we move towards the second half of 2020, we must do so with compassion, and also action. Compassion in action.

We will maintain beliefs and a lifestyle that is based on the Holy Scriptures, to act with kindness and compassion, and support our local communities in times and places of need.

This world is complex and at times, uncertain.

And it is the outworking of our faith, the strong and generous charitable spirit amongst our community, that will bring mankind together in this time of crisis.