[notice]GRAHAM RIES, the visionary and co-ordinator of the Matthew Lunch, reports back on a day of ‘spoiling’ homeless and broken people in PE by Christians from a number of city churches.[/notice]
What price can one put on changing another’s life? There is none. The Matthew Lunch 2013 last Saturday (September 21) was an event that highlighted the plight of the needy in our fair city of Port Elizabeth. Each and every person who worked on this event feels very humbled and extremely honoured to have been a part of this fantastic event. The way the teams worked together with the different ministries that came together and the churches that put aside differences of opinion to work together on one common outreach is proof beyond words that we can, without the shadow of a doubt, unite as one Body of Christ as we prepare for our Lord’s imminent return.
Instead of trying to write a whole bunch of words, let me rather let the testimonies of others and a few photographs speak for themselves:
“The event itself touched my heart so deeply. I often think what life would be like with truly nothing, where would I sleep, eat or wash? How would I maintain my dignity? If I was homeless, a day like the Matthew Lunch would reassure me that I was not forgotten or uncared for, it would give me a sense of belonging to something more than just my circumstance. It moved me to see such a holistic approach to providing for needs that are seldom met.”
— Tammy Foote, Love Story
“Of all the events we’ve ever done or helped make possible, the Matthew Lunch was by far the one that touched my heart the most. While I was welcoming the homeless people on the red carpet, I was about to give one of them a hug when he said to me “please don’t hug me I smell”. For me I would rather hug a homeless smelly person any day than someone who smells good, because my heart is in giving and showing God’s heart and love for all.”
— Nelisa Radu, Love Story
“It was an amazing event. Welcoming the people was so touching, that was the best part of the whole event for me, to see the busses arrive with hundreds of excited guests… It was amazing to be able to serve them and to just see their big smiles and joy!”
— Sarah Staffen, Love Story
My wife felt as if she had gone to heaven and didn’t want to return. I would really like a bible group or something like it to start in Extension 33.
— Araazat, husband and sand sculpture builder
“This is the first time I have ever truly seen biblical values played out on such a massive scale! It was an honour to be a part of it”
–– Hanna T, waitress
“Being a part of The Matthew Lunch reminded me of my calling to work with the homeless people of the world.”
— Candice – waitress
For a larger selection of photographs taken by photographer Adele Liebich, please log onto the Facebook page and click on photos…
The Lord used The Matthew Lunch 2013 to reach out to 260 broken and destitute people of the city of Port Elizabeth with the express purpose of showing them that He sees them as people of value. The Lord does not see broken people as the world sees them, rubbish and fit to be rejected. He sees them as people to be brought into His kingdom and cherished and loved.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the LORD used The Matthew Lunch to start something in the city, and we hope, indeed we know, as the teams that took part in this event, that seeds of hope were sown far and wide.
The Matthew Lunch 2014 will set out to bring 50 different churches together – the reason being that the Lord’s Jubilee fell on every 50th year. Every 50th year was a year of fresh beginnings, a year of the Lord’s favour when debts were cancelled and slaves were set free. The idea was to consecrate the 50th year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. You can read about this in Leviticus 25:8-54.
It is believed that The Matthew Lunch 2014 will again be used of the Lord, but this time not to show that he sees the people as people of value, but rather to show the country, and indeed perhaps the world, that 50 churches can work together and can reach out to a city and claim it for Jesus Christ, and can prepare it for His glorious return, which could be any day now.