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Giving and receiving in Canterbury

by on July 6, 2011
Canterbury tangerines

We have a vision to serve the people of Canterbury, and that means finding out their needs and helping in any way we can. We want to give people an experience of God’s grace in action. However, what we weren’t expecting is that they would want to serve us.

People in Canterbury want to help us – lots of people. I’ve decided to make a list of gifts and help we’ve received from people in the neighbourhood in recent months. Most of these are from separate sources (i.e. different people).


bag of tangerines – twice

lettuce – 5 times

bananas – 6

bag of onions and potatoes – 10 kg

chocolate coated biscuits – 1 packet

I’ve been given an aboriginal name: Kuminjai

date loaf – 1

bag of basil – 3 times

bag of maccadamias

bag of coffee beans – freshly roasted

pumpkin soup

various Nepali dishes including deep fried rice bread

bag of chips

clothes for the kids

unwanted copies of Luke’s gospel!!

wildlife dvds – 12

bag of movie dvds – 6

money – $35 (put into our outreach petty cash)

cake – 1

Indian dishes – 4

bread and butter pudding, made with bread from the bread stall we run at the school

mini trampoline – 1

orange pekoe tea – half kilo

stationery (pens whiteboard markers pads etc)  ~ 100 items.

new Gardening Australia magazines – 2

bunch of flowers – 1

jars of olives – 4

flower seeds for our garden

Other Help

home visits to me while I’ve been recovering from surgery – 3

soil carted to construct our vege garden – 1 tonne, moved by five neighbours

CDs lent to me while I’ve been unwell – 8 (+4 books)

offered –  a free car wash


Other team members have received gifts too, it’s not just our family. And there are other gifts and help we’ve received that I can’t think of right now, these are just the ones I remember from the past three months or so.

What’s the point of this list?

I’ve learnt a few things from all these gifts.

First, if we’re going to be friends with people here, they are going to want to help us. No good us being willing to give but not receive – not what friends do! We can’t pretend we’re at a different level from our neighbours, just here in a kind of professional capacity. We have to be real people. If we’re going to belong here, we have to let people do good to us too.

Second, lots of people around here are positive towards Jesus. They know we’re Jesus’ people, and they want to support and bless us. They might be secretly enemies of the gospel, but if so, they’re hiding it well! Some of them like to hang with us, others invite us for meals. Some have visited our Sunday afternoon gathering. Quite a few others ask when we meet (we never volunteer this info) and express an interest in coming, though they don’t actually get there. People seem to like the idea of Jesus and his people. Not everyone, but lots of people. Go figure.

So we’re learning to welcome the gifts, to accept them as a gesture of friendship, and often as a gesture of support for Christian ministry in Canterbury.

From → General

One Comment
  1. christianjanderson permalink

    Great list

    I live opposite Jono, and my Italian neighbour gave me an Italian stove top coffee maker. I use it everyday. Thanks Anna!

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