Here at COTS our mission, or what we aim to achieve, is rooted in Matthew 25:35-36
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
So, that raises a question – how do we respond to this scripture and put it into practice on a daily basis here at COTS?
Something that burdens my heart is seeing the continual rise in child poverty within our communities. How do we plan to stand in the gaps and make sure no child is left behind, cold, or hungry over the coming winter months? Our plan is to feed up to 700 children over the Christmas period as well as making sure their parents have access to clothing and food on a regular basis. Through your generous donations last year we were able to support families facing financial difficulties through the Christmas season by providing gifts, clothing, and food. We plan on doing the same this year and expect that there will be even more families needing our help than ever before. We will also be hosting our traditional COTS Christmas day lunch here at the church where families, individuals young and old will come and enjoy Christmas day at COTS.
We’re strong believers in not only feeding the hungry through hot food or food parcels but fellowshiping around a table together – there’s something special about sharing what you have. Every wednesday we prepare and serve a sit down meal where over 50 people sit and eat together. Eating together leads to a different type of food, a spiritual food, enabling us to create heart-felt bonds, connections and helps to break down barriers. We are then able to identify a person’s needs and provide them with the opportunity to receive help and support through one of our many partnerships.
With the temperatures dropping, people from our homeless community often walk through the door of COTS cold and wet. We see the importance of being on hand to offer a change of clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, a hot brew, and something to eat. Especially now with many of us experiencing the rise in the cost of living, we know how needed our clothing banks are to keep people warm and dry this winter.
“Unable to afford the vital care package in place for her health needs meant she was left feeling terrified and worried about what would happen to her.”
Recently, while visiting a terminally ill elderly lady in her home we discovered the distress she was going through and she was experiencing deep financial difficulties. Unable to afford the vital care package in place for her health needs meant she was left feeling terrified and worried about what would happen to her. We were able to step in, stand in the gaps, and provide her support with the costs as well as continuing to visit her and pray with her.
We are also aware that not only the people who are able to visit COTS need love, compassion and someone to talk to. People who are imprisoned also have the same needs, someone they can talk with in a non-judgemental way can be very healing. In the Bible many of God’s people ended up in prison, including Jesus. Pastor Emma, from our women’s ministry in Preston, is passionate about visiting women in prison, often offering prayer and listening support through one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Letters are also sent into prisons by Pastor Mick and members of our Church congregation.
As we experience these increasingly challenging times everyone is welcome at COTS, no matter what age, ethnicity, or background. We sit, support, share food and a love for one another with the hope of building a community wrapped around the scripture of Matthew 25:35-36.
Thank you for your continued support. It is deeply appreciated, I would like to finish with a prayer for all of us. God Bless you all.
In Christ Jesus
We ask for your help to put into practice your word, to feed the hungry, provide a drink for the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and visit the imprisoned. May everything we do and say glorify your name.