With the first South East Supporters' Day just around the corner, Regional Coordinator for Sussex, Mark Johnson, reflects on the theme of the day:
We have chosen to name this supporters’ day, ‘Sharing Hope, Inspiring Justice’. Given the nature of the work we do, it seems rather apt. As we glance around the western world we see our expectations being raised at pretty much every turn. There is an almost inescapable insistence on ‘improvement’ and it is encountered in everything from the minutiae of our day-to-day lives through to some of the biggest decisions we make.
Getting ‘more’ has become an expectation of our age, sometimes to the point where luxuries become elevated to nothing less than a ‘right’. To not have ‘the latest’, ‘the best’ or, at the very least, ‘the better’ is sometimes deemed unfair. More worryingly still, it is sometimes deemed ‘unjust’. It is a situation that, when placed alongside the work we do together in Christian Aid, is dizzying in the discomfort it engenders.
For billions, life is about reduction, lessening, decrease, corrosion and loss. People without the basic requirements of life; food, drink, shelter, clothing and security. Those who have had their family, home, town and, in some cases, country forcibly taken away from them for reasons ranging from climate change to conflict and beyond. People for whom anxiety and uncertainty, if not downright fear, are the hallmarks of their lives.
It is against this backdrop that we will hear of inspiring and practical ways in which we can help those for whom justice is absent or insufficient. Through the provision of this justice we seek that much-desired by-product of justice in action: hope. Hope is brought through words of promise and actions with intent. Hope can be evidenced in the witness and reception of justice in the moment. The provision of the meal, a drink, a cloak or a roof.
Our actions need to engender a sense that not only are things getting better today but they will also get better tomorrow. That the holistic decaying of this life can be halted and reversed. Hope, at its most powerful, can bring about a sense of a life worth living. So, at our supporter day, we will see how out of the ink-black shadows can come positively-directed change and how that change can bring about the balm of hope.
Our work is about fighting for justice and creating hope that sustains in the moment and energises for the future. We are about a refusal to accept the world as it is. We hope that those who attend our supporter day will learn a little more about us but also about how to be part of the solution.
Sharing Hope, Inspiring Justice is on Saturday 6 October 2018. Bookings will be open until the day before.