Well, what a wonderful autumn we are having! Our churches have been beautifully decorated for the harvest festival services with flowers and fruits from our gardens and the hedgerows.
We have truly given thanks to God for a bumper harvest this year, and people have very generously given to our collections for the foodbank because they wish to share the bounty.
I wonder if you’ve heard about the “Buhfai tham” scheme in India? In a tiny, remote village in Mizoram, families live on a meagre income of less than 50p a day, yet despite their poverty, they are spearheading a revolution.
“Buhfai tham” is where each family puts aside a handful of rice every time they cook a meal. Later, they gather that rice together across the village and offer it to the church.
The church, in turn, sells the rice and generates income to support its work of feeding the truly destitute.
“The people of Mizoram are giving what is basic, essential, fundamental to life and they are sharing that with God.” says the leader of Mizoram Church, “Mizoram state is the most backward state in India, and we are the poorest of the poor, but still we can do our part in the ministry of the Lord. As long as we have something to eat every day, we have something to give to God every day.’”
The people of Mizoram certainly put me to shame . . . During Lent this year, Christian Aid suggested that we “count our blessings” by setting aside small amounts – 10p/20p – each time we eat a meal, or flush the toilet, or read a book – all the things we take for granted yet millions of people across the world can’t share. Worth a thought?
The Rev Audrey Atkinson
Team vicar in the
Oakham Team Ministry