Outreach while lockdown restrictions are in place requires an exercise of the imagination. How to interact with people when it is not possible to meet face to face? Mission partners, Noel and Liza found that they could build more bridges with their neighbours in Cootehill, Ireland, during this time, than all the years they had been in the district. To quote Noel and Liza, ‘The cakes broke the ice.’.
Liza settled on wrapped shop-bought cakes (people might think it risky to receive homebaked goods during a pandemic) to deliver to each door, along with a note with their contact details and the offer to help with shopping.
Doors opened in response to this practical kindness. Noel and Lisa received a ‘thank you’ card and a batch of cookies in return, and some took up the offer of help. Meaningful conversations took place about topics such as fears for the future and faith in the midst of a crisis. Noel, who had been referred to jokingly as ‘Father Ted’, as they shared Scripture Calendars and gospel literature in the past, now noticed an openness and willingness to engage with neighbours who had seemed very self-sufficient and distant before.
With just a handful of cakes and an offer of help…[they] had opportunities for witness which they would not otherwise have had.
With just a handful of cakes and an offer of help, progress was made, and Noel and Liza had opportunities for witness which they would not otherwise have had. They pray that seed sown will take root, and in coming days they will have the joy of seeing the Holy Spirit working in their neighbourhood.