FBC “Talk-to-Us!” Social Concern Initiative and Covid-19 Fund Q&A
During this period of nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it was envisaged that many poor and marginalised people in the community will require help. The original vision of having the “Talk-to-Us!” #Hotline to minister to people in our community with counselling and prayer needs, quickly expanded to include helping those who are struggling financially and living at a subsistence level. Christians have a clear mandate to do good to all people and “especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10). This is also a good opportunity for the various ministries in FBC to collaborate and unite in its efforts to reach out to the community. The taskforce is mindful that we do not do this merely as a “cheque-writing” but a sustained effort to establish connections and also minister to the spiritual needs of the community with the Gospel of Christ.
To date, we have delivered groceries and other essential items like baby diapers and face masks to 16 families in the community. Some families have been identified through Pastor Lawrence in the Tamil ministry while others are made up of migrant workers and refugees. Each family has been “adopted” by a life group or FBC ministry group where members have committed to engage with the aid recipients. When MCO is lifted, other contact points can be made like giving tuition to chil-dren, visitation and prayers…etc. FBC members are expected to step up to pray, give and reach out.
At the moment, members from FLM, LG, Tamil Ministry, Missions, Social Concern, Kitchen Minis-try, Young Adults are involved. Trained counsellors and full time pastors are handling cases coming through the T2Us hotline. Once traction has been established and word gets around, we expect more people from various ministries to participate. The planning task force currently consists of Linda Law, Johnson Lee, Arnold Lim, Pari and Yew Lum. They will set forth the policies, organise the necessary work and vet the incoming requests for help. Many others are involved in the leg works.
Essentially the poor and destitute. We have started with people from the same household of faith and reached out to those from the Tamil Ministry. There are also others who regularly worship with us in FBC. Then moving outside of FBC, potential groups would include other communities comprising of migrants workers and refugees through organisations like Love Subang Pastor Fellowship, our own Missions Department and the work of associated full-time missionaries. They would be people within FBC’s circle of influence.
Each request will be profiled in terms of the status of Income earners, ages of their children and if there are any other adults or adult dependents within the family/household.
The T2Us Taskforce will decide on the recipients to receive the fund, and the duration of support required (between 2-3 months or more), based on these main considerations:
▪ Have all the income-earners in the household lost their job and capacity to earn?
– – – If yes – families with infants/children 5 years below will take priority
– – – If yes – families with handicapped and invalid dependents will take priority
▪ If the household still have one or more members who are working, it will be confirmed if their job is temporary, part-time and will it be able to support the ‘survival needs’ of their family.
We will refine policies as we go along.
A budget of RM80k has already been approved by the church for the program which at its peak would support up to 20 families for between 2 to 9 months. Support is given to each family for 2 to 3 months at a time strictly on a need-to-support basis which is evaluated regularly. An estimated 30% of the total budget is earmarked as ‘Ad Hoc Support’. These funds will be used as contingency, one off support, as decided from time to time by the taskforce (possibly to support other ministry initiatives).
The FBC “Talk-to-Us!” Social Concern will be supported initially by FBC’s Community Care Fund. In parallel, we will initiate a new fund-raising exercise (called the Covid-19 Fund) to raise money specifically to help.
The money will mainly be used to buy essential food and medical supplies and any other neces-sary outlay for essential living (eg. rental). In the simplest case, due to MCO, help may be as simple as wiring money to individuals and asking them to provide receipts as proof of purchase. But in most cases, we will coordinate the buying of pre-determined set items and get them distributed to those in need. Each set of food items have been carefully selected and packaged to meet the pro-file needs of the families concerned. The base set of basic essentials is estimated to last a family of 4-6 for 2 weeks and will cost around RM170. A super-set which includes baby formula will cost around RM300 for 2 weeks.
You can help by:
A. Praying for the poor, the program and the planners and all participants (eg. Safety of delivery personnel)
B. Giving generously to the cause.
C. Participating in connecting and ministering through your life group or any church ministry group you may be part of.
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