The Hope of Life Community Church in Sunshine has been ministering to International Students for many years. Since the beginning of the COVD-19 restrictions and lockdown here in Victoria, the number of students the church is in contact with has significantly increased in number.
Rick Raimundo, Senior Pastor of the church tells us that “As of today we have over 500 students on our list and it is growing in number everyday. Most of these students have lost their jobs, have no family here, have no other means of support, and they are still paying for their tuition and room rental. Our church family have been giving generously to help as many students as we can.”
At the beginning of the pandemic the church was mostly ministering to these students through the provision of essential supplies like food and personal hygiene products with deliveries initially being made to students in their homes. As the restrictions tightened, the needs of international students grew and the church was receiving more and more requests for assistance. Still today, the church provides supplies to all students who reach out.
Some students come to the church site to pick up their food packs and for some, our church volunteers deliver to their homes. Those who live too far away, are provided with digital Coles vouchers.
The provision of food has provided opportunities to minister and show God’s love to the students in other ways. “We pray for them whenever we have the opportunity. Some of them join with us in our online Sunday worship and the online Prayer Fellowship. Our desire and prayer is that these students will also come to know our Lord Jesus as their Savior and Lord.”
The church members give financially for this ministry through the church account. This fund is then used to buy the food and digital Coles voucher worth $30 each. The church asks for the student’s contact details and a short description of their situation. A Coles voucher and / or food packs distributed are then sent to the most needy students.
Hope of Life Church would love for more churches or individuals to join with them ministry. Recently, Moonee Ponds Baptist Church provided some food assistance to the programme and another Baptist Church has also expressed interest. What a great example of collaboration proving we are truly #together on mission.
Rick encourages anyone else who would like to partner to contact him by email
Additionally, anyone who would like to make a donation to the ministry can do so using the church account:
Account Name: Hope Of Life Community Church
International Students’ Fund
Acct no.: 100016326
Donors may remain anonymous. If names and contact details are provided the church will send acknowledgement of their contributions.