Compassion at the Centre
Letter from Ricky Wright, Director of Vineyard Compassion
"I have been challenged once again recently by God’s heart for the poor and broken. Biblical passages such as Isaiah 58 & 61 have moved me to take compassion and bring it to the centre of my life and my community. This has resulted in an expanded vision for Vineyard Compassion. A vision to pull all of our Compassion projects together under one roof, to purchase land, and to build a Compassion Centre offering help for the whole person.
God’s dream for broken lives is to do more than simply meet their immediate needs (physical, emotional, relational or spiritual), it is to see whole-life transformation. Isaiah 61 states that THEY (the poor and broken), as a result of being helped become ‘oaks of righteousness… to display [God’s] splendour’. The goal is transformed lives standing tall and strong, speaking loudly of the goodness of God as ‘Rescuer-of-the-broken’. What comes next though is the ultimate goal - that THEY are then uniquely used by God to ‘rebuild the ancient ruins… restore places long devastated… renew the ruined cities… devastated for generations’.This is where the rescued becomes the rescuer and previously broken lives are commissioned with the ministry of restoration - a restoration encompassing not only individuals, but also entire communities. This is true holistic transformation, and what we long to see through the work of Vineyard Compassion.
Vineyard Compassion already serves a rapidly growing number of people in need but we are aware of so many more. I have a strong sense – through both prophetic words and our own experience – that God is accelerating the work of Vineyard Compassion and I want us to prepare for this increased reach. We also have a burning desire to ensure that people we reach are served in a way that offers lasting change: providing for their immediate needs and dealing with the underlying issues.
As part of my compassion journey I visited a number of churches in the USA last autumn to learn more about how they serve the poor. Through the findings of that trip, a number of prophetic words, and my own sense of what God is speaking over Vineyard Compassion, I feel now is the time to create a facility that offers a powerful, holistic and integrated approach towards meeting the needs of the poor and broken. As a community we want to put ‘Compassion at the Centre’ and take the first step in building a centre for the poor in our community.
So that’s my journey, and my sense is that God is about to take us all on a spiritual journey to discover how each of us might sacrificially respond to this vision. Please pray about this spiritual journey and don’t be afraid of what He may say to you: it is always for your benefit, your growth and ultimately His Kingdom.
Together let’s put Compassion at the Centre of our lives and our community!"