Hope shines bright at homeless prevention week memorial service
A message of light and rescue brought hope to a special memorial service for those who have died while experiencing homelessness in Sydney.
The service, led by Michael Tang, Chaplain of Wesley Edward Eager Lodge, was held on August 7 and provided an opportunity for friends, relatives and members of the public to remember loved ones and pay their respects.
In his opening remarks, Mr Tang spoke of God’s love for all people, no matter what their background or life circumstances.
“The value of a person's life is not measured in the abundance of their possessions. That's what the Bible tells us. Doesn't matter where they live, what type of dwelling they have. The lives of the people we know who have passed, have great value simply because all life is of great value to our Lord”, said Mr Tang.
Following a time of prayer and singing, guest speaker Rev. Ken Hall reflected on the recent search for the Thai cave boys as he spoke to those gathered about God’s desire to rescue all people from the darkness we experience.
“The complexity of rescuing people isn't a simple process. We know that from those boys that were rescued from the cave. That search was a good symbol of what it can be like to rescue a person from their personal darkness … and today we're taking time out to remember those friends of ours that have walked in darkness too”, he said.
Rev. Hall said the light of Christ offers each of us hope in even the darkest times, adding:
“Jesus once said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’. And let's be honest, we all need to be rescued from something. In Jesus we can find that rescue and that light.”
Friends and family members of those who have died were also given the opportunity to write a message or the name of a loved one they had lost on a card or strip of material. The cards and material were then displayed together as a symbol of unity and strength.
As Michael Tang reminded those in attendance, “These messages will be part of a much greater picture … because there's something bigger going on. God always has something bigger going on”.
Wesley Mission is grateful for all those who attended the service, including friends, family, members of the public, and representatives from The Salvation Army, Wayside Chapel, Jesus Cares, Hope Street, Matthew Talbot, Vincent House, Mission Australia, Cana Communities, Wooloomooloo Baptist Church, South Sydney Uniting Church, Elizabeth Lodge and David's Place.