Two years ago, Graeme May, pastor of Edens Landing church in Logan (Qld), noticed that the church had no presence in the local community. Motivated to change this, Pastor May contacted the council and they encouraged him to contact organisations that were already serving in Logan.
Pastor May discovered Nightlight, a not-for-profit Christian initiative that aims to cater for the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Logan. Each Thursday evening in the local shopping centre car park, businesses and organisations join forces to provide food, clothing, and medical and laundry services for vulnerable community members.
Experienced barbers from the church congregation have volunteered fortnightly at Nightlight for two years, providing haircuts and a listening ear to the community under the name H.O.P.E Street Ministry.
”The name stands for Helping Others with Purpose and Empowerment. . . . It’s about giving people dignity and something in their life that makes them feel good,” says Pastor May.
Following the 2022 Eastern Australia floods, donors contributed funds to the church to provide food parcels for the remainder of the year at Nightlight. The church also received a government grant, which they used to secure equipment for the ministry, including a trailer, registration and signage. The church’s evangelism budget allocated funds for purchasing second-hand barber chairs, a marquee and battery-operated clippers.
The community members not only receive a free haircut through this initiative, but each cut comes with an option for prayer. ”No-one has ever said no to prayer and we have even had one person attend our church from having his hair cut,” Pastor May says.
”God tells us that we have a duty of care to the people in our community. . . . We’ve been blessed to be a blessing. Cutting hair, listening, sharing hope and coming alongside other local community groups to make a difference in our corner of the world.”
Megantha Kiruwi is an intern for Adventist Record.