Church in the Streets
Evangelical Congregational Church of Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Evangelical Congregational Church of Argentina has worked in partnership with Global Ministries for many years. The church recently shared an example of one of their life-giving ministries that is thriving in Buenos Aires through one of their local congregations called Jesus is the Hope. The ministry has been named, “Church in the Streets”, and is providing a weekly meal and connections for attendees to improve their life circumstances.
Every Wednesday, anywhere from 100 and 150 people living without homes or in other challenging circumstances, join with 10 volunteers from Jesus is the Hope of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Argentina in Buenos Aires for a meal. Joining and eating together, volunteers from the church prepare soup, coffee, juice, bread, and specialty food items that are requested by attendees. Some individuals come every week for the meal with the local congregation, while others visit on occasion.
Members of Jesus is the Hope church also assist in connecting attendees to other resources they may be interested in finding. In the past year, several attendees have found work or have used volunteers as references for employment, shared additional meals in the members of the local congregation, and have found housing.
Up until September 2015, the bread, soups, and coffee were prepared in the home of a volunteer. Now the amount of food to prepare has become too large to prepare in the volunteer’s kitchen and the task of moving the items became too difficult. The volunteers reached out to local businesses and bakeries, and many of them have begun donating bread and bakery items for the Wednesday evening meals, leaving only the soup and coffee to prepare in the volunteer’s home.
In the past year, the Jesus is the Hope church community has supported the Church on the Streets ministry to ensure the success of these meals, including the donation of two large mixers and two bakery ovens from members in the church. Jesus is the Hope has also received a donated refrigerator, freezer, and serving tables. All these items are being used for the Wednesday evening meals, and have allowed the congregation to dedicate their financial resources to purchasing items such as juice, milk, coffee, sugar, and serving utensils. The next step for Jesus is the Hope will be to purchase server uniforms as well provide winter clothes for attendees.