The Wavertree Group of Churches (St. Bridget and St. Thomas’, Holy Trinity and St. Mary’s) hold periodic joint services: these are an opportunity to meet together in worship and praise of God.

The most recent service took place at St. Bridget and St. Thomas’ on Sunday 8 October in celebration of harvest. Of course, as city dwellers, we can feel quite distant from the harvesting of crops: not many of us have a combine harvester tucked in the shed!  However, the service was an opportunity to recognise that our food does not just miraculously appear: it is the product of many hands, both human and divine, and we are blessed in this country to have so much choice and quality in what we can eat.

However, in many areas of the world, food choice is not so much a question of “what shall we have?” as it is a question of “have we anything?”. Our service aimed to remember this fact: that while we have cupboards groaning with food, many today are going hungry, or even starving. In particular, we thought about the work done in some of the poorer countries of Africa; and we remembered the difference made by aid agencies and especially the work of the charity Send a Cow.

The name of this charity has caused a lot of amusement at church: how do you get one in an envelope? Isn’t postage rather expensive? Does that mean we’re sending ‘person X’ to Africa?

What Send a Cow does is so simple, so obvious, that it’s completely brilliant: they provide strong, healthy livestock, good, fertile seed, training and equipment to allow individuals in places such as Nigeria to start becoming self-sufficient. They practice a policy of ‘pay it forward’, so a family whose cow has a calf will pass that to another family. Training given to one person will be delivered to their neighbours. Seed kept from this year’s harvest will be distributed to neighbours, too.

In our service, we heard about Mary, who had a comfortable home and life until her husband suddenly died, leaving her with five young children to provide for – one just a baby, meaning that she had to stay at home to care for her new-born child. Eventually, Mary lost her home, her job and any way of feeding her family and was forced to return to her family home in the countryside – where, if she couldn’t provide for herself, she would become a burden.  At this desperate point, her fortune’s changed when Send a Cow stepped in to provide seeds and training. This year, Mary harvested her first crops; she had enough surplus to sell to provide fees for schooling for her children, and was able to share seed for the following year with her family and neighbours, as well as passing on the training she herself had received.

Knowing that this charity does so much, our congregations gave generously, and we were delighted to collect a total of £455 which will be passed on to Send a Cow with the love and prayers of our three churches.

Find out more from their bright, informative website: www.sendacow.org

Ruth's Story

As a young Kenyan mother, Ruth was forced to beg for food while her children were frequently in hospital due to  malnutrition. She and her husband were so exhausted by their daily struggle, they jumped at the opportunity to join a Send a Cow group.

Within just two months they were harvesting enough nutritious vegetables to feed their five children, and by selling the
surplus they were earning a dollar a day.

The success of their first harvest encouraged them to expand their garden – and thanks to donations from supporters like you, they built a cowshed. Today, they earn around five dollars a day by selling surplus milk and vegetables.