Overwhelmed by a generous God
Overwhelmed by a generous God
When Mr Han arrived at the salvation Army, he had nothing. At the age of 78, he had been living in a garage, had limited access to even a toilet and his health was deteriorating.
His only possessions were the clothes he was wearing. “I felt like I had hit rock-bottom,” he told Others through a translator.
“I felt very hopeless and I felt like there wasn’t much for me to live for.” Lieutenant Lydia Hong and her husband, Lieutenant Sean Li, had only recently been appointed to Sydney’s Hurstville Corps as Associate Officers, focusing on Chinese Ministries, when they came across Mr Han.
He’d been told that The Salvation Army might be able to help. “He ended up staying in a motel for three weeks,” Lieut Hong said. “After that he was given government housing, but it had nothing in it ... he didn’t even have a mattress or anything.”
The Hurstville Corps rallied around Mr Han, with members sourcing furniture and driving many kilometres to collect and deliver various items to his new home.
“We got the word out in the community that he needed certain things because there was nothing in the house to begin with,” Lieut Hong said. “He needed a microwave and a washing machine and things like that. Gradually they all appeared in the house!”
Mr Han, now 83, is from China, where welfare and charity is not prevalent, so it was overwhelming for him to experience strangers caring for him and being so generous. “I feel very touched when I think about it,” he said.
Through his connection with The Salvation Army, Mr Han began attending Hurstville Corps. “Meeting the Salvos has given me a purpose,” he said. “I have come to know the Lord through The Salvation Army.
Coming to know the Lord, especially through the love and care expressed by the brothers and sisters [at Hurstville Salvation Army] has changed my internal life.
“I now understand that there is someone looking after me, and it’s God. I feel the hope and the safety because of that. [Since] coming to faith, the world looks more friendly. I used to think that no one that lived around me cared about anything that was going on with me, but now I know that there are brothers and sisters that care and will provide help when life becomes difficult. And I know that from the love of God.”
Mr Han continues to struggle to make ends meet, but he has developed a good relationship with staff and volunteers at The Salvation Army and continues to receive assistance from time to time.
“SalvoConnect was able to give him supermarket vouchers every few months to supplement his meagre income,” Lieut Hong said. “He’s very good at saving and tries to get free food from his neighbourhood and other organisations, but our Salvation Army Doorways Program and Moneycare service have been able to assist with advice and help with bills.”
Mr Han said The Salvation Army had given him hope. “Meeting the Salvos has given me a purpose for life, and I know that I have something to look forward to even after this life. I am so thankful.”
* Mr Han now attends a church closer to where he is living.