Hands up if you love having people knock on your door? If you are like me, your instinct is to stay quiet, with the TV turned off and hope they didn’t hear or see you, and go away. We hate having to deal with whatever they are selling or collecting for, and hate saying no. We also hate the false friendliness of salespeople. Their pretentiousness afronts our credulity and our politeness prevents us from delivering them a firm negative.
That said, I’ve been knocking on doors in Western Sydney. Ironic as that may be, I’m guilty, albeit with good intentions: I receive no commission and there’s no strings. I’ve had a lot of practice, spending up to eight hours a day surveying whole suburbs, seeking people interested in studying the Bible with me.
I can almost see the look on your face, as your eyes roll. Religious door-knockers! They are even worse than power companies and charity collectors, right? But that was me. In my defence, I had only the best of intentions, I wasn’t annoying (I trust) nor persistent. And always respectful and polite. From their reactions, I am sure there are some who would disagree though.
I was part of a team set on sharing the Christian’s good news in practical ways, as Jesus did—in action, not just words.
The initiative we named “Yes We Care”—yes, a variation of Obama’s “Yes, we can”—an outreach to the community, helping families with whatever they feel they need done around their home. And it begins with a knock on a door:
“There are no strings to this. If you say yes, we’ll come to your home on a Sunday morning and help you with whatever we can. Free! We’ll mow your lawn, weed your garden, prune your trees, clean your windows and, no, we will not accept a donation and we will not ask anything in return.”
We desperately want people to meet the Jesus we know, but we will not preach. We just give a tiny taste of how much He loves them.
“We want to bring the community together,” says Lidija Willison, a registered psychologist and cofounder of Yes We Care with her husband James. “People are incredibly disconnected today, and isolation is responsible for much of the alarmingly high levels of depression. Working for each other and with each other is a great way of getting to know our neighbours and building community relationships.”
"There are no strings to this. If you say yes, we’ll come to your home . . . and help."
There are folks on our team who have health problems preventing full mobility, but you cannot keep them away from Yes We Care work days. They can’t wait to get out and share the love. It’s wonderful to be part of a group of people who really do love others.
The Yes We Care program currently operates in the Sydney suburbs of Waitara, Wahroonga and Quakers Hill, but it’s an idea that’s spreading.
Anybody is eligible for help, regardless of age or need, and it’s always free.