The last pieces of corn from a family’s harvest, laid out on a table set with love: that’s what I see when I think of people I’ve visited over the past ten years with UnitingWorld.
Gifted by a family fighting tuberculosis and hunger in Timor-Leste, the cobs are a sweet yellow symbol of the generosity and faith I’ve felt at so many tables around the world. Fresh coffee brewed for us in the highlands of Bali, simple prayers, mud crabs dug from the river and offered up on an island in Papua New Guinea, hymns in many languages, hot sweet tea in India. Always, the smile that says: “We have enough to share, and even if today is hard, tomorrow will be better.”
These are the people I think of when global news rests an icy finger of fear against my ribs. I remember communities that lay bare their grief together and then get up, hands and hearts steadied by a faith that calls them to pray and work in equal measure. They believe in the mystery of God, yes, but they live out love and sacrifice in ways that are sweat, flesh and muscle.
They are truly ‘the salt of the earth’ – ordinary and everywhere, unspeakably valuable: preserving life, adding flavour, fertilising the soil for new things to grow.
For ten years, it’s been my privilege to introduce these people to you in stories, pictures and video. And it’s been a joy to see you light up in response. Time and again, you’ve stepped up to help build things both physical and less tangible – toilets and water tanks; faith, hope, wisdom and knowledge. I’ve seen our friends take hold of what you’ve offered with both hands and work tirelessly to make life better for themselves and their communities.
Collectively, it’s your stories and those of our partners that I summon when life feels dark. Over the past ten years, you’ve worked with
us and our team of smart, creative partners to confront poverty, respond to the changing climate, elevate women and girls, open minds and fight hunger.
Thank you for trusting us and our partners with your vision of a better world. From our joined hands, scattered salt works its simple magic across the globe.
It can’t always be seen, but its impact is unmistakable. Stay salty.
– Cath Taylor
*Cath has been writing for us and shaping campaigns like Everything in Common, Lent Event and Seven Days of Solidarity since 2011. Last month she moved on to another role with a Christian organisation and offers her heartfelt thanks for your love, prayer and giving.