At this conference of 2021, I have completed 12 years as Director of ACCI Relief and it is time for me to pass the leadership to another generation. This is a suitable time for this transition since Missions and Relief are at the highest ever level of effectiveness and fruitfulness.
It’s been a privilege to lead this mission and to build support for our relief efforts which have helped countless individuals and communities break free from poverty.
When I took over leadership of ACC Relief 12 years ago, the words ‘ACCI Relief’ only really existed on paper. While individual churches were supporting vulnerable communities both in Australia and overseas, there wasn’t a movement-wide approach or consistency around how we helped. We created a well-trained and qualified team of compassionate people that have helped us create a powerfully effective relief ministry. We are now operating in many nations and cultures, transforming communities, reducing poverty, preventing people trafficking and championing the cause of justice.
I am confident we are now a ministry that carries out the mission of Christ and the missions vision of our fellowship: including the call to help people in need. Importantly, this work is done in a way that’s respectful, sustainable and empowering of the communities we partner with. In fact, we’re doing this so well, that many ACCI policies and procedures are now being copied by other missionary organisations.
One of the finest achievements during my time leading ACCI is the work we’re doing through our Kinnected program. This work has two parts. Firstly, our case workers are helping reunite children who have been placed in orphanages with their families, while giving these families the tools and support to care for their children for the long term. Secondly, we’re working to change the conversation around institutional care – helping churches, individuals and even government see the dangers of continuing to invest in orphanages.
Another tangible way our ministry is helping the world’s most vulnerable people is through our annual 1Day campaign, which has been running for 11 years. By encouraging individuals and churches to sacrificially give one day’s salary to our work each year, we’ve been able to raise over $2.7 million for life-changing relief (and missions) projects, enabling our field workers to have an immense impact on their communities.
Finally, I’m very pleased to have set up the disaster plan for the ACC movement, which has raised over $6.8 million, since 2009, for people affected by major disasters in Australia and overseas. Together, we’ve helped rebuild homes after the Brisbane floods; provide support to drought affected communities; bring relief to victims of bushfires in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia; and so much more.
It’s been a privilege to lead this ministry and to play a part in restoring our passion for helping those in need. I remain grateful for everyone I worked with – particularly our committed and innovative field workers who commit their lives to helping people break free from poverty.
I want to give special thanks to Ps Wayne – our National President – and the National Executive for their confidence in me over this last 12 years and for their invaluable support, without which we could not have achieved so much. I want to also thank all our churches and partners, here and overseas, who have supported us and worked with us to help ‘Change the World’ for so many people.
Ps Alun Davies