‘Loving your neighbour as yourself’ is one of the principles of our faith and a shared theme for many Christian charities. When asked “And who is my neighbour?”, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, who went out of his way to help a person in trouble, the victim of a violent crime, when others had simply passed by on the other side of the road. That story, the example Jesus gives us, the answer He gave to that question are part of what motivates all of us who work at Signpost International.
It is no coincidence that Signpost International is committed to equality, justice, and generous compassion for every human being both externally in our global programmes and within the internal workings of our organisation. We approach our work alongside individuals and communities experiencing poverty with an open mind, heart, and ears, ready as much to listen and learn as to teach; and this is how we have chosen to respond to the cries of our brothers and sisters, wherever we hear them, at home and overseas.
And it is those beliefs and principles that shape our response as individuals and as an organisation to the story of George Floyd, to all that has happened around the world since his death, and of course to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has touched and taken the lives of so many people across the world, not least in the BAME community.
We believe we are all brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God and that racism and discrimination in all its guises is abhorrent, that there should be no place for prejudice, poverty or any of the forces that seek to divide us. Individually and as an organisation we stand alongside all those who oppose all forms of racism and discrimination. Because we believe this, we wish to state clearly today that Black Lives Matter and that we will work together with local and international partners to ensure that everything we do reflects that.
There is a quote by Lilla Watson, an indigenous Australian artist and academic which captures the core of our approach beautifully: “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Over the coming months we are committing ourselves to a period of prayer and reflection as an organisation as we review our systems, procedures, and operations to ensure we do our very best to represent those we seek to serve in diverse communities around the world.
Our request of you and our prayer for you is that you join with us and take this opportunity for a period of reflection and testing of one’s heart, and be prepared to listen and act. To end racism and prejudice and to tackle poverty we will all need to listen more, do more and talk less.
May God help us as we seek to realise this, and to see His kingdom come.