HESED APS – The loving kindness of God

The vision of Hesed APS

The HESED APS (Social Promotion Association) was born within the Evangelical Christian Church of Rome Acilia, to carry out projects for the benefit of the population of our neighborhoods and collaborate with the Social Services of the Municipality, showing others the loving kindness (Hebrew, “Hesed”) that God first showed to us.

Since the Church moved to the new structure located in a shopping center near 3 schools and in the center of the working-class neighborhood of Acilia (this happened in February 2019), some doors of collaboration with the local Social Services immediately opened: we were contacted to follow and assist the elderly and we were entrusted with some needy families who we assisted with food parcels thanks to the collaboration with other Christian associations in Rome.

The Hesed APS mission

We were already carrying out the outdoor Sunday School activity for children, called “The Friends of the King”, which took place regularly every year from spring to autumn, in the public parks of the area and also in the church building on special occasions. Further activities that we have launched in our new structure are: psychological support thanks to the precious availability of a believing psychologist, a listening point open to all, and a meeting for women. The desire was therefore born in us to found our association to effectively develop the activities and ministries of the church and to be a “faithful presence” and recognized in our territory.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness”

(Psalm 37: 3)

The Hesed APS service

In September 2019 we finally opened HESED aps and in addition to the activities mentioned above, we immediately activated an English course for adults and a gospel music course for children called “Gospel Kids”. Furthermore, thanks to the collaboration of 2 bakeries, we have started a free distribution of bread and pizza on Sunday mornings, door to door, in our area. All these activities continued until March 2020, when the lockdown in Italy abruptly stopped everything. After a month of pause and prayer to God asking what to do, we contacted Civil Protection and the local Social Services to give our availability to assist families in difficulty in the acute phase of the Covid-19 emergency. A large door opened in front of us! In April 2020 we signed a collaboration agreement with the Civil Protection for the distribution of food aid which allowed us to reach thousands of people not only with food but also with Christian leaflets. Very often we have had the opportunity to enter homes with a word of hope and a prayer.

How Hesed APS is continuing

At the end of the lockdown period, we continued our food aid activity thanks to donations and collaboration with a fruit and vegetable company and other voluntary associations. Due to anti-Covid restrictions and safety measures, children’s activities (“The King’s Friends” and “Gospel Kids”) are currently suspended and waiting to start again. But in the meantime we have opened our structure to another association that provides homework help and after-school activities, also supporting it with our contribution and thus maintaining contact with the children of the neighborhood. The women’s meeting has had a notable development with the participation of new contacts (many widows) reached through food aid. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed, as an Association, a sudden growth in our activities to help the population, and today we still have the opportunity to serve hundreds of people, witnessing the grace of God and praying with them. To date, we serve around 170 families for a total of around 550 people. We continue to trust in the wonderful providence of Him who has carried us thus far, our great God, and we serve Him expecting to see his glory again.

The President

Emanuele Venditti

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