published in Hope Spots 2024Refugees on April 9, 2024

Hope Spot 12 – No Parking

How are you at car parking? Jonathan reflects on how not fitting in quite right is a sentiment felt by many (and how you’re changing this!)

What are you like at car-parking?


I think I am the world’s worst.


Look at what I did the other night. Not another car in sight, yet I ended up like this …



Usually, I pretend I don’t care too much about parking … and that I don’t try … and that’s why I end up like this.


Truth though is that I do actually try to park straight.


And just can’t do it.


(Don’t get me started on trying to reverse a trailer!)


It can be hard when you don’t fit in.


Or feel like you don’t fit in.


Or are made to feel like you don’t fit in.


Or are no longer able to fit in.


That’s why the story of Elias, that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago, touched me so deeply.


(There’s a bit more I want to add to this story,

which is why I’m writing today.)


Elias, a Rohingya person, was forced to flee his home in Myanmar because of the conflict.


Now in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, Elias struggles , caused after a log crushed his leg.

Thanks to the kindness of people like you, Elias is employed to plant tree seedlings to restore the environment, as he earns a wage to support his child – one of the children of war you help through ALWS.


Elias talked about his life before your help, when he was made to feel he didn’t fit in:


“Before, I was living

as a burden to my family.”


… and his life after your help came into his life through ALWS:


“Now I can contribute …


… people with disability like me,

who people think are backward,

will get a chance to be established in society

and come to the ranks of the front row.”


You can see the joy in Elias’s smile …


… but what I didn’t show you was the impact of the tree-planting of Elias and other people with disability you support in the refugee camp.


Below you can see the camp when people first arrived, and needed firewood to survive:


This is the camp after Elias and other people with disability were supported by people like you to plant trees:



See the success your kindness brings!


Not just in communities, and the environment … but, most importantly, in people.


Especially in those made to feel they don’t fit in – people with disability, the elderly, girls and women, people with disabilities, those who are sick.


The people too often forgotten by the world.


At Easter, those of us who are Christians celebrate the new life Jesus won for us.


Today, you can celebrate the new life you bring to people like Elias.


Thank you for looking past what the world sees as necessary to fit in, and treasuring instead the person who simply needs your kindness and love.


That’s why you are a blessing – ALWayS! Thank you!


PS: If you’d like to support the work of another Rohingya refugee with disability, like Elias …


… it costs $73 to provide 15 tree seedlings and the wage to plant, water and nurture them. Donate now.


PLUS, your donation TRIPLES in impact thanks to our ALWS partnership with churches of the Czech Brethren, working through our ALWS Bangladesh partners – LWF and RDRS Bangladesh. Thank you!


PPS: If you need help with parking, or reversing, ask someone else!!! 😊



How your donation is used wisely

♥ You help with practical care

You help with practical care: Your donation is matched with a $307,692 AUS contribution from Diaconia Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. Your donation will be used to help Rohingya children of war, and their families, who were forced to flee to Bangladesh, and who now face being forgotten by the world. ALWS aims to raise $150,000 by 30 June 2024. Should more money be raised than required for this project, any excess will be used in ALWS-supported projects to help children of war in other countries. Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing, and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407

♥ Being careful with your care

In 2023, ALWS ‘overheads’ (fundraising and administration costs as defined by ACFID Code of Conduct) were 15.27%. The 5 year average is 15.7%. A copy of the most current ALWS Annual Report can be viewed at or requested: 1300 763 407.


♥ Your privacy is important to us

ALWS collects personal information about you in order to process your gift. A copy of the ALWS Privacy Policy is available at If you don’t wish to receive further news from ALWS, simply call 1300 763 407 or write to

Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is The Overseas Aid & Development Agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia – ABN 36 660 551 871

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