Throughout the summer, churches have been busy watering tiny seeds of hope so they might grow and flourish.

Every day Hope into Action Empowerment Workers gather testimonies of God's extraordinary generosity reflected by the Church. Here are five to share with you.

1. He causes his sun to rise (Matthew 5:45)

Earlier this season in Peterborough, we saw two people move in in quick succession. Our Empowerment Worker Sue explains:

The first tenant moved in on possibly the wettest day of the year. We were all resembling drowned rats! He had spent 7 weeks on the streets. The night before we moved him in he had walked all night as it was too wet to stop anywhere. He was so grateful for his own place and said that he wished there were no Covid restrictions as he wanted to hug us!

After a bit of a tricky start, he has settled and is getting on really well with his house mate.

The second tenant moved in a few days later (brilliant sunshine – yay!) from a local hostel where he has been for seven months. He was astonished by two ‘coincidences’. Firstly, the house the church moved him into is around the corner from where his adult son lives (who he gets on really well with, thankfully!).

Secondly, his room has a king-sized bed in it. He happened to have been given a king-sized duvet from one of the hotels he had lodged in. It was rather large for his single hostel bed. I have never seen him smile as much as he was when I left him unpacking.

2 A wise man thinks ahead (Proverbs 13:16)

We received some feedback from one of our tenants about how he’s found living in our property in Coventry.

“Financially I have finally found a way forward, my bank account has become a savings account. I have been taught to take control of my finances and not squander my money. My personal feelings are on a high and I finally believe all things are possible. I’m not religious but I feel like I can connect with your churches and others for moral support any time I like. I never felt this way before."

He’s given excellent suggestions to help future tenants. We are so incredibly proud of what he’s achieved over the last 2 years. To go from living day to day to now being able to plan for the future is massive!

Any of you supporting people who don’t seem to be going anywhere? Take heart! 18 months ago I was wondering about evicting this gentleman after he stopped engaging and started running up debt with us. Despite the pandemic he’s done brilliantly and he says it’s all down to our consistent support. Hurrah!

3 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched Proverbs 11:25-26

Matt in Cambridge shares that in the past few weeks we have said goodbye to a tenant originally from Syria. He had been through much of the human tragedy we have seen in the news over the past 10 years and what is still going on today.

Over the time he has been with us he has been nothing but a blessing. Always so warm, friendly and gracious despite what he’s seen and been through. I had the pleasure of helping him bring his family here with the help of the Red Cross. Last year, I drove him to Heathrow to see his 2 teenage sons come off the plane. It will be something I will never forget; his eldest son (who was already in the UK) sprinting to meet his Mum for the first time in many years. For me, it has brought at least a little glimpse of the conflicts we see around the world. Many a time we talked about what his home was like before, the atrocities of the war and the brokenness people live through daily. I feel privileged to have met someone like him and to have journeyed life with him for the last 3 years. A few weeks ago he moved on from his church house into his own brand new council flat! We kitted out his home with the help from numerous other local charities and he is starting to get settled. He is also only about 300m from his 2 younger sons (quite incredible!)

4 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Jenny, our first Empowerment Worker in Peterborough tells us:

I recently had a lovely phone call from an ex-tenant, who used to volunteer at her house’s partner church before Covid struck. We got into conversation and she told me that now she has moved on she is volunteering at a new church. She has encountered other ex-tenants at the church so feels really at home there. She has been given an easy-to-understand Bible and is going to talk to the minister about becoming a Christian and getting baptized!

5 I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35

Emily in Cambridge shares how a church created a beautiful and welcoming home for a new family.

The church has spared no detail in making sure the house is a welcoming and comfortable home. The cupboards were fully stocked, there were meals in the fridge, fresh flowers on the table and a home-baked Victoria sponge. The F&S befrienders gave a very warm, smiley welcome. It was so nice to see them showing the family around the house with pride and swapping numbers and planning walks around the village.

God has answered so many prayers throughout the last several months, to bring this family safely to our doors and into the arms of community.

No matter what is going on in the world, God shows me again and again that every act of love and care - however small or trivial it may feel in the face of the world’s pain and suffering - truly does matter in the grand scheme of things. Keep on going, everyone.