“And Jesus stood still…”

Mark’s Gospel tells us that in the middle of a crowded, noisy street in a busy town centre, Jesus stopped walking and stood still. 

Amidst the hustle and bustle, Jesus had heard a blind beggar called Bartimaeus calling out to him in desperate need. Jesus stopped in his tracks and called Bartimaeus over. His encounter with Jesus changed Bartimaeus for eternity. 

In Ipswich, the Selig (Suffolk) Trust (registered charity number 1157245) has been running a local franchise of Hope into Action UK since 2016. We have also been running a church based winter night shelter since 2011. These two projects both rely on volunteers and support from local churches and our local community in order to provide hope, hospitality and homes to people who find themselves without a home. 

Running a charity, a Hope into Action franchise and an accredited winter night shelter keeps us very busy. We keep careful records of our spending and donated income. We go to lots of meetings. We complete and store reams of paperwork. We work within a wide range of policies and guidelines. We liaise with lots of churches, volunteers and local groups. There is always lots to do. Our little office is noisy and often quite crowded.  

At the moment, our Hope into Action project is in the middle of exciting growth. Having opened our first Hope into Action home in June 2017, we are now in the process of opening 5 new homes. We are liaising with investors, building contractors, solicitors, potential tenants, partner churches and new volunteers. 

In the middle of all of this busy-ness we have to remember to be like Jesus. To stop. To listen. To take action. 

Tuning in to the needs of the people that we work with is the most challenging and the most rewarding element of our work. Asking people to trust us with their needs and hopes is a big deal. We have to show them that they can trust us.  

We need to stop being busy. We need to make time to listen. Then we can help people by empowering them to take action. 

All of our Hope into Action tenants have stayed in our winter night shelter (or in a winter night shelter in another part of the country). Being able to provide them with a cosy home, ongoing assistance, genuine care and church community is wonderful. 

Seeing them flourish is even better. We celebrate when they find work. We give thanks when their confidence grows. We feel blessed when they take care of their home. We rejoice when they manage their finances. We are moved when they rebuild relationships with their families. We love hearing that they have cooked dinner for their housemates. We enjoy seeing them get fit. We cheer when they reach their goals. 

We are privileged to have “to-do” lists that include life-changing moments. We are humbled by working alongside local churches to put hope into action.

What might happen if, like Jesus, you stop, listen and take action? How could you get involved with Hope into Action?   

We encourage you to make time to stop, listen, and take action. 

Click here to get in touch and tell us how you would like to take action.