About us Blogs Let us go across to the other side Today we are declaring HOPE. Many of the recent messages from around our network reflect the courage of refugees. Join with us as we celebrate the strength of the church in welcoming them. From: Craig Subject: Stop. Praise. Welcome. Hi all Our first family (an Afghan family with 5 young children) has moved into their new home. I met the family at the house to welcome them. What a privilege is it was to see their ecstatic faces as they carried their belongings into the house. The children were positively beaming and ran around, jumping and shouting as they explored their new home. After we had got their belongings in, we had a cup of tea together and I spent some time helping the family move things around. With Nas, an interpreter from another local charity, we set up the new cot that had arrived for the 5 month old. This baby knew nothing much other than life in a hotel room. Throughout the whole morning I felt the Lord's presence in abundance. I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the joy which permeated the home. It went from being an empty house to a family home in the space of a few hours. I am so excited to see what the future holds for the family. I hope everyone will join me in praising God and praying for Him to watch over the family. May he be present in their lives as they move forward on their journey. Craig From: Dan Subject: Stop.Praise. What a great day! Hi All After more than a year of since buying our third house, and 8 months of it being tenant ready, we have finally been able to welcome a refugee family into their new home! The family have come through the Community Sponsorship programme via the Home Office (lots of paperwork and agreements) - they have been in a refugee camp for 7 years. Today mum, dad and three children arrived with their 13 bags of luggage and were able to set up home with us. There is lots still to do - preparing the children for school, English lessons for the parents, benefits applications, job centre appointments, and so much more, all of which come with the added language and cultural barriers but we are so thankful for their safe arrival. This was the third family that we’d had assigned to us, the first two either ended up not being able to come or deciding they didn’t want to, this family were due to arrive two weeks ago but we’re delayed but the day has finally come when they arrived. The children were excited to explore their new home - they are very happy to be here, despite the rain, hail and sleet that marked their journey from the airport. The weather brightened to sunshine and blue skies as they arrived - maybe a prophetic sign for their new life here in Southampton. Please pray for the family over the next few weeks as they settle in, pray also for our Empowerment Workers and volunteers as we navigate through the things that need doing and try to communicate well! God bless Dan Hello all, As a Rookie Empowerment Worker I met a new referral last week, a refugee who was having to leave the Hotel that had been his home for the last few months. A man who worked on the hotel reception night shift had taken an interest him asking where he would go when he was no longer allowed to stay. The staff member explained he had once found himself in a similar position. A charity called Hope Into Action had really helped him out, given him a place to live, lots of support and a fresh start and now he had his own place, was reunited with his family and had a job. The young man I was speaking to explained to the receptionist that was the exact charity he had been referred to. The Hotel worker scribbled his name down on a piece of paper and said give this to who you see from Hope Into Action and tell them I know Phill. Amazingly this same guy was in the house I had been part of the Friendship & Support team for, and now here he was singing Hope Into Action’s praises and mentioning my name to the first person I was working with. I arrived thinking I was the one who would be offering encouragement but left with more than I had started with! Phill From: Mary Subject: STOP. PRAISE. Joyous news from Reading! Hi all The first tenant in our ladies’ house and her son, who have been with us since 2017, have finally had their visa applications accepted! They have leave to remain in the UK. Our tenant now has the right to work and recourse to public funds. This is AMAZING! Their immigration case was a complicated one and after many previous rejections from the Home Office, I feared it could drag on for a few more years yet. Even then, the solicitor's view was that a sympathetic judge at another appeal tribunal would be needed. I remember trying to prepare our tenant for this, to expect another rejection from the Home Office so she wouldn't be too broken-hearted again. She told me 'God works miracles Mary and that is what I am praying for'. A miracle is what has happened! The Home Office have granted them leave on exceptional circumstances. No tribunal necessary. I know she feels loved and supported by all at Hope into Action and the supporting church. This has helped her to keep strong and meant she's never lost hope. God bless Mary If you would like to explore housing refugees with your church please book on to our conference: Do consider who you would like to invite to join you. In the past it has quite an impact on our guests. There will be lots of stories, challenging and informative speakers, prayer spaces and the chance to meet some of our tenants and churches.