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Check out this story from one of our former tenants who asks

What is it Like to be Loved Relentlessly?

NFA - No Fixed Abode, that was how I lived my whole adult life. I spent my late teenage years bouncing around foster homes, hostels, and detox centres, until finally I resigned myself to the streets.

Eventually I found myself in a rehab, and by the skin of my teeth I made it through six months. As I walked out those doors someone finally decided to take a chance on me. I was a recipe for relapse, accidental death, or suicide, and yet they took a chance. Hope Into Action housed me, a roof over my head, a fixed address for the first time since I was a girl.

Less than a month later I sat opposite my empowerment worker in a tiny cafe and took a deep breath before getting honest and telling her that I had, yet again, breached the terms of my agreement. She told me that she would have to evict me - something I was more than used to. As I walked out of that cafe to try and find somewhere I could sleep that night I was certain it was the end of my experience with Hope Into Action, and that after I moved my things out I’d never see my empowerment worker again.

I was wrong, in reality it was the beginning of my relationship with HiA, and what happened over the following two years showed me what HiA is all about. I spent the next two years back in my old life, using heavy drugs, prostituting myself, bouncing around hostels, and overdosing several times.

Everyone had given up on me again, and any hope I once had was crushed. My empowerment worker would text me regularly, would meet me for a coffee, or give me a hug when she bumped into me in the city. In the midst of my mess, chaos, and despair she held on to hope and faith for me. When I couldn’t see past my next bag of heroin, she saw a bright future for me and regularly told me about it. She loved me relentlessly, never gave up hope, and I know prayed persistently. When God felt so far away, so judgemental, so punishing; she was hope-with-skin-on to me. She loved me in a way I couldn’t feel from an invisible God.

It took two long years until she finally received a text from me “I can’t do this anymore, I need to get clean, and I need something different, I think I need God.” A year later I stood at the front of the annual HiA conference sharing some of my story, the rest of the day was spent interacting with the various people who had attended, hearing their hearts and their stories.

As the conference came to an end I looked around the room, and felt overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I finally understood, the love my empowerment worker had showed me wasn’t just what she was about, it was what HiA was about. An organisation and churches made up of people who genuinely love and care for people like me, for the people whom society generally rejects. A group of people who want to walk alongside some of the messiest people and love them in any way they can. People who will hold on to hope and faith for as long as is necessary, not just when it’s easy or convenient but when it would be so easy to give up; when it’s hard and dark. To me, HiA is a charity which takes chances on the people no one else will. An organisation who even when they have to make tough choices, never give up. A network of staff and churches who want to walk alongside people through the swampy mess, and not simply welcome them on the banks of acceptability. A group of people who try to personify the heart of God, who become Jesus-with-skin-on to those who can’t find or trust the invisible God.

I am privileged, proud, and forever grateful to be connected to such a group of people; for them taking a chance on me and always holding on to hope even when I could not.

How would your church take a chance on a young woman like this?  Give us a call on 01733 558301 or use the contact us button at the top of the page to find out more about partnering with us.