We believe that when you serve and give up your time and energy for someone else you are emotionally and spiritually recharged.  This week we share stories from 2 Empowerment Workers of how churches are volunteering and giving through COVID-19. 

When a tenant is ready to move on... 

We think there is a housing option for her, but don’t have a 100% “yes” from the housing provider yet.  There is the added complication that they are not doing any move-ins during lock down unless it’s deemed to be an “emergency”.  

Caroline (name changed) has been with us for over 2 years and particularly over the last year has made tremendous progress in addressing her mental health and alcohol issues. Since last summer, she’s also been regularly volunteering at the supporting church in their coffee shop, a small miracle in itself.  Prior to that she really hadn’t shown any inclination to be in the church building at all. Through volunteering there, she’s started to build a positive support network around herself and has even gained the confidence to attend a couple of Sunday morning services.  

Caroline came to us after fleeing domestic violence.  She has very few possessions and has been really worried about where to find furniture and home essentials when she moves out of the Hope into Action house.  She can’t afford much and the places we would usually rely on to help with furniture are not operating due to lockdown.  

contacted the friendship and support group lead at the partner church to see if she had any ideas about furniture. She gave me the phone number of a member of the congregation who might be able to help. I have just spoken to this lady. Her mum’s elderly neighbour recently passed away, leaving a house full of furniture, crockery, beds, kitchen essentials… everything. This lady is giving our tenant free rein to choose and take anything she wants from this house  

Being part of God’s family gives us amazing opportunities to connect with people we would otherwise have no reason to cross paths with.  

And ready to move in ... 

Today was a good day.  I moved our first tenant, Chris (name changed), into our newest Hope into Action house. 

He was released from prison this morning.  As visits have been banned, I assessed him on the phone a couple of times in the last 2 weeks, prayed, and had a total peace that we should offer him a place.  At the same time that I was praying, it turns out that Chris was kneeling in his prison cell asking God for him to be granted a room (even though he doesn’t yet have a faith).   So, when I met him at the prison gate, it was the first time that we had actually met.  He was told to look out for a man wearing red DM boots! 

The Church demonstrated that, although they can’t meet him face to face at the moment, they can display love to him.  The fridge was bursting with food, every cupboard was full, and a beautiful handmade card ready for him on the mantlepiece.   

Chris’s previous ‘accommodation’ was renting a sofa in a crack house, before being street homeless, and then going to custody for stealing food.  Seeing him weep with gratitude was a lovely moment, he already knows that he is loved by the Church. 

Today was a good day. 

If you want to support the work of our churches during COVID-19 then please give here.