What is it like to be a church partner and actually invite someone in?

St Nic's church in Nottingham has been working with Hope into Action since 2014 and now support three homes; one for men and two for refugees. Alex Rainbow, Youth Worker tells us what it is like:

We've learnt a lot through supporting the houses; having the chance to really invest in a couple of people and do real quality work with them is incredibly beneficial. It's enabled us to uncover and support them in deep problems in their lives that we would have otherwise have never known about and helping them in areas of deep need is what has helped grow deep trusting, loving relationship. 

I think particularly with refugees, the system is complicated and it can feel tough to know how to help. we certainly couldn't have done it without Hope into Action who have so much expertise, but in helping these two lads, understanding the problems they and in one case their family face, our team has also grown. In the other house, one of the team runs a football team and has seen one of the guys become involved in that, and that has been a real success story. It's been such a simple way of bringing that person into community and i think  that's been a good lesson for the church. 

I think God has reminded us through the tenants that the person on the edge of society is made in the image of God; they possess all sorts of brilliant gifts that reflect their creator. Our hearts and attitudes have changed from realising that at a deeper level. We move from pity to respect.  

One of the lads in particular is incredibly generous; there was an issue with his flatmate's benefit, and despite being without money himself, he used his benefit to prepare food for them both for a number of weeks and he was happy to do it. He's effortlessly generous and caring; he often shows off the characteristics of Jesus more than we do.