You could probably gather from my last post that we’ve had a challenging couple of weeks on the internship. There have been their fair share of frustrations and anxieties. However, I want to make it clear that everything that has happened hasn’t changed how I feel about CAP. I still love Christians Against Poverty and all the work that they do. It is still the same charity that caused me to leave everything behind and move up to Bradford to work for them. And despite the challenges and difficulties the move has confronted me with, I would do it again in an instant.
The thing that drew me to CAP, and that still draws me in, is the way we can bring hope to those in completely hopeless situations. Debt can be a pit that can be near impossible to climb out of on your own. Our clients find themselves under incredible pressure with constant letters and phone calls, too afraid to answer the door or open the curtains. The people we serve are often the poorest in society, borrowing money to pay the bills, getting caught in the downward spiral of debt. Then with all their money going on debt repayments 70% of our clients will miss meals, with budgets so painfully tight that parents don’t eat so their children can. The longer this goes on, with debts rising by the day, it can seems like there is no way out, no hope. In fact 36% of our clients considered suicide before coming to CAP.
Yet at CAP we are blessed and privileged to be able to hold out hope to these families. To help them to find a way out of debt. Enable them to get food on the table once more, to be able to provide for their children. We have a debt counselling and budgeting system that really works, with 1,808 households going debt free last year. Combining the care and compassion of the local church, with an award winning professional service. We are able to bring the love of God to the most vulnerable and neglected in society.
But why am I writing this today? I suppose it struck me this week that I have less than five months left at CAP, the time will fly by. Before long the internship will end and I will be likely to move on. This is my window of opportunity to inspire you about this wonderful organisation. That I owe it to all our clients, but even more to the clients who we currently have to turn away because we don’t have a centre in their area. They are the reason we do what we do, and it would be dishonouring to them to keep quiet.
Because the thing is: CAP really does need you. Without receiving government funding, we are hugely reliant on regular monthly donations from supporters, to allow us to do what we do. The reality is, if these donations stopped or even if we failed to get new people on board, then CAP would be finished. Ultimately we would have to give up and go home (probably not before half the staff had worked for free for months or years, re-mortgaged houses and used all their savings- if you don’t believe me you really need to read ‘Nevertheless’ ). As uncomfortable as it is, we need money to do what we do. Without it we can’t offer a hope and a solution to those in debt, we cannot help the poorest in society, we would have to walk away.
We firmly believe that God is in this work, that it is anointed by Him and that everything we have achieved is for His glory. We are carrying on the work that Jesus started when He walked upon this Earth and said:
‘The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good new to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ Luke 4:18-19
We follow a Saviour who is the Lord of second chances and new beginnings. He didn’t turn the poor and the needy away. His was a message that was meant for the last, the least and the lost. We were never meant to keep this message hidden in our churches, but to take it out and meet people where they are. I believe that our Father’s heart is aching for these clients to find hope and find Him.
So today I ask you simply to consider whether God is asking you to join in with this work? Whether perhaps you would be able to give a minimum of £3 a month to support the work of CAP, helping us to reach more and more people in desperate situations. If the answer is yes then you can do so here (if you put my name in the box marked ‘what prompted you to give to CAP’ then it will go towards my fundraising- but either way the money goes straight to CAP). And if not then please go in peace and remember us in your prayers.
I passionately believe that the church needs CAP and CAP very much needs people like you.