Can Les Miserables come true?
Les Miserables touches on so many of the themes we face here at Hope into Action, not least our belief that radical grace can transform the lives of those on the edge of society. The hero of that film was an ex-offender and while we work with those leaving prison we are lesser known for our work supporting 5 female homes.
So far we have homed 19 ladies: virtually everyone has been abused at some stage in their life, sometimes in a tragic, violent or sexual way. A large number have been separated from their children, either by social services, the courts, or bereavement. The twin miseries of abuse and separation can leave them facing ‘the most terrible poverty of loneliness’[i] . While they may feel as though society has forgotten them, we have seen God work, sometimes almost imperceptibly over many months, through church volunteers surrounding them with genuine love.
Last week, the opening of a home in partnership with St Botolphs and Holy Spirit church was attended by: church volunteers, Hope into Action staff, prayer, the new tenant and the investors (the latter had chosen to ‘share their wealth’ (Acts 4) by purchasing a property for the homeless). These are the ingredients of Hope into Action and when mixed together can create an impact. On this occasion tears were shed by the tenant who offered heartfelt thanks.
‘Stretch out your hand to Heal…..’ do you want to join us in this prayer for one man? If so read on:
Sam, one of our tenants has been with us for 20 months during which time, through some ups and downs, his methodone[ii] script has gradually been reduced.
‘Being on methodone is like being in prison – chained – to the local pharmacy. I can never leave Peterborough.’
While the thought of being free excites him, going ‘cold turkey’ terrifies him.
Sam is shortly to take that final but hardest of steps. We are working closely with the local drug agency but also the local church have people praying and supporting him through it. We set-up HIA believing that man’s expertise, coupled with faith in a God who can perform miracles ought to be a powerful combination. So, as Sam tries to go cold turkey and free from a 5 year relationship with drugs, do join us in prayer that ‘He would stretch out his hand to heal’ (Acts 4 vs 30) and Sam would be completely released over the short and long-term.
Lots more is going on but thanks for being part of the journey. Please keep praying for us, the church and tenants.
We have 3 female homes in Peterborough to go with one in Cambridge, run by C3 church, and one in Norwich run by NCBC (the latter working with ladies coming out of rehab.)
We now work with 9 churches in Peterborough supporting a home, and a total of 12 churches overall. We are soon to open our first in Nottingham.
- Awards: We won 4 awards in November, including the EA Serve Award for the most inspiring project at the 2012 Inspire Awards, organised and hosted by Inspire magazine at the Palace of Westminster.
- Prayer: For those Peterborough based we have now fixed our prayer dates for the rest of the year.
Weekend away: We are taking a number of tenants away for a weekend of fun and abseiling. Pray they would love the break and for Andy Lanning who will be sharing with us.
If you want to support us financially click here.
[i] Mother Teresa
[ii] This is a heroin replacement given to try and stabilise former addicts