It’s been several months since we last posted an update about ‘A Little Bit of Hope’ and there are several things to report. There are things that we have experienced, things that we have realised that we need, and things that we have realised that we definitely don’t need – or even want!
Potential, Possibility and Promise
So many people that we have met have expressed the view that our mission with ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ has so much potential; that our vision carries so much possibility; and that the promise to help and support projects and organisations, community groups and charities is a worthwhile one. In our endeavours to partner with others, we have come across so many fantastic people and organisations, it has been a real blessing. We can’t mention everyone, but here are a few that resonate strongly with our hearts to help and to hopefully partner with (in no particular order).
Faith & Love Christ Foundation Ministries International, Chester
A small church in Chester, started by Pastor Patience Avormey, who has a heart to reach out to the local community with the love of Christ, helping those struggling with poverty or hunger, and those who are marginalised or suffering. We are pleased to have partnered with Pastor Patience to bring a talk, “Longing for a Belonging,” which will also be repeated on the first Sunday of December.
Operation Mobilisation (OM)
Started just under 60 years ago by an amazing man, George Verwer, this charity mobilises mission all over the world. In fact, there are few countries in the world that OM has not visited or influenced. In addition to missions in several countries, it operates a ship that sails the seven seas, bringing knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world. Having spent some time with George Verwer, and with the team at the headquarters near Oswestry, we hope that it will become clear how we can develop our relationship further and how, perhaps, we can partner together in the future.
A relatively new Christian house that takes people “from chaos and crisis to stability and strength.” There are many types of addictions, and there are many different reasons why people can be living in chaos and crisis. At Beit Tikva, they are not just focused on recovery from drugs and alcohol – although that is a common theme, and one they have vast experience in dealing with – they can help anyone who is living chaotic lives. We are pleased to be able to partner with this organisation to help them with various administrative tasks and fundraising.
Another relatively new Christian charity that offers people the opportunity to retreat, restore and re-boot their lives – spending time at a smallholding being developed in Estonia. We are pleased to be able to partner with R3 Ministries, helping with administration and fundraising.
Prison Fellowship (PF)
Prison Fellowship (England and Wales) is a national charity that works alongside those in prison, running a number of programmes. Sycamore Tree is a victim awareness / restorative justice programme for prisoners that is run by volunteers; Angel Tree helps to restore the relationship prisoners have with their children, by enabling them to give a gift at Christmas; and other programmes include Letter Writing and chaplaincy support in various prisons. We are pleased to be able to support PF by volunteering with them and fundraising.
Beulah Retreat and Development Center, Liberia
We have made contact with the founder and leaders at this adventurous development in Liberia, which aims to build and develop a community centre, school and orphanage. Time will show how we are to partner with and help this organisation in the future. They are in desperate need of funds, and we hope to raise funding for this purpose in the future.
Flame International is an established charity that takes teams of volunteers into war-torn and suffering communities with God’s love and compassion for the broken. Flame International adds to the valuable work of traditional aid and relief agencies by bringing healing of the emotional and spiritual damage caused by bloodshed, conflict, poverty and oppression. We may be able to partner with them in the future to raise awareness and funding for their fantastic work.
Community Development Cymru
CDC is a charity that “enable change for those experiencing social exclusion, through empowering them to challenge inequality and social injustice, and develop their potential to become informed, active citizens.” We have helped their project in Rhyl, feeding the homeless at Christmas last year, and at a small number of events this year. We hope to help them again in the future in various ways.
Sure Hope Church’s Christmas Meal for the Senior Citizens
Every year, Sure Hope Church in Old Colwyn have organised a Christmas meal for at least 80 senior citizens from the area. We have helped fundraise towards this in the past, and will be doing so again this year.
Mission to Tanzania by Grace Lomas, with TearFund
We are keen to support various types of missions, and we will be helping to raise funds for this intrepid young lady who is giving six months of her life to work with TearFund in Tanzania. Read more about her mission, and help fund the work, on her Just Giving page.
Prayer, People and Provision
You know, it is so humbling to meet so many great people and fantastic organisations; many of these people and organisations have been on journeys for several decades, others are – like us – just starting out. The prospect of working alongside these amazing guys is humbling, exciting, and – at times – daunting. How can we possibly live up to, or even equal, the fantastic work they continue to do day after day, year after year?
But, you know, we don’t have to! God as a plan and a purpose for us all – and all of us have a different plan and purpose. It would be a crazy world if we all tried to do exactly the same thing in the same way! There’s value in diversity – and that value far surpasses the sum of all. The Bible says:
“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?”
1 Corinthians 12:13
Over the past months, we have come to realise how much of a journey we have ahead, and we have come to realise that we need a great deal of help! (We always knew we needed help – we just didn’t realise how much!) Meeting everyone has helped us hone our needs, and to refine our requirements.
We only need 3P!
We need this more than anything else! As a Christian social enterprise, we seek to follow the Bible’s teachings and the leading of the Holy Spirit in following Christ’s commands and His great commission. It was Jesus who taught us in Matthew 25:35-36 to feed the hungry, give water to those who are thirsty, to clothe the poor, and to visit the sick and those in prison; and in James 1:36 to help orphans and widows. The greatest command according to Jesus Himself in Matthew 22:36-39 is to love God AND to love our neighbour.
Our neighbours are suffering and struggling; how can we love them? We read and hear of poverty, hunger, homelessness, injustice, hurt, loneliness, illness, atrocities – all in our own neighbourhood, let alone the world. How can we love our neighbour when they are suffering and struggling like this? Love is an action – and we must ACT somehow, to help our neighbour. We need your prayer for wisdom and guidance, that we are able to reach those people who are in need.
The Great Commission is that we go – into all the world – and make disciples. We are to become “fishers of men” if we follow Jesus. Through our action, and our mission “to make a real difference in people’s lives, and in the community you live,” we must share and demonstrate the love of God. You see, God loves you – wherever you are, whatever your suffering, whatever your situation or your sins – God loves you. And we are commissioned to go out and share that love, to show that love, so that others will come to know and to follow Jesus – He IS the Hope of all the world.
In order to fulfill our mission, and our vision, we need people. It is such a vast undertaking that we cannot possibly do it alone. In fact, we are the least qualified to carry out this mission, and I will speak a little more on that lower down, in the last section.
We cannot carry out our mission, of fulfill our mission, alone. Our vision is “to equip and mobilise at least two people in every city, town, village and hamlet in the UK – and in all nations – to give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ to at least two people every week.” Obviously we cannot do that just by ourselves – we need people – lots of them. We need people who are prepared to go and give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ in every city, town, village and hamlet in the UK – and in all nations – to at least two people every week!
Could that be you? Could you give out 2 copies of ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ every week? If so, we would like to hear from you.
Finally, we need provision. This is our life’s work – our mission (and we have chosen to accept it). At times it feels like ‘Mission Impossible’ – it’s so vast! We need provision to live, to eat, to travel, to print copies of ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ and to support projects and organisations, community groups and charities that we work alongside.
We have estimated – and it is still too early to have a more definitive number – that it costs around £2.40 for each copy of ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ and this includes the printing and delivery, our costs including travelling and stationary, the website and so on, with a minimum percentage of 20% donated to various charities. (This is over and above the practical work and fundraising carried out for those organisations.) This percentage will increase over time, and we also hope that in time we will be able to make a living from our work.
Therefore, we have suggested 3 levels of giving:
- £20 a month will allow us to give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ to at least two people every week.
- £10 a month will allow us to give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ to at least two people every fortnight.
- £4.80 a month will allow us to give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ to at least two people every month.
We do also accept one off-donations, and we are very grateful to those people who have been so generous in their giving in this way over the past few months. We are also very grateful to those who have made a commitment to give on a monthly basis. Thank You all so very much.
If you would like to give, to contribute to our mission to give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ to those in need, please visit our giving page here. Thank You.
Platform, Position, Prominence
There are three P’s that we definitely DO NOT NEED! We are not seeking a platform, we are not seeking position, we are not seeking prominence. Due to our past, we have been – and continue to be in some quarters – lepers in today’s society. Some people don’t take us seriously; some people shun us; some people dislike us. But, you know, the Bible also says that God takes the most unlikely people – the lowly, the base, the shameful and those who are despised – to fulfil His work. But we cannot do that by using a platform, gaining a position or seeking prominence.
When I came out of prison – a changed man, due to reading the Bible from cover to cover – the one verse out of 31,102 verses that sticks firmly in my mind is the verse below. I took that verse into my heart and decided to make it my way of leading my life from then on:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Not only did I take that into my heart and decide to live it out, but I took it to be God’s promise for my life. You see, if you follow God – and are obedient to His word – He gives you various promises. Some are general, some are specific to you, and you will discover those by personal study, prayer and discipleship. His promise to me was to forgive me and to heal me (which I understand also to be to restore me). So I was released from prison, redeemed (forgiven) and I am slowly going through the process of being restored. That process will continue as long as I fulfil my half of the bargain! That is, as long as I will remain humble, as long as I pray and seek His face, and as long as I turn away from my old ways.
My beloved wife – my other (and far better) half felt that God spoke to her many years before we met, and was told to:
Kiss the world beautiful, and love My children.
She didn’t know what that meant, and it was many years later that our paths crossed, and our journeys merged. It took me personally way out of my comfort zone – up one of the highest (and certainly the most dangerous) mountains in Wales to raise money for her mission trip to Africa. I don’t like heights! But I believe God has a sense of humour – and often challenges us to do things that take us out of our comfort zones, trusting in Him alone for our needs – including our safety!
We are still taking a huge leap of faith in this venture, especially my beloved partner who has to trust that this mission and this vision was, indeed, God-given and not a huge, incredible delusion of my own making! But one thing that has become clear over the last few months.
To give ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’ takes a whole lot of love!
And whilst I have – and always have had, despite many difficult circumstances – held on to ‘A Little Bit of Hope!’, my beloved has a “whole lot of love” to give. Together, we believe that this mission that we are embarking upon is God’s vision; together we believe that it is His vision that He has shared; together, all we seek is to be obedient to His guiding to share His Word as widely as we can, to take His message of Hope – to all nations – and to share His love with those who are struggling and suffering in today’s society and in the world at large.
The 3 P’s
Potential, Possibility and Promise – that’s our ‘Little Bit of Hope’!
Prayer, People and Provision – is what we need.
Platform, Position and Prominence – is what we do not seek.
We said many months ago that this journey was taking us way beyond our comfort zones. Will you journey with us? Will you join us in prayer? Are you one of the people who can help? Can you help provide for us?
Will you take a leap of faith with us? It only takes 3P!