God is at work in our lives everyday, in big and small ways. Here are some stories from people in our churches. We'd love to hear your story too!
Eva Andrews, Crawley Community Church
I work in Revive, a charity shop run by Crawley Community Church. Last week I had an amazing time with two homeless people who wandered in for a cup of tea. Revive has become quite well known with the rough sleepers of Crawley, and we always have our door open ready to help them in any way we can. This particular day, a lady who had been in before brought a young guy with her, hoping for a cuppa and a sit down. I put the kettle on and sat down to chat with them; I love hearing their stories and knowing that just by taking the time to listen, we are showing the love of God to the community. Sometimes all it takes is a cuppa, but this time we were able to help in a different way.
The lovely lady mentioned that she had an interview later that day and showed me all the paperwork to prove that she wasn't lying. I didn't think she was, but I don't imagine she is used to people taking her word for things. She explained that she was sofa surfing at the moment. The place where she was currently staying didn't have gas or electricity, and she didn’t fancy a cold shower that morning. She asked if she could borrow a clean shirt to smarten herself up a bit; I offered her the option of changing her entire outfit so she could go into the interview with confidence. We ended up finding a new shirt, cardigan, trousers and heels! She then went off to our toilet, had a quick tidy up of her hair and make-up, and we found a bit of left over perfume too; she looked great.
She went off to the interview and returned an hour or so later with a huge smile on her face; she’d been offered a full time job, starting the following week. Praise God! We celebrated with another cup of tea and lots of biscuits. There is so much more I could tell you about that day, the story of the young guy and how he ended up in Crawley living on the street, more history of the lady and all that I found out that day, but the reason we wanted to share this was to show that we can make a difference in our community. We are very blessed to have a shop like ours in the middle of town, which allows us to help in the way we do. But there's nothing stopping each of us stepping out in other ways: donating your clothes, shoes, bedding etc. to the local charity shop; buying the person in the queue in front of you their drink, finding out how to help your nearest homeless shelter, buying tea and biscuits for the homeless man who is always sitting on the floor in a doorway in your town...