Poverty and Children: I went to an interesting meeting with Christians against Poverty which was held at Saxmundham. This organisation was set up to help individuals and families to get out of debt. Sometimes health, disability or hard edged sums lead people into a desperate position, sometimes it leads to issues with mental health and family breakdown. The hope is to get a debt advisory service going in the Suffolk Coastal area and provide support for families going through the pain of this. The help is practical – consolidation of debts by CAP who the families pay a regular sum to, which is affordable and which takes away the fear of the bailiffs. I wonder what your response is to starting this locally? Not needed – not as much as some areas probably but those doing a budgeting course are aware of some need. This can be linked to the work we are doing with a Foodbank for this area and further afield. The changes to benefits are pushing some people to the edge … and Christians are not called to judge.
Are Christians called to this sort of work … is God bothered? Yes, care for the poor and disadvantaged was central to Jesus call – he talked about money need a lot more than sexuality. He was aware of wealth and poverty 2000 years ago. And so have Christians ever since. One organisation which has been active is The Children’s Society – the nature of their involvement has changed but they advocate the need of young people and runaways still. ON FEBRUARY 4TH we have the beautiful Christingle Service again when we raise money for them – your support for a lovely service – and for today’s poor is needed. Christians Against Poverty – there will be more about this in due time; but they are not asking for money so much as people who might support through prayer or befriending people. Fighting poverty is not just providing cash but also offering friendship and alternative possibilities