Praise God that the CAP Centre based at HRBC now has two more fully-qualified Debt Coaches. Sue Stone and Neil Avard successfully passed the Financial Authority Regulated Course up in Bradford last month. CAP has now opened 14 new debt centres, 25 new job clubs, and trained 50 new churches to run the CAP Money Course; as well as starting to pilot 25 Release Groups (targeting shopping and gambling) and six Community Detox Programs to help people overcome their addictions, which are a massive cause of debt and poverty. The need among the poor of this nation is immense, and CAP’s founder, John Kirkby, recently led prayers for the nation in Parliament’s ancient crypt built by Oliver Cromwell.
Yet again CAP’s work has been recognised by the nation’s financial institutions, and recently won a special award at the 2014 Credit Industry Awards for services to the Industry. What’s great is that these are the very people CAP are often in direct opposition to when trying to support their clients, and even they recognise what a fantastic service we give.
CAP’s head office in Bradford has just expanded into a second converted Mill, and employs over 300 fully qualified Christian workers in the city. With a turnover of £8.6 million the Charity continually has to evolve and update its systems. For that reason the CAP centre staff at HRBC/St Peters have already begun training to adapt to new approaches that meet the ever increasing demand.
If you feel able to assist CAP in any small or large way (physically, spiritually, financially) please approach one of the team* or email us at email@example.com. In the meantime, please continue praying for us and our clients as we try not only to lead them out of debt but, more importantly, lead them to Jesus. The former is often a lot easier than the latter!
Isaiah 61:1 –
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
*The CAP team at HRBC is Rich Page –Jones, Sue Stone, Neil Avard, John Miles, Tina Donnelly, Annie Robson, Adelaide Harris, and Sean Avard.
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I have recently been looking again at the parable of the sower and have been reminded that as we are obedient and plant seed, quite a lot of it will unfortunately fall on soil that is not suitable for its long-term growth and fruitfulness.
When I look at the journeys of our CAP clients over the last three years, it’s interesting to see that their responses are broadly in line with that of the parable of the sower.
Some people call to make an appointment and then cancel it straight away – Matthew 13:19.
Some people are at first grateful to see us and we help them, but after the first few appointments they disappear and we never hear of them again – Matthew 13:20-21.
For some people the cares and worries of life prevent them from completing the journey – Matthew 13:22.
I’m happy to say, though, that many clients do work diligently with us and we can see much fruit in their lives – Matthew 13:23.
I think we can take encouragement from knowing that even some of the seed Jesus planted fell on stony ground or amongst the thorns. From reading the Gospels we know that in some towns there was unbelief (Mark 6:6), there was rejection, and for some individuals their wealth was more important than selling up and following Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22).
A Journey of Three Years…
Over the past three years, it has been a privilege to help people who have been struggling financially for so long. It has been such a joy to see so many clients complete the journey to become debt-free, and to see such a positive transformation in their situations and their lives.
However, there are still many people on the journey, and many people waiting for their first visit.
When we first set up the CAP centre in April 2011 I wrote an article about debt being like an elephant in the room. It’s there, we know it’s there, we are reminded every day that it is there, but we choose to ignore it.
Somehow we hope that the debt, along with the elephant, will magically disappear if we ignore it for long enough. Unfortunately debt doesn’t just disappear and it will still be there when we eventually take our head out of the sand.
It takes courage and determination to face debt head-on and deal with it.
It took a massive amount of courage for Jesus to deal with our sin head-on so that we might be forgiven and in a restored relationship with the Father.
Just as Jesus made a way back to the Father, I want to encourage you this Easter that there is a way out if you are struggling with your finances.
It might not seem like there is a way out, but there is, and sometimes we all need a helping hand to guide the way and help us get things in our lives sorted out.
If you need help then ring for an appointment on 0800 328 0006, or come along to the CAP drop-in centre every Thursday between 12:30pm and 2:30pm at Holland Road Baptist Church.
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I believe that, at times, God calls us to take a step of faith and make the first move with regards to a particular decision we may be trying to make. However, we should remember that as we take that step (even with fear and trembling), God is there to meet, encourage, provide or even carry us on the journey we have started.
If you have ever watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there is a great scene in where Indiana has to cross a ravine and the only way he can do it is to take a step of faith. With fear and trembling he takes his first step and as he does so the first part of the bridge appears. As he takes more steps the bridge unfolds before him and he gets to the other side.
People often call CAP (Christians Against Poverty) not knowing much about who we are, what the journey may be like or what the final outcome might be. Whether they know it or not they are stepping out into an unknown journey (a step of faith) but what I have seen over the years is that our clients have been blessed as they have done this.
They have discovered a whole new world of financial freedom, friendships, and generosity, as well as a new purpose and reason for life. Most of all, many clients have re-engaged with God. By this, I mean that their relationship with God, along with their involvement and contribution towards church life, has increased. In most cases, significantly.
Having now had 100 clients (either an individual or a family) call the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) free 0800 number, reaching out for our help, this seemed a good point at which to review our work, and to thank God for what He has done.
Some encouraging statistics
Number of debt free clients: 13
Total debt cleared: £188,673
Number of clients still on their journey with CAP: 33
Number of clients we have helped along their way but – for good reasons – are no longer working with CAP: 30
Number of clients who cancelled before their 1st appointment: 24
Please continue to pray for the work of CAP, and for all our clients and their families.
One of the things I have always found fascinating is that every client and their situation has been unique, and yet God knows them and their situation. He is always ready and willing to help as clients start making their first steps towards being debt free. While it is always disappointing when clients cancel, we remain thankful that we have had the opportunity to work with and help 76 clients in their journey to be debt free.
Can CAP help you?
If you find yourself in financial difficulty, please get in touch! You might be waiting for God to send the ‘financial freedom life-boat’ but contacting CAP might be it! Don’t miss out – take that step of faith – you have no idea what God might do!
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