And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race].” (Mark 16:15 Amplified Bible)
This is an attainable goal in our generation – in all of history we have never been so close to fulfilling Mark 16:15!
God is turning the church inside out because He wants us to influence the society that we live in! God is unstopping the wells of revival, of revelation and of declaration in our nation and we as His body need to align ourselves with Him and work with Him to see our nation changed for His glory.
Aglow International moves forward on 2 legs; prayer and evangelism. If we are active in only one of these areas we will be ‘hopping’ on one leg and can’t possibly walk in a balanced way or even run. Evangelism is the very heartbeat of Aglow. We have a full gospel vision, always wanting to bring people, often through the simplicity of friendship, from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences, to hear the life-transforming gospel of Jesus.
Meeting for food, worship, sharing life stories at monthly Aglow meetings in over 100 locations in the nation, many women, men and young people are coming into a living relationship with Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Annual Conferences have proven to be times of strengthening and refreshing, and Aglow is training more and more people to “GO” into their own Jerusalem’s, Judea’s, Samaria’s, and the ends of the earth.
We met with the assistant director Jan Williamson who was happy to share with us about the work in Edinburgh. She was delighted with the cheque and reassured us that it would go to the Holyrood Hub (or shelter). We showed her the photos of what we have contributed up until now which we were reassured was in line with their needs.
We were surprised to hear that although they get funding, there is no funding for what she called ‘comforts’ such as food and toiletries so Aglow’s gift will be a great blessing as they like to give the folks breakfast before they leave, they rely on gifts from food outlets.
Jan shared so much more too much for an email but she was also interested in hearing about Aglow in Britain.
Whilst planning a coffee morning last March we needed a cause to which we donated the money raised. Around the same time we received the email from Nonnie regarding having a heart for the homeless so this seemed to be the way forward. We did not feel that any of us had a call towards a practical ministry but we could use our raised money to buy sleeping bags.
The coffee morning did not have many attending but we still raised £73 and had a few of the locals who came in too. Now what? When Jim and I had our kitchen redone we met a contractor called Paul who shared his situation about his back which had a beneign tumour and needed surgery. We prayed for him and when he had the surgery there was no tumour!! He knew it was God. Paul was a man who had a heart for the less fortunate and he recommended we went to “GO outdoors” in Westerhope where he knew the manager and said if we mentioned his name we would get a good discount as he had bought sleeping bags for the homeless several times before.
Three of us went to the warehouse, myself, Sheila Statter the treasurer and Val Wilson who lived nearby and who we are considering as a future board member. Great success. We were able to buy four sleepings bags at a cost of £16 each but which retailed at £40 each, an excellent discount!!
We took these back to show the group, who now included Dawn one of the visitors to the coffee morning and who has been coming ever since.
Paul recommended we took the bags to Hope – a church in Byker with a charity ministry for the homeless. We could have worked through the Salvation Army where we meet, or used The Peoples Kitchen but felt we needed to continue a relationship with Paul. This week on Wednesday we took the bags to him and he had already two others and some children’s toys to distribute.
We were able to share this with the group on Wednesday night at the outreach meeting and had the bonus of leading Dawn to the Lord!!
Previous to one of the Midland Area team prayer breakfasts, one of the team had been thinking of what they could do as an outreach for Aglow in their Area – The Lord dropped in their spirit ‘take food to the homeless’. This felt perfect because they were able to do any preparation in their own kitchen.
To try and gather more information we asked a street pastor where we could find the homeless and he said, “They are very private people, the genuine homeless you will struggle to find them”.
On further enquiry, we found someone who already provided a meal for the homeless in a local centre, so we asked if we could come along and give them a bag of food to take away with them. The centre was very obliging and suggested the people who come to centre would love it.
So that’s how it all simply started. The Area team agreed to support it, so we took a bag that said Aglow Britain on it, containing sandwiches, cake, a drink, crisps and either a hat, a pair of socks or a pair of gloves and a scripture.
We feed about 40 people and we usually find there is opportunity to sit and talk to the guests, and some have asked us to prayer for their concerns.
I work for the Hope Centre which is a Christian Charity based in St Helens Christian Life Centre.
We work and support vulnerable adults and are very much a needs led charity.
At the moment we have a range of projects which reach out into the community I.e. Homeless day centre, Confidence Building Course for people with mild to moderate mental health issues, St Helens Foodbank, Baby Basics, Basic I.T. Training and Make Lunch Project.
The Make Lunch Project is what Aglow has sown into and below is an overview of what it is.
Through foodbank we realised that in the school holidays many families struggled to feed their children who in school time would normally get free school meals.
‘Make Lunch’ is a feeding programme specifically for primary school children who have free school dinners and it runs through the school holidays.
We partner with the local primary schools who contact the parents of the children and invite them to come along to Make Lunch.
The parents also attend Make Lunch and are in charge of their children and are encouraged to take part in the games and craft activities that they do. (A bit like Messy Church).
When the children have had their activities they and their parents sit down together and are given a hot lunch. Before the families leave they are always given a small gift and treats for the children and sometimes for the parents as well.
This is a wonderful community project and we have seen it grow over the past few years it has been running, building relationships with schools and families who have become regulars to Make Lunch and even some of the parents becoming volunteers. In the Summer holidays we try to treat the families to a trip out somewhere as for some of them it will be the only ‘holiday’ they would have.
This year we took them to Walton Hall Park in Warrington. There were 52 children and adults in all. Because of the generous gift from Aglow we were able to hire a coach and provide picnic lunches for them all plus a lovely gift for the children to take home with them.
Although the weather wasn’t great the children came in their macs and wellies and loved it. I think there was only one family that didn’t turn up.
‘ElShaddai My Helper’ is a Registered Charity based in the U.K and our aim is to reach out to homeless persons and people of no fixed abode. Our goal is to provide support for such individuals offering wholesome meals, clothing, toiletries showing respect and letting the love of God shine through at the same time, also to work with other organisations to meet these needs.
On the last Saturday of every month, we offer a wholesome hot meal comprising of;
We propose to alternate Jollof Rice with Fried Rice, chicken, Macaroni Cheese [for vegetarians/vegans]
In May we served 63 guests. Our guests are always encouraged to come forward for a second helping and they mostly avail of this offer. We also buy two dozen dishes for take away as most of our guests like to take some food with them for the next day
We have recently [in the past three months] included a table of fit to wear clothing: Jackets, Shirts, Blouses, shoes, socs, hats and related items.
We reach out to adult homeless persons who are sleeping rough and people of no fixed abode by serving a monthly healthy breakfast pack including suitable drink for breakfast. On 15/06/2019, there were more than 50 people sleeping rough in a small span of space.
All our guests received a gift consisting of
An 81 year old Adherent from Wood Green Salvation Army who is a regular helper of ElShaddai at Walthamstow is currently knitting hats in readiness for distribution to our guests on 28/12/2009.
We also plan to buy socks, gloves, scarves and toiletries to include in the Christmas present packs for our guests at WALTHAMSTOW, to rough sleepers at STRATFORD and ANYWHERE we come across persons who live on the edge of society in London.
work in conjunction with the Women’s Refuge to support women and their families who have problems due to domestic abuse.
They provide an atmosphere of warm acceptance for all the women who visit the centre and concentrate on helping these women and their families rebuild their lives by offering them counselling, teaching them some life skills, giving them a safe place to socialise and bring their children, parenting classes, a food bank, preparation and support for going back to work, legal advice and lots of positive encouragement.
Much of the work is done by willing volunteers. They also work closely with other services in Sutton borough such as mental health, social workers, school workers and the police to offer a network of help for these families at a vulnerable time.
They have set up and run a very successful Freedom Programme which teaches women suffering from domestic abuse about the nature of this abuse in its different forms so they can understand what is happening in their relationships, to encourage them to leave them behind or change them and rebuild their lives and also how to protect themselves and their children. These have also been run in the local women’s prison.
The two ladies who run the Freedom Programme are both Christians and show a high level of commitment and love to the ladies they serve. For example, Jill got alongside one young person who had a suffered abuse and been through this programme, she mentored her and led her to the Lord, supported her at her baptism service and continues to pray and encourage her.
To help we decided that in the run up to Christmas, Aglow Carshalton would donate bottles for their bottle stall which is a good means of raising money for them and making themselves known at local events and fairs. We also decided to ask our group for donated and wrapped up Christmas toys to be given to children who would otherwise have gone without. Carshalton Aglow were very generous in their giving in both bottles and wrapped presents.
Since January, we have been donating to the Red Box scheme which ensures that there is a supply of sanitary protection and related products for girls to use when in school. Girls are missing school sometimes or finding themselves in difficulty at school as they do not bring these supplies with them from home when they have their periods, through lack of finance or help from parents. Through this scheme, nearly all the schools in Sutton now have a red box in place.