call to action for CAP 

Dear Christian Friends,
My attention was recently drawn to Psalm 146 v 7 – 9 (NLT)
He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The law protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but the frustrates the plans of the wicked.

I have been challenged about what the church in Thurrock could be doing about some of the most vulnerable and needy people in our communities, and some exciting new services created by Christians Against Poverty that have come to my attention and I want to share them with you.  I was deeply impressed with the information about the work of CAP, both nationally and locally, that was recently distributed in one of these emails. (Please will you insert the link here Andy.)   The work of CAP is clearly excellent, but would benefit immensely if we leaders got behind the work and the vision just a little bit more.  Even the tiniest injection of additional funds would mean that David Acreman, CAP Centre Manager could work 3 or 4 days a week for instance, rather than just 2. Another Debt Coach working alongside him for 2 days a week could allow more people to be helped and reduce the current three month(!) waiting list for new cases. More Volunteer Befrienders, providing the vitally important role of coming alongside people in financial trouble, who are already clearly saying, “yes, please, I need some help!” would also be a great.
In addition to the work that the Debt Advice Centre carries out, CAP have developed 3 additional ways to support people in our communities who need help.  These new ways of helping are group work programmes, lasting for eight weeks each, where people meet together to address issues that are affecting their lives, and probably also the lives of their family and friends. These are tried and tested courses which are able to make real and immediate changes in peoples lives.  Fellow leaders, we should be sitting up and taking notice right now. These groups are;
CAP Life Skills group. This covers budgeting, healthy eating, problem-solving, decision-making and building positive relationships… 
CAP Fresh Start group. This is about helping people to overcome life controlling dependencies that can cause financial and relational poverty. Common causes may be alcohol use, smoking, gambling, drug use, Internet use… 
CAP Job Club group. This offers a combination of practical, emotional and spiritual support that can see lives completely transformed by helping people into work. 
Brothers and sisters, at this point, I just want to draw your attention to these fantastic new resources that can assist us, as members of the church in Thurrock, to make a real difference in the lives of people in our communities.  These are genuine outreach opportunities that can have a great impact in the lives of individuals, families and indeed communities.
The God that we worship and serve can clearly be seen in the Bible to take the needs of poor, needy, downtrodden and displaced people seriously, and He expects us to do the same. We serve God when we serve others.  So will you do the following please…
Pass on this information to anyone in your fellowship who might be interested in helping us to roll out these services in the coming months in.
Consider if your fellowship would support any or all of the Services either currently running or planned. (To run one of these groups will cost only about £60 a month if we can use 100% volunteer staff.  That is not very much if we can gain the support of just a few of the 80+ Christian fellowships in our borough.)
Let me know please, on the following email address  

If you have any interest at all in seeing these new initiatives come into being.
If you pass on this information to any others who might be interested in getting involved at this point.
If you might consider providing financial support for these initiatives. 
Further details will be forthcoming of course, but please brothers and sisters, fellow leaders of the Christian church in Thurrock, let’s take a close look at these opportunities, because we can make a real difference in the lives of families around us.
 These new services ARE GOING TO COMMENCE……. The only questions are “Will the Church get behind them?” and “Will they be properly resourced?”
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?   When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?   When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matt 25 v 37-40
Please get behind this, and please get in touch.  Gods blessings to you all. 
Graham Marshall, Fresh Hope Community Church, Stanford Le Hope. 

Graham MARSHELL, 27/06/2019

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