Here at Real Hope we know without a doubt that God provides for what he has called us all to do. As the body of Christ we are His hands and feet and He uses us to reach out to those in need. Through blessings, donations and time given up by our faithful volunteers, we continue to see God’s provisions in this ministry.
Take our clothing team for example, every week they give out 30 to 40 bags of handpicked clothing,
which amounts to almost 100 items. In September, they had a total of only £3.58 to spend on clothing. They were short of essential items such as men’s jeans and coats, hats, gloves and ladies underwear. God is good, the clothing team were donated £50 which allowed them to buy some of the essentials they needed, but it did not stop there. A church in Shipley made a generous donation of £200 towards the clothing which has allowed us to keep going for a while longer.
The clothing team have been able to build some excellent relationships with charity shops. One shop that sells everything for 99p saves any 32” jeans they receive for a member of our clothing team. Another charity shop that normally charges £1.99 per item allowed another member of our team to pick 37 items of clothing and sleeping bags and in addition reduced the total bill by £10. We also have links to another church that has their own charity shop. They save our clothing team appropriate items that we need and then sell them to us at £5 per bag.
Workers from one of the large catalogue companies in the city generously donated 10 bags of winter clothing, and we have even gone global! One lady in America who has been following us on Facebook donated three sleeping bags via Amazon. All of this generosity is on top of the donations of clothes we receive from individual people wanting to do their bit from all over the city.
As you can see God is really using people to reach our guests, but it doesn’t end there.
A man who came to change the hand soap in the toilets saw the work going on during a Wednesday evening. He felt so touched that both he and his wife now donate food to Real Hope on a regular basis.
For the Christmas meal we had the privilege of a team from Cooperative Funeral Care come to help us out. From helping with the clothes, cooking, serving, tidying away and getting to know the guests, they really got stuck in. They freed up the normal Wednesday evening volunteers so they were able to chat to more of the guests. The Cooperative Funeral Care team also paid for the Christmas meal, as well as giving an extra financial donation. Having that team on board was an enormous blessing.
As we enter the New Year, we know that God will continue to bless his ministry and we are already seeing that in action.
Most weeks we have a couple of people from the Horton Housing Street Team on hand. Their role is to make referrals for people that are sleeping rough or to give advice to those who may have housing issues.
To add to the services we offer our guests, we now have a doctor and a nurse with us on Wednesday evenings. They are part of the Bevan House Primary Care Centre and provide NHS GP services to those that don’t normally have access to a GP e.g. the homeless and asylum seekers.
Without the donations of clothes, money and people volunteering their time, what we do at Real Hope would not be possible. For all of you who have helped, and continue to help, we thank you and praise God for your support.