Category: transforming lives


The care system for children in the UK has come under huge scrutiny recently, and rightly so. With so many cases of historic and systematic abuse being uncovered it is essential that the truth is established, justice is done and changes are made.

The impact on people’s lives is immeasurable. Many never really recover from such a difficult start.

It is therefore both challenging and encouraging to know people like Ray. He started life in a very tough family situation and experienced a traumatic time in the care system. When he left at 18 he was vulnerable and angry.

Unable to cope, he repeatedly found himself in prison. There was a pattern of behaviour in his life that he simply couldn’t change. God, however, had other ideas.

After being taken care of by a Christian who took him under his wing, Ray eventually gave his own life to Jesus. Things have taken time to change – and continue at times to be difficult – but for the last four years he has been living in accommodation with Faith Hope and Enterprise and making good progress.

In that time, Ray has become a family friend. He has spent Christmas day with us a couple of times and has seen our children in school productions, choir concerts and sports events. It is a privilege to know him and to be part of his journey.

when change happens

It’s one thing to see someone make significant change in their lives, it’s another when they reach out to help someone else do the same. Today, Geordie offered a young homeless man some hope in a desperate situation. Listening to him make the offer just blew me away.

I have known Geordie for a little more than two years. We met when he was in prison, referred to us by an alcohol worker there with whom we had built up a good relationship. He moved into a shared house and began volunteering with the company, quickly able to turn his hand to a number of practical skills that he has continued to develop.

Last year he moved into his own property, which he keeps in exceptional condition.

Other residents listen to him. His understanding and advice has been invaluable, and he is an inspiration to people looking to make the same changes in their own lives that Geordie has made in his. His journey is not yet complete, but he has come a long way and he has hope and confidence for the future. I am looking forward to seeing where that takes him.

changing lives

Every now and then you see a break through in someone’s life that reminds you of the importance of grace. To be part of these stories is always a privilege.

I am so grateful to the people around me who make it possible to see people like Emma change their lives.

I hope you feel inspired reading her story.

serving excluded people

At the beginning of December, Faith Hope and Enterprise took on a new four bedroom house in Derby.  It is now full, bringing the number of our residents to 27 and we plan to take another property in the New Year.  Tomorrow, we will share our family Christmas dinner with 11 residents while 6 others will be spending the day with their own family, something they were not able to do when they first came to us.

During the year I have heard some incredibly moving stories.  Dreadful childhoods, appalling abuse, broken relationships and powerful addictions.  Not everyone has been able to overcome these barriers, but for many this has been a year of positive change and progress.  I have been so blessed by them and have never been happier with the mix of people I am working with or the overwhelmingly good choices they are making.

This week, I heard in the news that in the UK the life expectancy of people without a home is 30 years less than the average.  I am glad to be able to give a small number of people a chance to live longer and happier lives.  And I look forward to 2012 because like them, I have hope for the future.

alpha

I love a good alpha, and I’m loving a particularly good alpha at the moment.  With salvation on week 2 and new guests joining as we go along, a great venue, good food, lively atmosphere, hilarious heckling and some really helpful discussions, we’re seeing God move in so many lives. 

I really enjoy engaging with people who are prepared to come along and ask questions.  People who struggle with some of the big issues in life.  People who have experienced difficult times and are trying to make sense of the world.

People like you and me.

I enjoy exploring the gospel in relevant, contemporary ways.  I enjoy communicating God’s love for people, the history of God’s passion for us and the lengths He will go to for us, the simple truths of the Christian faith in a complex world, the power of the cross and the wonder of a relationship with an all-powerful and holy father in heaven.

I am always amazed by God’s grace as people of all ages and backgrounds are saved and Christians are provoked about holy lives and what it means to be a child of God.  Every time I teach on the cross I am changed.  Every time I teach on prayer and the bible I am challenged.  Every time I consider the Spirit I find myself longing for more.

Which means that next weekend I will be coming to God with many others asking Him to pour out His Spirit upon me, equipping me to live a life that is pleasing to Him and which brings Him glory.  Because that’s what I’m here for.

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