Walk Love Out

 

AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO OUR BREATHE ATTENDEES 2018

And so the count down begins! In only 3 months we gather for our third Breathe Conference, OVERFLOW.

It is in our DNA to intentionally look outwardly, to use the influence of 500+ women to impact the communities that surround us. To keep the abundant, ever-lasting love of God, the incredible life-rescuing news of salvation, the unspeakable joy and lasting peace, contained between ourselves would be a disservice to the Kingdom and all that God’s heart intends. It is our aim, therefore, to unconditionally love our community to our fullest capacity and to be kind. 

Following on from last years project, ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’, we would like to introduce to you ‘Walk Love Out’; collecting new, or nearly new children’s shoes.

At Helping Hands we are still living out of the overflow of your generosity last year. Our community is still benefiting from the household products donated by a bunch of you girls. The practical help and the relief of financial pressure it has brought to members of our community, has been beautiful to watch unfold. The team have  been able to deliver a Welcome to the Neighbourhood package to a home at least twice a week. Needless to say, it has been almost a year’s worth of ongoing support to the most vulnerable of our neighbours. Again, thank you. You have made a difference in ways you can only imagine.

This year we have faced an unprecedented need for children’s shoes. Families are referred to Helping Hands via various means and a common request is for children’s shoes. Demand for specific sizes vary from toddler right through to junior and we haven’t always been able to meet their request. We have been blessed by local supermarkets who from time to time have donated old stock and we have had continuous support by people from our own church and local community giving into our clothing banks, but the shoes leave the yard as quickly as they’re given. The shoes we receive aren’t always in a good enough condition to pass on. So we’re pushing the boat out and asking you for new shoes. You would only want to give your best anyway, right? If you’re anything like me, your mind will jump straight to that pair that didn’t get much wear from your kids and still have lots of life in them OR maybe you’re already one step ahead, (pun not intended), and you’ve calculated  how much it would cost for an extra pair of shoes in the January sales? 

Let’s walk love out.

Allow me to tell you one story…

On the run up to Christmas last year we had the privilege of meeting one remarkable young lady. She lived on the very top floor of a block of flats. It was cold. Her house was dark. No food had been eaten in a few days. Her silhouette, well, what silhouette? She was frail and gaunt from her sacrifice of not eating to ensure her children wouldn’t go to bed hungry. She was caught in a vicious, hopeless cycle and could see no way out. She had no support until her social worker made contact with Helping Hands and made an emergency referral. We did what we could, provided what was needed in that moment, practically and emotionally. We sorted her with necessary furniture, clothing for her kids, compiled a substantial food pack and contributed to the cost of her heating. We wanted to give a wrap around service by wrapping her in love.

Her stomach was hungry but so was her spirit. Questions about God and His Word began to tumble out. We shared experiences, we prayed and a relationship was formed. Her only request from our next visit was that we brought each of her kids a Bible and one for herself. “I can’t write but I can read. I want to have the answers when my boy asks who God is and how much He loves him.”

A single mum to three beautiful kids doing her best to survive. But her best just wasn’t enough and intervention had to take place. A few months ago it was considered to be for the best that her children would be taken into care. The final blow. She was shaken but is still standing. The fight to win back her unit was on. She has regular contact with each of them and has met every requirement made of her. Oh how she lives for those few moments with her kids, each one uniquely loved. She wants to please them and still provide for them. Hence the request for new shoes. She knows how worn the one pair they each own have become. She knows that it’s around about this time they grow into their next size. Her heart wants to help but her pocket cannot. We try our best to scramble together 3 new pairs of shoes, as close to their sizing as possible, slightly bigger off course to get wear a little longer. 

I genuinely have never seen such joy and thankfulness expressed in one moment. She can’t wait until contact the next day. “I can’t wait to see their faces when I give them new shoes. It will show just how much I love them.”

I tell you this snapshot of courage to ignite something within your spirit. Not every story is like this but the need remains the same. From the family living below the poverty line, to the foster kids who are often placed in care unexpectedly with only the clothes on their backs, to the newcomers who have arrived with no financial support, to the family who are barely keeping their heads above water then school season comes around with the extortionate pricing of some shoes; and so the list goes on.

Let’s walk love out. Let’s be the vehicle for children to have the courage and confidence to make their mark in this world. A new pair of shoes ensures they can take the first step. I imagine that it’s easier to chase dreams and move mountains with a pair of new shoes.

I’ve every bit of faith that you will rise to this challenge and for that you are owed an advanced thank you. Thank you from myself but also on behalf of those families whose children will have warm feet and dry toes this winter.

If you wish to contribute simply get your kids shoes ready and bring them to Breathe 2018. We plan to have a shoe drop off zone in the entrance of our building on the day of conference.

Keep a look out for any updates or new info on any of our social media outlets or in your email inbox.

You are all legends.

Much love,

Tasha xx

{Eph.5:2 “…and walk in love.”}

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