I stand at the door and knock
As Centre Manager for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Salford (a charity that provides free of charge debt advice and support), I am amazed by the relentless endeavours of some bailiffs and their need to get a return from debtors, whatever the cost!
I recently received a phone call from a very upset new client, who is waiting for her initial CAP appointment. At this appointment, we will take away all her debt related paperwork and begin to negotiate with everyone she owes money to. Hopefully, in time this will stop her being fearful of answering her own front door!
In the meantime, bailiffs have managed to persuade their way into her house. They now have the “right” to break into her house to seize her goods.
My client now has a difficult decision to make - either;
1) Pay off the bailiffs in exchange for her landlord threatening to evict her or
2) Have the bailiffs gain entry into her house, taking away her families possessions.
I just wish we could have come into her situation before bailiffs were involved. However, we have being seeing other people, who are just as in need. This includes a family of 5 spending £25 a week on food, in order to pay Bright House for their fridge and washing machine, an agoraphobic man who can’t lift his head above his sea of debt, a family who’s grandmother was deported when she went for a routine appointment. I could go on…
As Christians, the bible instructs us to serve ‘the poor’, just as Jesus did – to love people, offering hope and practical support as well as sharing the good news of all that He has done for us.
However, sometimes, we can’t always help; we can’t buy food for families every week, we can’t pay the bailiffs off, fight immigration or force people to be motivated enough to help themselves get out of debt.
What we can do is pray, asking that God would intervene and circumstances would change; that He would guide us, giving us discernment and wisdom of how best to build relationships. Also, we can pray that God would ‘knock’ on the doors of our clients lives and that as they open themselves to Him, they would know the love and peace which only He can bring.
We’re not the miracle workers, God’s is. We just have to do our part.
If you feel called to supporting the vulnerable and poor of Salford, please join us in prayer, support and on visits.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Naomi Whitman 03/04/2012
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