What an amazing year the last year has been! So much has happened, much of it unpredictable, most of it exciting and here I find myself writing an article about our 2020 vision. Or was it 20/20 vision? It can't be the latter because as much as I'd like everything precisely defined, clear and neatly sewn up it seems God doesn't work to our plans but always seems to have his own ideas and is also pretty good at directing them along different routes to those we'd have chosen ourselves.
So what has happened this last year? Well it seems a long time ago now but last year CAP put a hold on new clients and called it 'time to breathe'. That gave Andrew time to process his backlog and me time to really get to know the job, build relationships with clients and referrers and find my place and my own style in it. We restarted, taking on new clients in February and then we all know what happened in March! The dreaded pandemic of COVID-19, once again threatening to scupper our plans by slowing things down a little. However God was good in all of this, we had enough local clients who we could continue to serve and we were also provided more through another local centre which needed help with its own workload. CAP quickly found a regulated way to offer clients telephone appointments, so we have remained busy and active.
The big change has been Andrew's retirement this summer for health reasons.
After faithfully launching and building the CAP debt centre almost three years ago it's now time for him to put his feet up, take a well-earned rest and see what God will call him to in the future. Big thanks, Andrew! A friend as well as a colleague. So here I am, promoted to debt centre manager and delighted to announce that Paul Wratten, who co-leads our Marlow congregation with his wife Anthea, has now joined the team as a debt coach to give us greater coverage in Marlow. He's currently in training and will be seeing clients from November so we welcome him aboard and look forwards to a great partnership as together we serve the poor in our neighbourhoods.
COVID time has been tricky for many people, including our clients. We're currently running appointments by phone as we can't see them in their own homes for health and safety reasons, but sometimes meet them in other venues or collect paperwork from their doorsteps. Social contact is so important, and many struggle with isolation generally, so in these times our contact with them is all the more important.
So how can you pray for CAP? The best prayer is always "Here I am Lord, send me", and if you pray that prayer and feel it's appropriate please let me know. We will be looking for new befrienders shortly when Covid restrictions ease and we can always use help with funding applications, publicity (leaflet drops), hosting events, giving clients lifts to Drs appointments etc. If you just want to find out more I'd also be happy to chat. Please pray that those whom we can help hear about us and contact us, pray we will be effective in supporting those in need both financially and spiritually and most of all please pray that God's kingdom is advanced through our work.
Gary Jones - Maidenhead