Enabling new beginnings
From Sue: “When I arrived at Send I was a broken woman, who had the world on her shoulders and a pain in my heart that was really bad. I never thought I would get through the week, let alone 5 years. …You all showed me there was a light and that light was God. That light grew inside me as I came to Bible studies, Sunday Services and other courses at the chapel….the over whelming love that God gives me, keeps that warm, bright light glowing inside me, and that’s what I want to share with the world.”
Jane completed our Making Sense of Forgiveness course: “ Thank you to you all for showing me the way forward. For making me realise the need to rid myself from negative feelings. I want to have peace, I want to love, love and be happy. It’s still early days and I know I have to take one step at a time. You have all helped pick me up and put me on that path. I am so very grateful.”
A non-church goer, just after Christmas: “thank you so much for the Christmas gift bag and PIN credit. It’s amazing to know that people care enough to bother about us”.
Teresa’s* story: Teresa started life in northern Nigeria, living in a Christian village. At 13 her village was burnt down by anti-Christian forces and all the rest of her family died. After some while an uncle from another area took her in, but she was put to work hawking and beaten when she didn’t sell enough. Over the years she suffered FGM and was sold to another family as a servant and nanny. After more stories of abuse she made her escape, and spent several years living on a railway station where a lady let her eat and sleep on the café floor in return for work. Sometime later a male customer persuaded her to let him take Teresa away for more education. She was trafficked into the UK for prostitution. Ill health led to her reassignment to other work, where she had to hand over her wages. She was eventually discovered and prosecuted for illegal papers. Hence to prison, where amazingly, she felt safe and reconnected with the love of God who had seemed absent during 20 terrible years. Her faith and trust shine, and she is amazing. After a human-trafficking referral, she is being cared for by the Salvation Army whilst her case is considered, and we hope she will be granted leave to stay.
And Sally’s* story: A childhood in the UK, with abuse and neglect such that she has grown up with addiction, no sense of boundaries, an inability to form appropriate relationships, and significant mental health issues. Prostitution and theft were her normal way of life. In prison she found in chaplaincy people who would listen, unconditional support, and a God who loves her. She has been baptised, but is still on a long and difficult journey out of addiction, and finds it hard to break the habits of lifetime, although she is filled with remorse every time she fails.
*Not their real names.