"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Last Friday we went away as a staff team to a wonderful village near to York, and had a blessed time; thinking, praying and planning for 2022 and all that we can do to grow our networks of donors and partner churches. We still have three months left of 2021 however, and would invite you to stand with us in prayer as we look towards our Christmas campaign and the launch of our Donor Church initiative. We would also like to invite you to pray for those affected this week by the removal of the Universal Credit uplift.
I have recently written an article about the affect that the removal of the uplift will have for those that often seek our help, and the impact that it will have on us as a charity. You can read this article here. In the article Jenny, our Executive Director, said: “The impact the removal of the uplift will have on peoples’ finances, especially as we head into the colder months, will be detrimental. It will mean individuals and families going without basic necessities and ending up in a financial crisis as they struggle to afford even their everyday living costs, never mind unexpected costs such as repairing a car, travelling to essential appointments or increases in bills.” We hope that we can step into these gaps wherever possible, and pray for our Advocates as they see this increase in need.The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has put together five facts about the impact of the cut will have*. We hope that these can shape your prayer for this specific area:
- half a million more people are set to be pulled into poverty, including 200,000 children;
- working families make up the majority of families who will be affected by the cut;
- families with children will be disproportionately impacted; and
- the impact of the cut will be the greatest across the North of England, Wales, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland.
In amongst the increase in need, we have much to thank God for this month:
- The ability, as a charity, to have an adaptable team. Since our last prayer bulletin we bid a sad farewell to Dan, who was our Digital Communications Officer. However, we're thankful that Becka was able to step-up into the role and that we are then able to keep Emily for a few hours a week in an administration role while she is at university.
- Our away day last week. It was wonderful to spend time as a team outside of our normal work, and also think ahead to next year and what God has in store for us as a charity. We focused on the verse at the beginning of this email, which was a great reminder that as the need increases we can have confidence in our work, and that God will provide all that we need.
- A fantastic opportunity for our most recent promotional video to be shown at the upcoming Jubilee+ conference in November, as well as having a stand there too.
- The 546individuals and families who have been helped by Acts 435 Advocates and donors with£64,580 distributed in September, which is even more important at this crucial time.
Please pray for:
- Our Advocate Gathering on the 14th October. We will meet with some of our Advocates online this year, giving more Advocates the opportunity to attend. Please pray for a great morning of inspiration and motivation for them as they serve their communities.
- Our Donor Church Initiative; we are intending to address specific churches, and advertising to wider church networks, with the opportunity to partner with us by giving an annual donation to our work, and more specifically our Larger Gifts Fund. Please pray for a good uptake of this initiative so that we can see our Larger Gifts Fund continue.
- The ongoing development of our new website as our developers look to effectively prioritise and complete the project in time for a launch in the new year.
- The potential of more 'in-person' events throughout the autumn, and next year. Please pray as we approach local Dioceses and other church networks for opportunities to share at their meetings.