Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 5:59PM
Last week on 1st March something truly amazing for Acts 435 happened. It is hard to adequately express what a watershed moment this was.
Our average monthly income hovers around £25,000 a month. Yet on 1st March we received £18,190 in one day alone. No grants, no church funds - this was people to people giving on a huge scale with over 300 people on that one day choosing to step up and help someone in need and make a practical, direct difference to individuals in the UK struggling financially.
We are so grateful to Stewardship and their #40acts campaign of generosity during Lent. We are so grateful to the Archbishop of York for his reflection, highlighting how Acts 435 advocates have made a difference in their local communities. When the invitation went out to make a donation to Acts 435 we prayed, we hoped, we believed - and we watched the donations flood in.
I can't remember a time where I have felt quite so incapable of doing anything to facilitate the giving. All we could do was wait. Always a hard thing to do! Yet God and generous people across the UK did not disappoint us. Previously our biggest week in terms of donations had been £12,000, and that in the run up to Christmas 2016 and including some corporate giving, so you can imagine our shock and joy at £18,190 flooding in during just one day.
God was very much in all the detail of what happened last week. The number of live requests had been creeping up over the past couple of weeks but by Wednesday evening there were over 200 live requests for the first time. That made me nervous but now I know that we needed to have that kind of level of needs on our website to meet donor demand!
We are a tiny team - I work 3 days a week, Katie manages our Communications 7 hours a week and Rhona our Administration 5 hours a week. We had been expecting Katie to go off on maternity leave in the middle of February because her two previous children had been born premature. Yet she was still working on 1st March and able to be part of the experience as well as manage our social media on that day. We all work from home so the snow did not pose a problem either and we were able to be responsive on the day. Katie gave birth to a beautiful boy on 5th March and we are so glad he waited until then to make an appearance!
It has been lovely to see new donors write encouraging comments on our Facebook page and see our advocates share their incredulity about how fast their requests have been met. More than anything it has been humbling to read some of the thank you messages going out to donors of the difference the gift of a stranger has made to them. "Believe and receive", one new advocate wrote from Mark 11:24. I did believe and it is truly wonderful on behalf of all the beneficiaries and advocates to receive these very special gifts.