In January this year I moved on from my role as the Love Black Country Family Champion and started working for Safe Families for Children, a Christian charity that supports families who are struggling and helps them get back on their feet again by providing them with supportive friendships from local volunteers.
The impact these volunteers are having in the lives of vulnerable families throughout the Black Country is incredible. Through contact with Safe Families volunteers, we are seeing many local families, who were previously struggling to cope and lacking much needed support, now connecting with local churches through toddler groups, children’s and youth groups, as well as attending church services. Sometimes this involves Safe Families host families taking children along with them but often it involves whole families coming along and becoming part of the church community.
Many of our volunteers are often asked about their faith and find themselves being asked to pray with the families they are helping. One mother from Dudley is currently attending an Alpha course and considering getting baptised. She told me recently about how different she feels since connecting with her local Church, encouraging her friends to do the same.
This is not just a measurement activity, celebrating attendance statistics at local groups. We’re seeing people’s lives being transformed through the love shown to them and through being welcomed into the church family. We have had families say they want their ‘case closed’ as they don’t need Safe Families support any longer now that they have friends who care in the church community of which they are now part. One Mom recently told us that her child had been invited to a birthday party for the very first time. Her child felt loved, accepted and the whole family felt like they were part of the church community.
What a difference we can make when we open up and share God’s love with others around us! These are often people who wouldn’t normally walk through the doors of our churches yet by connecting with local charities like Safe Families, YMCA Open Door or TLG, we can reach out into our communities showing practical love in action.
As a Safe Families team, we thank God for His blessing and abundant favour on the work going on and acknowledge the spiritual heritage we have here in the Black Country. We’re grateful for the constant opportunity we have to join with other Christians in the Black Country to pray for the transformation of our area, whether that’s through the Next Gen network, Love Black Country Big Breakfasts, or on rooftops overlooking Dudley! And we want to say thank you to those who have prayed and invested over the years for the Black Country. Your prayers for families, young people and children are being answered and we’re seeing proof of it every single day. We are truly reaping some of what has been sown. What an honour!
For more information on the work of Safe Families, please visit our website.