You’re an amazing person and there is so much that you bring to the world, you really are a gift! We will share 5 things this week that you can do to help the homeless this Christmas, but be warned… doing any of these might have the surprising side effect of becoming your joy-releaser this season and you may have to explain why you are smiling so hard.
Let’s start at the very beginning..
It's PERFECT for both you busy people (I bet you have lists of lists at this point) and those of you who might have a little bit of time to spend on something worthwhile, because it’s completely flexible.
To make a meaningful difference, it doesn’t have to involve a huge shift in your life. It just requires you to do something - even something small. Moving from an intention to an action is just one decision away.
A famous author once said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Take a look at Abigail Housing, who care for refugees. 3 out of 10 of their residents choose to volunteer within the project. They are involved in things like cooking for the other residents and for refugees coming to their drop in. Some people volunteer at the foodbank run in the community.
Amanda, manager at Abigail Housing said “Giving people a voice really helps them. Implementing an idea they have gives them a way they can contribute and be heard. So often refugees are not allowed to contribute in society and can feel unseen and unimportant. When they volunteer, it also gives them the opportunity to help with their English, they get a lot out of it and it not only helps others but they get a lot back in return. Everyone wins!”
Maybe you could volunteer in your community, with homeless projects or charities reaching out to vulnerable and people in need nearby. You can check google or our partner page to see what is in your local area. Some give food out, others may run night shelters or homes that might need a hand. Many accept donations that you can contribute to. Don’t be afraid to ask what they need.
The key is to make it past the ‘thinking-about it’ stage and get to the action. Buy an extra can. Make that phone call. Grab a friend and help out somewhere together. You might even make a new friend when you start. Whatever you decide to do, you can do it!
We promise, when you do something for others it will release joy to you and them and isn’t that what this season is all about?
“And for that reason, I’m in.”
The TV show Dragon’s Den might spring to mind when hearing the word “investments”. The rich entrepreneurs get to listen to ideas, then choose if they want to invest their money in it and what return they want back. If something doesn’t fit their interests or desires, they declare themselves out.
Taking control of where your money is going and who it is benefiting is important. Do your research. If your investment will get you a good return is an important factor, but equally, checking if where you are putting your money aligns with your personal values and goals is just as important.
If you want to invest in something that impacts the lives of the homeless in the UK, you can take a look at the investment programme that Green Pastures has. For every £15,000 invested, one person is housed and supported in the UK.
You can also get up to 5% return on your investment depending on the terms you choose.
Lives like Tony’s are being transformed because of the generosity of our investors.
He got entangled in a horrific human slavery situation in Europe. When he found an opportunity to escape he took it. Tony started to painstakingly make his own way back to the UK, which took him several months. Totally exhausted, Tony found a Christian charity in his home town and they provided him with emergency accommodation and care. They wanted to be able to help him further so reached out to Green Pastures to guide them in setting up their own successful supported accommodation. Very quickly they got the keys to their own GP house and Tony became their first resident. He settled in, he connected with the people of the church and became part of that community. God has moved in powerful ways in Tony’s life and he is now experiencing the joy of new life in Jesus. He is being discipled by an older man in the church who’s become like family.
This is what is made possible when people invest in Green Pastures.
This is what some of our investors have said:
"We want to save money for the future with a good rate of interest and we are thrilled that there is a way to do this that invests in such a brilliant work for good." Catherine East
"Truly ethical investments are very hard to find and this is the best that I have come across." Richard Norridge
"It’s quite hard to find ethical investments and Green Pastures allows us to use our resources to expand His kingdom. It has also blessed us with spiritual and financial rewards as well as the opportunity to see God moving in other people’s lives." Clive Parsons
For details on Investing, click here.
Do you have a vision to become the centre of transformation in your community?
You can see lives being impacted, the poor being taken care of, homelessness being eradicated and Jesus being shared in the community with tangible demonstrations of his love and power at work.
We are on hand to guide you through the whole process and make it easy. With over 20 years of experience, you can be assured that even if you have no capital or previous experience, we will help you get set up for success and bring you into a network of like minded Christians all working for the same goals.
"Green Pastures have been great to work with - it really does feel like family! We love the support, encouragement and relationships we have through GP, that all makes a significant difference to our ability to support and house vulnerable people. Doing it alone would be so much harder!" Iain Fogg, One Church, Gloucester
To find out more about investing click here.
Someone once said, “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don't, they don't.”
Prayer changes things. We experience answers to prayer all the time!
Andy’s, life spiralled down so much that he was addicted to heroin and homeless. When he was introduced to our partners, Lighthouse Homes, he was given a safe home, and the help and support he needed. He was loved and cared for. They prayed for him, introduced him to Jesus and today he is at Bible School, completely transformed.
Many homeless people need you to pray on their behalf and it’s something we can all do.
For many people facing homelessness there can be an overwhelming sense of panic and hopelessness. Your prayers for them can change situations, bring about chance encounters, open doors and bring fresh hope and life into situations. Let’s pray bold prayers with faith.
Here’s some ideas to start you off:
1. Pray for those at risk of homelessness to be able to connect into a community that will support them and that we will welcome them into our churches and communities. Pray the Lord will help them to connect to places of hope.
2. Pray for all those who find Christmas painful and difficult, that might be affected by the memory of loss or trauma associated with Christmas time. Pray that they would be shown the love of Christ and to know his goodness.
3. Pray that teams working with residents will be able to recharge and rest over the Christmas period.
4. Pray for more people to care for the homeless and provide homes in their areas.
What you keep is all that you have but what you give, God multiplies. Craig Groeschel
You are a person of influence, whether you feel that or not. In the Christmas movie, It’s a wonderful life, they explore the powerful effect a single person has on the world around them, and the same applies to you. You can have enormous influence for good by sharing and using your voice to make the world a better place, giving others an opportunity to join something great and to encourage people to make a stand for something important. Have you ever tried something because someone else recommended it? We all have! Someone might do something only because you suggest it. This might be to watch a particular movie, or it might well be to help another person. It might be to get involved in ending homelessness. There are so many ways for people to play their part and together we make a huge difference.
When we hold on to things ourselves, it’s all we have, but as soon as we share it out, things begin to get multiplied. This applies to much more than just our money.
When we see opportunities to share good news, let’s share it. When we hear about ways we can make a difference to homeless people, let’s share it. When we have an opportunity to invest in something significant, share it out. When we see people starting to create space for those in need to belong in the community, let's encourage it. Sometimes it’s as simple as hitting the share button. Other times it’s having a conversation. Whatever we find to do, let’s be people who share great things as it will encourage great action and with great action comes great changes for good.
With this in mind, let’s be generous and keep being generous in all we do. May you have a most special Christmas season, filled with the joy and hope that comes from knowing our Saviour, Jesus Christ.