We are Christians Against Poverty – our faith is very much at our core. Every member of CAP’s team, from our Founder to our frontline volunteers, would tell your that following Jesus and trusting in God has made a big difference in our lives. Some of us weren’t brought up in the Christian faith and have found it for ourselves; others were raised as Christians. Either way, we all have joy, hope, peace, love and compassion in our hearts that we believe are the fruit of knowing and following Jesus.
If you took a look at our charitable objectives, you’d see that one of them is the advancement of the Christian faith, which we understand can cause some people to ask deeper questions. We thought we’d take this chance to explain why our faith is so important to us.
Firstly, we’re really upfront with people and do everything we can to ensure they know from the start that being Christian is absolutely not a requirement to receive our services. We will help anyone and have never refused help to anyone because they aren’t interested in our faith.
When we visit a client to help them with their debts, or when they come to one of our other services, it’s likely that we will offer to pray with them. We make sure that people feel they can say no, but our annual client survey shows that most people really appreciate it. If people show an interest in exploring a bit more of the Christian faith, we might invite them to church or a social event where they can experience the community of faith that is the Church to see if they feel it is right for them.*
Many of the people we help at CAP are classed as ‘vulnerable’ – they are already facing significant challenges in life before the weight of debt landed on them. We are so very aware of the need to handle these precious people with extra care. We are careful never to apply pressure or be unclear about the fact Christianity is not a necessity to receive our service. In fact, only around 4% of the people we help each year choose to become Christians. However, the vast majority still say their lives are transformed.
As a movement, we immerse ourselves in the lives of some of the most broken in our nation, pouring love, care and attention into often very dysfunctional families. But that’s OK; it’s what we believe Jesus asks us to do.
We love people, and we know that forcing our beliefs on anyone isn’t going to do anyone any good. So we offer and if people are interested, then great. If not, the life changing service carries on as if it was never mentioned.
*Please note: due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are currently operating a bit differently to stay in line with Government guidelines. We are still offering our full Debt Help service, but although some centres are starting to see clients face to face again, others continue to provide appointments by phone.