It’s coming up to the time of year when I go and serve on a Discovery Break, where CAP takes clients on a short break to spend quality time with their family and be blessed. My family and I have served on these breaks for several years and they’ve always been special. I say ‘special’ because we’ve experienced the joy of seeing people unwind in front of our eyes.
We see some clients arriving with anxiety, stress and fear. They might have had a stressful journey, or found it difficult to pack for a family break (I know I can find that stressful!) After all, most of our clients haven’t had a family holiday in years while they’ve been facing poverty and debt.
Over the course of the few days, we run fun sessions for children so their parents can have some breathing time, and organise activities for the whole family too - from treasure hunts to karaoke, and even a barn dance! The break isn’t just a family holiday, it’s a break away from the challenges of everyday life.
But as well as the fun moments, there are those other times where it may not seem obvious that I’m serving others. I call it God in action. The gifts of time I give to people seem to make the biggest impact.
On one Discovery Break, I had a late night chat over hot chocolate with an older couple who’d lost their sense of hope. We laughed and talked about the good things we remembered from the past, but we also thought about the good things that were happening in their lives at that very moment.
I also had a conversation with a lady in the ‘pamper zone’ as I gave her a facial. She said she was failing as a mum, and didn’t know how to connect with her teenage daughter. I encouraged her that she was doing just fine, and that other mums go through the same situation too.
I experience the power of giving the gift of time to clients - listening, encouraging and speaking God’s love to people. There’s a great exchange because we receive fulfilment that we’ve helped someone who may be struggling and might need a listening ear. I think it’s something we lack in our society, giving up our time for each other. This is why I want to serve others all year round, especially with the gift of time.
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Ellie Gage is CAP's Director of People and Culture. Her passion for CAP is that it takes people from a point of desperation and transforms them into people with hope for the future. Ellie leads the people and culture strategy for CAP ensuring that we are able to really make an impact and help others because we have an excellent workforce that are themselves well equipped and cared for.