Ruth, Skipton Baptist Church
Ruth Howard-Birt, the Centre Manager for Christians Against Poverty in Skipton Baptist Church, describes in her own words her experiences of being an Advocate with Acts 435, what it means to her role and most importantly to the lives of those she comes into contact with on a daily basis.
"I do love the work of Acts 435. I find the charity to be so open-hearted and big-hearted. It has been wonderful as a resource for myself and my church as we serve the poor in North Yorkshire.
I have been working for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) as the Centre Manager at Skipton Baptist for two years now. I heard about the work of Acts 435 quite early on in my role with CAP. I think one of the first ever requests I put in was for a very isolated individual who cared deeply for her elderly dog. This dog needed injections which she could not afford. It was wonderful on every level to say to her I think I know a charity who may be able to help you. We requested £40 for dog injections and the need was met very quickly!
She was overwhelmed by the kindness shown! I think this is the beauty of what Acts 435 does; the specific, personal need is met, nothing is too small or insignificant. I am sure this is how God the Father feels about us!
I am constantly standing up at the front of Church talking about people in our area going debt free through our Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Centre and talking about the amazing resource of Acts 435. People are starting to get it! We are seeing all of our requests met for people in need; this is from furniture requests, to petrol money, food shops, dentist bills, to Christmas presents and new rugby kits for children! The be-frienders who come on visits with me to local families in debt, see the effect of these gifts on a grass roots level. In turn they like to make donations through the Acts 435 website!
It has been a good resource for people in church who are in need beyond just CAP clients too. I have been able to put requests in for a single mum recently who was in our church and needed to set up a flat on her own for herself and her children with very few resources. We have seen these requests met, and it is humbling to think that there are people across the UK who are moved by the plight of others and motivated to give directly to them!
I would say to others who are considering becoming Advocates that it is such an amazing resource! I cannot count the number of times when I have put in an unusual request and wondered if it would be met, but these requests have so far been met 100% of the time. Our God is Bigger than we think and He is on the look out for the poor, isolated and lonely in our society. There is no catch here! This is truly an example of Grace; Big-hearted Grace!
The paperwork and form filling is really minimal and the website is easy to use. I would say 'Go for it!', I have seen many blessed in North Yorkshire through the work of Acts 435."