Risca Debt Centre. CAP one year on

by Colin Dexter

Risca Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre One Year On

Proverbs 31:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

As I write this it was exactly one year ago that we met with our first client. Since then we have had a total of 24 referrals. So far four have become debt free and another three are almost there and should be debt free within the next year or two.

It’s not all been success, we have had some failures as well. Two clients didn’t engage with CAP at all for various reasons; one client we couldn’t help as she became self-employed in between ringing CAP and our first visit, unfortunately CAP is not set up to assist those who are self-employed. One client has moved to another area, transferring to another debt centre so she is still getting help from CAP. The rest of our clients are either paying in to their CAP plan or are currently in the visit stages.

Thanks to God’s provision and your generosity not only were we able bless our clients with a hamper at Christmas but we have also provided a replacement washing machine for one client, a cooker for another, baby clothes and nappies for another, clothing for another and provided one month’s rent to keep a roof over another family’s head.

Matthew 25:34-40 New International Version (NIV)

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Personally, it has been an incredible journey. Starting a few years ago with a sense that God was telling me to step out of my comfort zone. Believe me when I tell you I am now way out of that comfort zone. Little did I realise at the time that I would not only be speaking at other Churches but also engaging with support agencies and rooms full of professionals, let alone meeting with total strangers who are struggling with debt and all that comes with it. On occasion, I have been part marriage counsellor, part bereavement counsellor as well as a debt counsellor.

The greatest pleasure of doing this work is to see the rapid change that comes about when people have that burden lifted and they see their lives begin to get back on track. Hope creeps in again and that is an amazing thing to see.

Debt isn’t just about the lack of money someone has. It’s about what it does to that person and their family, often when they are already feeling very low from unemployment, shame, relationship breakdown or mental illness.

After calling the Freephone number 0800 328 0006, all clients are seen in their own home. Any paperwork such as unpaid bills are collected and sent to CAP’s head office where staff negotiate with every creditor, construct a budget and examine the best way out of debt. Best of all it’s free. To find out more about CAP visit www.capuk.org or you can contact me via email at johnpinkstone@capuk.org or by phone on 07549 900288

Finally, I would just like to say a big thank you from myself and on behalf of all the clients that we have helped, those that we are currently helping and those we are yet to help, so THANK YOU to you all for your continued support and prayers.

God bless

John Pinkstone

Centre Manager

Risca CAP Debt Centre

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