Another Wonderful Reflection on ‘Walking with Bolton’
I count it a privilege to have had a small part to play in the life of Urban Outreach both as a member of staff and as a volunteer.
Thinking about it, it was with some trepidation that I arrived at Urban Outreach to begin work as a Support Worker with S.T.A.Y (Short Term Accommodation for Young people) Our aim and vision with the project was to see homeless young people “live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (Isaiah 32:18). The job involved placing and supporting vulnerable young people in the homes of Christian families for up to three weeks. This was to be a massively important undertaking.
I had decided that I couldn’t go and work for UOB feeling afraid of the work. However, that night I had a dream in which God spoke to me very clearly about taking the role and I discovered my fears were totally unfounded. At the time it was a ‘step of faith’ as I took a large drop in salary and I was on my own, having been divorced. But, God is so faithful and a forever provider – sometimes in miraculous ways!
Many young people were placed with wonderful families and it was a great period in my life meeting up with those families and the young people who ‘Stayed’ with them! For the young people who didn’t return back to their own families, we worked alongside the Housing Department to find them permanent accommodation of their own. Many of our families helped them greatly in their transition and sometimes kept in touch with them and are still in contact with them, today!
Although S.T.A.Y is no longer part of the work of UOB, it still there on a ‘shelf’ in the background… a project that can be dusted off again if needed. I am sure many of those young people, now in their 40’s, look back with thankfulness for the help they received at such a crucial time in their lives.
When I worked at UOB it felt a little like the Israelites going through to the promised land as we moved offices that many times, always eventful but we had many laughs as well as sore backs. So, to conclude, what has always blessed me and now my husband, George as we continue to be involved with UOB is that it has never been about growing a massive Charity – but all about glorifying God in everything and having every step upheld in prayer, keeping eyes focused on Him!
I thank God for the vision of UOB and for the opportunity to be a part of its continuing journey.