opening doors of hope for Jenny and Daisy
Like Mary in the Christmas story, Jenny went through an emotional roller coaster and endured much hardship as a pregnant teenager. Jenny’s life was turned upside down when her Mum suddenly died of cancer while she was taking her GCSEs. Depressed and vulnerable, she found herself in a violent and abusive relationship and discovered she was pregnant.
Jenny was just 18 when Daisy was born. When her Health Visitor saw she needed urgent additional support, she referred Jenny and Daisy to a local Spurgeons Children’s Centre. Seeing Jenny’s sheer determination to study while wanting to be a good Mum for Daisy, her Spurgeons Family Support Worker helped her apply to study for a Diploma in Health and Social Care. She also found the funding for Daisy to attend nursery while Jenny continued with her studies.
But Jenny still lived in great fear of her abusive partner. To begin with she denied the abuse was going on. But with the right support she was able to face her fears and allow the Spurgeons team to intervene. Soon the locks were changed on her house and boundaries were set in place for Daisy’s Dad.
Over the course of three years, so many doors were opened for Jenny and Daisy. It’s been really hard work with setbacks at every stage of their journey, but with consistent support from her Spurgeons Family Support Worker, Jenny has completed her studies and is now in full-time work. Daisy is doing great too and growing into a happy, confident and independent child. What’s more, Jenny’s ambition one day is to be a Spurgeons Family Support Worker.
The birth of Jesus has opened a door for us all!
The Christmas story reminds us how much God loves and cares for each one of us by sending his only son, Jesus. The shock announcement of the birth of Jesus by the angels to the shepherds was a sign that God had opened a door for all people to hear this good news of great joy.
Instead of settling back for a quiet night on the hillside with their sheep, we read in Luke’s gospel how the shepherds ‘hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger’. Despite being looked down on by many, the shepherds took time to ‘open doors’ by spreading the word about Jesus before they returned to their hillsides, ‘glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen’. Let’s be inspired by their example as we look for opportunities to open doors for children and young people this Christmas.
In 2017 we will be celebrating 150 years of supporting some of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families in our country. Our Christmas appeal provides a lifeline to help us deliver more than 88 projects supporting young people, their families and communities. Together we seek to find long-lasting solutions to the challenges they face, including poverty, abuse problems, offending and other social issues. At any one time we are reaching out to over 37,000 children and young people.
Please stand with us to open doors for children and young people by praying creatively during Advent and giving generously at Christmas.