NEWS & PRAYER
Sandra, a former client of Jubilee, arrived with a smile and an air of confidence when Ruth Clark and I met with her recently. But 9 years ago there was less to smile about as she faced money difficulties alone. A friend told her about a debt and advice clinic run by Ruth and Andy Clark from Derby City Mission.
“I had so many bills, I didn’t know if I was paying Peter or Paul!”
Then, she felt nervous and ashamed and tried to manage her money without help; she didn’t want to admit she was struggling. Ruth, who today, remains a key volunteer and pillar of support to the project, was the first to greet Sandra. She sensed her nervousness and offered words of encouragement. Sandra’s feelings of shame were changed to feelings of relief as they began to work through to the root cause of her financial difficulty.
“We try and show clients that God cares too” Ruth Clark
Ruth’s advice and actions were invaluable. Working with many suppliers and with the local council for rent payments, Ruth helped Sandra set up payment cards to manage bills and worked out affordable amounts for Sandra to pay weekly. With the help of a food parcel received after each appointment, within 4 weeks Sandra felt that she had spare money in her pocket again.
“If I was to offer advice to anyone feeling like I did, I’d tell them to go and get help. Don’t go to bed worrying, it’s not worth it when there are people out there who can help”.
With fondness, Sandra remembers the trips to clinic, it became a social gathering of friends, all of whom received support and a way out of their own individual problems. At the end of our chat, Sandra was happy to share she was still worry free, that she was looking to see if she could get her water payments reduced and that she was in credit with her gas supplier - a miracle right in front of our eyes.
Interview by Felicity Beal