Now is a time of change for CAP as its founder John Kirby moves on after 25 years and Paula Stringer takes over as CEO. John started CAP after his own experience of debt. This message from Paula talks about how she became involved.
“A few years ago, my husband Dan and I owned a deli, coffee shop and restaurant in Marple. I was working for the BBC at the time but when the recession hit, despite our best efforts, the business didn’t make it. Debts sprang up from every angle, we had to let our amazing staff go, and Dan was completely broken. Our only option was to go through bankruptcy.
Sadly, Dan ended up very, very poorly and unable to work for a whole year as he recovered. It was a really difficult time for all of us and I could have never anticipated the impact this would have on our marriage, our family, or our relationships.
There was a key moment during our recovery when we realised that, if this had been so incredibly difficult for us, even though we had my Christian family supporting us, a local church family praying and rallying round and an income coming in, then how on earth did anyone who didn’t have these things ever get through it? We realised the enormous impact debt has on people’s lives and knew that, if we could, we wanted to do something to help. We had no idea what though at that time. As usual, God did!
There were times where I thought Dan and I were going to get to breaking point, it was so hard, but God did get us through it. The experience gave me an understanding of the true trauma of debt. The shame, and how judged you feel as a person just going through those kinds of things and how hard it is – I’ve lived it.
So, I ended up joining Christians Against Poverty and, as I said earlier, what a privilege it is. John founded the most incredible organisation and God not only used John’s own experiences and past to drive his passion for the poor but also gifted him with an entrepreneurial spirit, sheer grit and determination. Without John’s personal commitment and sacrifice in the past 25 years this country would not have seen as many people’s lives changed and people following Jesus. It has been my honour and joy to work alongside, and get to know, John more deeply over the last year or so and I have committed to keeping the foundations of this organisation standing on the same ground they were built on – Christ.”
It is great that there is a local CAP branch in Lymington, based at Lymington Baptist Church.
To find out more about the work of CAP you can visit their website – www.capuk.org.