Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, July 31, 2014 Under: Ministry
It all started when my friend Abby snapped her achilles tendon playing squash (let that be a lesson - exercise is bad for you!). She had an operation and was then discharged from hospital back to her house that she lived in alone that only had an upstairs bathroom. There was no way she could manage the stairs and so she came to stay with me as I also lived alone, but in a ground floor flat. Over the months that she stayed, we talked a lot about being single and living alone and the advantages and disadvantages that brings. We’ve both experienced periods of ill heath which have meant that living alone has been really difficult, and sometimes impossible.
We talked and prayed and thought that it would be wonderful if there was somewhere where people could go to be looked after when they’re not well, or have a couple of days’ break from caring for others, or have a change of scene when they can’t afford a holiday, or have some respite from difficult housemates. And so the idea of the Cwtch was born.
Cwtch (pronounced ‘cutch’) is the Welsh word for an affectionate hug. There's no literal English translation, but its nearest equivlent is ‘safe place’, so it seems a really appropriate name for what we want to offer. We decided to pool our resources and jointly buy a property that we could use to minister to others in this way.
The vision is that people can come and stay for a short period of time and have as much or as little involvement in daily life as they want. We will provide meals for them if they want and will also pray with them and come alongside them if they’d like that (or just leave them alone if they prefer!). It’s important that the Cwtch is downstairs so that it’s fully accessible for guests who are ill, elderly or disabled and that there is a downstairs toilet.
We had the original vision for the Cwtch 5 years ago, but it’s just now everything seems to be falling into place. God’s timing is, of course, perfect! I’ve recently returned to Agapé so our vision for the house has expanded and we want to be able to use the house for that ministry too. We want to be able to host student meals (I imagine Abby will be cooking, otherwise all they’ll get to eat is eggs!), have prayer and Bible study groups and team meetings.
Having recently sold my flat, we decided to rent Abby’s house out and buy a house in Heaton. We looked at 5 properties on Saturday and found one that would be perfect for our ministry house. We put an offer in at the asking price only to find out on Monday morning that someone else had offered asking price as well. We'd been praying a lot that God would make things clear to us, and in the afternoon I got a call to say that the vendor didn't want to get in a bidding war and had decided to accept our offer! We’re so grateful for God's provision and it's wonderful to see the ways he's been working even when for so long it seemed like the main answer to prayer was ‘wait’.
We very much see this as God’s house, not ours, to be used for his purposes. Please join us in praying that the sale will go through smoothly and that the house will be a huge blessing to many people over the years to come.
In : Ministry
Tags: ministry house hospitality cwtch