Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.1 Peter 1: 3-4 (NIV)
Unexpected is the word I would use to describe 2020! As I’m sure, most people would. Here at the Besom, it was a strange journey in many ways. And yet, as these verses remind us, as Christians we always have so much to thank God for. Our present circumstances cannot obscure the living hope we have in Jesus.
Therefore, after a year full of disappointment and hardship, I want to share some good news instead. Here are some of my highlights from last year.
Before Covid-19 hit, one of our time givers and I had a really precious time getting to know one our recipients. A young mum with two little ones. The first time we met her, her baby was sleeping in a box. Through donations to Bundles of Joy, we were able to get her a Moses basket and a cot, some toys and some other things she needed. We built her cot for her, and it was a privilege to get to know her. It was an absolute joy to be able to have money given to buy her a new mattress as well.
Although we were not able to facilitate many decorating or gardening projects, the ones that did take place were amazing. One family, in the middle of lockdown, gave a day of their time to clear one of our recipient’s gardens. They worked incredibly hard and made an incredible difference to another family’s life.
Another highlight for me was the amount of money that was given throughout this year. In particular, we were given a gift specifically for those who had been struggling due to Covid. We were able to buy wardrobes for a family where a parent lost their job due to Covid. We bought white goods, bunk beds, baby formula and several food hampers too. We were also able to help 15 families/individuals with money towards their gas and electricity bills and buy three washing machines, seven microwaves, two fridge freezers, a set of bunk beds, four mattresses and a table and chairs for those in need across our city.
Over the year, we were able to give 12 household/kitchen packs to those in need, ranging from families moving from temporary accommodation into their homes, those who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, to some escaping domestic violence and others coming out of prison.
My biggest highlight of the year, as it is most years, was Christmas Hamper season. It was our busiest yet, and our highest number of hampers ever given. It was tough, busy but fulfilling, beautiful and a joy to be part of. Our final tally was 264 hampers! One of the greatest parts for me has been reflecting on how many churches were involved in helping give hampers – another record. We had time givers, money givers and hamper makers from 19 different churches. And that’s what Besom is for – to help the church – collectively – help those in need in our city.
Although we were somewhat limited on what we could do throughout much of 2020, I’m still amazed that we were open and operating throughout the majority of lockdown.
Thanks be to God!
Becky Watson, The Besom in York Co-ordinator