This is what The Beacon in Mansfield is all about – making a difference to those who have been crushed in spirit.
As the men (mostly men) and women walk through the doors of The Beacon, many of them carry the hurts and pain from the past, many are homeless, spending their nights on garage floors, in sheds, on friend’s sofas, under hedges, and if they are fortunate, in tents in disused buildings – this is just 4 miles down the road!
None of them choose to live like this. Yes, some have made bad decisions in life, some thrown out of the family home for various reasons, soldiers returning from war zones unable to find appropriate help. Others gain comfort from drugs or alcohol, and there are those with mental health problems, debt problems, and some come to us out of sheer loneliness.
While people are in the Beacon they can have two cooked meals a week, and a snack type meal on the other. For those without a roof over their heads they may have a shower and a fresh set of clothes. We have a nurse who comes in once a week to help with any medical problems and a member of staff from Framework who helps with accommodation and other needs
BUT out of what may seem impossible situations, lives are slowly being transformed. In John Robinson’s book, ‘Nobody’s Child’ he describes himself as ‘the bottom of life’s heap’ and that is how most of the men and women see themselves. When people come through our doors, they know we are a Christian centre and that everything we do is surrounded by prayer. Some of them will ask us to pray with them about their problems and it is wonderful when they begin to see answers to prayer.... with God all things are possible!
We are all God’s children but for some, life’s journey hits rock bottom and there seems to be a mountain of impossible situations to climb. However, with prayer undergirding everything, and with the support of other agencies and working together with compassionate and caring people, we begin to see real positive results. We have seen a young man free from methadone after 8 years, now in work, another setting up his own business, another getting involved with The Prince’s Trust initiative, another now working as a voluntary member of staff, and for each one, bringing them a step nearer to being the person God wants them to be.
It is such a privilege to work with the men and women who come to us, and a real blessing to work with other voluntary staff of all ages from 6 different churches. If anyone feels led to get involved in the work of the Beacon, please feel free to come along on one of the mornings and see for yourself what goes on and get a taste of what it is like.
Micah 6v8 ‘And what does the Lord require of us? To act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God’
Our friendly team of volunteers work on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s between 10am and 2pm. They help with preparing and serving food and sort and distribute food and clothes.
Many of our volunteers also help with mentoring or befriending.No previous experience is needed, just a heart and passion for this type of work, all training is provided.
If you would like any more information about volunteering, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07943 630952
A Ministry of St John's with St Mary's church, Mansfield. Charity No 1143132
Leta, who is pictured on the left shares with us her experience of volunteering at The Beacon Project. Leta is a dedicated Christian and has been volunteering at the project for several years.
These words from Isaiah were quoted by Jesus in Luke 4
‘The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity ‘.....(Amplified version)