Alison was invited to speak at a Josephine Butler Society meeting, held at The House of Lords, Westminster. Alison and Beckie traveled down to London earlier this week.
Alison shared with a group of people about the work the RSVP trust has done with women in the sex industry in Ipswich over the last 9 years. She spoke about how the work began, and how Alison spent a year prayer walking and thinking to get to know the area and the culture before starting.
She shared stories and talked about forming trusting relationships with the women over a long period of time, being there for the women, helping them to invest in their lives, taking them for coffee or to the cinema, organizing teams to help decorate their homes to empower them to help them to value themselves.
However as society changes the industry alongside it is changing too. This means women are now using the internet to work. Therefore the way the ministry connects with women is changing. Alison spoke about how we are looking to pioneer new ways of ministry to women online, and what that might look like.
It was a great opportunity to connect and network with other people doing similar work around the country. Alison’s words were able to help and inspire so many others giving them hope and faith in the work they are doing.
It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it!
You can watch a short video about the day below
Prayer and support for this ongoing work is so valuable. We really appreciate your support and partnership with us in this ministry.
After the success of the first group of women who have recently graduated the RSVP Freedom project tailoring course in Rwanda, We are pleased to announce, that thanks to RSVP Supporters, another group of 20 women have been able to start a new tailoring course.
We are looking for the following support:
– people who can sponsor a sewing machine at £90 per lady.
– people who can sponsor a woman on the training course at £5 monthly or £60 one off for a year.
– people who can donate any amount to help pay the teacher.
The RSVP Freedom Project, pioneered by Alison Fenning, has helped many women find their path out of poverty and prostitution, bringing dignity and hope to their families.
In May 2015 a group of 30 women graduated the first RSVP Freedom Project Tailoring course in Rwanda.
This month each of the women who graduated the Freedom Project Tailoring course in May, received a sewing machine so they can begin their own tailoring business.
This is a fantastic milestone in this project, and we really would like to thank all our supporters who have been able to help with donations and prayers.
Because of you, these women now have a bright future ahead of them!!
There are more women due to begin the next course, if this is something you feel you would like to support please see our website for ways to help.
‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful’
Some thoughts by Don Egan
The events of Holy Week are the real roots of Christianity. We follow a suffering Saviour. Much of Christendom has dumbed down the message of Jesus to some Disneyesque-positive-thinking-trite-slogan religion where the idea is, if you pray enough, God will make everything OK and we’ll all live happily ever after. That is not the message of Jesus at all.
Life involves suffering for every man woman and child born on earth.
Some suffer more than others. Some suffering is physical while others suffer emotionally.
For thirty years I was hurting badly. Emotionally traumatised by grief, I somehow got on with life but was only ever firing on two or three cylinders at most. If the Disneyesque Jesus was real, he’d have sent the Fairy Godmother and waved a magic wand and taken my pain away before now. But he didn’t.
When I read the account of Jesus in Gethsemane I am encouraged. I know I’m following a Jesus who understands entirely what it is to be bowed down with grief and sorrow.
This is the mystery of God. While some do get miracles of healing – and I’ve seen many – others continue to suffer badly. In these situations Jesus seems to enter into our suffering rather than taking it away. I don’t know why that is.
One of my frustrations over the years has been seeing many people healed and set free through a healing ministry God seems to have given me, while at the same time I couldn’t get my own wound healed.
If we go beyond the Gospel according Walt Disney, we can see the profound mystery of the wounded healer. There have been many down the ages and even today, a large number of good therapists are themselves wounded healers.
Jesus, of course, is the greatest example of the wounded healer, even quoting a proverb of the time – ‘You will surely say this proverb to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’’ Luke 4:23.
I’ve written about my own struggle in a new book Jaded Heart – to be published in a few weeks time. But as I think about Jesus, overwhelmed with sorrow shortly before his arrest, I am encouraged. There is a Saviour who still comes to me, who visits me in the dark times of my soul.
I know so many are facing horrible times just now. I know others, like myself, whose present life is not bad but the past still drags them down. I have no magic wand to take away your pain. But there is great value in meditating on Jesus in the Garden of darkness, and allowing his gentle spirit to connect with our pain. He is the Good Shepherd. He will lead us through to better days ahead.
At the end of May, I will be returning to Rwanda – a place that has known incredible suffering on a scale unimaginable. We will be taking food and bedding to the poor, feeding the hungry and speaking of the Jesus who enters into our world.
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RSVP Trust’s Chaplaincy project works alongside vulnerable women and people with addictions.
Our new partnership with Stowmarket Foodbank means we will be able to provide these people with food parcels to make life a little easier for them and their families occasionally.
Today we’ve been able to deliver a food parcel to a struggling young family in Suffolk.
Foodbank are also able to provide essential items for the men and women we work with who have been rescued from trafficked or exploited situations. We are very happy to be in partnership with a shared vision to be a blessing.