FOR THE CITY: City Women
City Women started in January 2017 – it came out of a conversation between me and Pam, another member of Harbour Church. I had a desire to see the women of Harbour Church brought together and Pam had a vision to see the women of Portsmouth, particularly those in vulnerable situations, welcomed in to Harbour Church at a Pamper Morning. The two visions sat perfectly hand in hand – bringing together the women of Harbour Church to reach out with a shared goal to love and encourage women in the city who are struggling for whatever reason. And so the City Women team was born and the first Pamper Morning was planned.
I’d never been involved in outreach ministry before – it wasn’t something I thought was my ‘skillset.’ I knew little about women who might be in vulnerable situations – in addiction and recovery, on the street, in violent relationships or seeking refuge from other countries and I definitely didn’t know how I could help. But what I did know was that God was breaking my heart for them and I wanted to see dignity and hope restored where it had been lost and women reminded that they are worthy of being loved and spoilt.
The Human Rights lawyer, Bryan Stephenson, says that we don’t need to be trained to help people, we just need to be proximate. Meeting ladies from all sorts of different backgrounds and situations, and chatting and listening to them is where the training is – hearing their stories and their needs is a privilege and seeing them leave the pamper mornings spoilt, encouraged and with a bag full of gifts is a total joy. But the best thing of all is finding connections with them – being reminded that we are all, or all have been, vulnerable at some stage of our lives and so the team find common ground with ladies they’ve never met before as we laugh and chat over nail painting, cakes and footspas.
We’ve seen wonderful transformations in the ladies we meet, as well as within the City Women team as we get to know one another and do life together.
God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called and that is what I see Him doing in me and the rest of the City Women team.