Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
This summer, my daughter and I had the privilege of attending the One Parent Family Holiday at Capernwray Hall in Lancashire. What an amazing place! You only have to look at the picture above to see how special it is. I cannot begin to describe the precious things of God that happened there and I am sure that it was a direct result of all the prayer that had obviously gone into the week. The sense of God’s presence was tangible as we walked into the building the first day. The best way I found to describe it was that we felt constantly “underpinned”. I can certainly say it was a defining time for both of us in our spiritual lives and it was so encouraging to share with other Christians who understood something of our lives.
While I was there, I met Jackie Donald who is an area support coordinator for the Growing Through charity. Over a period of seven years she has taken families, to Capernwray and Growing Through has contributed to the cost of the holidays for these families.
Growing Through began in 1996 and offers ongoing support to one parent families who have lost a loved one through death, separation, divorce or family breakdown. Their aim is to give these families opportunities to learn to accept their situation, and go on to find hope in a personal relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.
The charity runs thirteen week courses for children (‘Pot of Gold’) and teenagers (‘Rays of Light’). There are sets of resources for both courses to equip churches in their ministry to young people in their communities who are experiencing loss.
The children and young people learn how to name, understand and come to terms with the many emotions they are experiencing. The material links the Bible to life issues, through the story of Joseph and David. They learn that life has many ups and downs, but God is faithful to keep His promises to those who put their trust in Him.
There is also input available for adults including Divorce Care, Grief Share and a Biblical stress management course. They are also planning five regional “Helping Hurting People” conferences across the UK.
There are some issues like marital breakdown that are sometimes difficult to talk about in a church setting, but we need to rise to the challenge. There is so much power in using our own experience to benefit others, so take heart if you are parenting on your own. There are people out there to support you and there are opportunities for you to share in the privilege of supporting others.
You can find more details about this charity by going to www.growingthrough.org
And whatever your family situation, if you’ve never been to Capernwray, you’ve missed a treat! There’s something for everyone. So check them out at www.capernwray.org.uk. Hannah and I thoroughly recommend it!