Monday, 6 August 2007

House of the Open Door

I have just been looking through this morning’s mail.
Among it was a letter from the House of the Open Door, a genuinely open and welcoming Christian community at Childswickham, near Broadway.

It is a place that has always quietly attracted me, though I have rarely visited in recent years.
There is never anything on the envelope to say where it has come from, but, as a result of a mistake made when jotting down my name and address long ago, I always know its source as soon as I look at it. The details incorrectly include the word ‘rower’, and how apt that seemed when I read the news it contained.

As already described, I have been conscious of the misfortune of others as a result of the rain on 20th July as contrasted with my own successful avoidance of any real inconvenience, but I now realize how general and how thinly spread my awareness was. I confess I had not given HOD a single thought until opening that envelope, and the shock brought me into reality once more.

House of the Open Door Community, Childswickham House, Childswickham, Broadway, Worcs WR12 7HH

As on 31st July:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings in the name of the Lord!

Along with many homes in our part of the country, HOD was badly flooded on Friday 20th July.
A torrent, waist-high, swept through all our buildings and the farm. Thank God no-one was hurt and even the animals survived!

In this last week we have been so aware of God’s care and provision in many ways. Villagers opened their homes for the first couple of nights to accommodate the 25 young people staying with us in the run-up to Focus. Meals were cooked for us until we were given the loan of a cooking trailer.
The mountain of washing has been taken care of by some lovely ladies from the village and from our parish in Broadway. Trish and Rob’s tiny bungalow made a warm, dry base until we managed to clean up a little. And we have already received financial help from generous friends.

Ten days on, we have cleaned up most areas but are still waiting to get our electricity checked out, and we have no hot running water, and even worse, no internet, email or phone line! Although we quickly got moving with our insurance company, the damage is such that we will not be able to run the retreat centre until January/February at the very earliest. This of course means we have lost our main source of income, and Bernie has calculated that we have enough reserves in the charity, plus one immediate large donation, to see us through until the end of October. Another issue is that due to our open life-style and unlocked doors we were not able to take out contents insurance. Although we managed to lift some furniture and rugs upstairs before the water came in, we lost a lot of furniture, and community members with downstairs rooms lost many personal possessions.

The need now is for money to replace lost furniture and electrical items as well as for money to live on day to day. Your prayers too are appreciated for us at this time, that we would hear God’s direction in the midst of the disturbance.

In preparation for the Focus Conference (which should have started on Monday 23rd), Suzanna, one of our CRC, had made a set of banners which turned out to be quite prophetic in their watery theme.
He is the God who pulls us out of the deep water and rescues us even though the oceans roar.
We do praise Him for He is sovereign and He is in control.

With love and thanks,

Fiona Hendy

An update on the situation can be found on their website, which is worth visiting for the inspirational effect of seeing the laughter and smiles on the faces of those whose lives have been so disrupted.

Take a look, pray for them, and help if you can.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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