The best job I’ve ever had

In this week’s blog entry, former Besom in York core team member Becky Griffin reflects on her three years serving God with the charity. Becky, who was on the team between 2011 and 2014, describes how she came to be involved with the Besom and the profound affect it had on her.

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Now a nursery nurse at a primary school in Leicester, Becky details some of the highlights, struggles and encouragements she found. Having committed to giving her time to the Besom for a year, she never regretted it.

Becky writes: “That year transformed me as a person. I relied completely on God to get me through and saw the most amazing answers to prayer, time and time again.

It was still a difficult time for me, but to be able to spend my days surrounded by amazing Christians, studying the bible together, worshipping together every week and praying every day several times, it was incredible! You could really feel God’s presence there, working through us and in us.

“There were days that were tough both in the work and personally, but still God was there every moment and used each experience to show us how we should trust in Him.

“One day I was having a particularly bad morning and I almost rang to cancel the assessment I was going to because I didn’t think I would do it justice. But I went and it was the most wonderful experience. I stayed with the lady for an hour – chatting, having a drink, talking about the things she needed – offering a birthday cake from our partner ‘Free cakes for kids’ as her son would be soon turning one.

“By the end of the session she was in tears – she just didn’t know there would be people that would care so much about her. I explained we were just trying to show her God’s amazing love. I asked her if she wanted a Bible and us to pray for her and she said yes to both! What a turn-around to the day!”

Elsewhere in her article, Becky says: “There are so many people and stories that I will remember forever from my time at the Besom. The small girl we were able to buy new toys for who couldn’t believe that we, who didn’t know her, would give her such special gifts when her dad wouldn’t even let her have her own toys since they moved away.

“The lady who only needed a new fridge and washing machine for her home to be complete – we were able to provide her with both and not only that but they were an exact match to the other appliances she already had.”

In concluding Becky adds: “Keep praying, keep trusting. I hope one day I will be able to continue my work for the Besom somewhere in the UK, but until then I will keep praying and keep supporting them in all they do; being forever grateful for the love and kindness those involved showed to me over the three years and for all I learned from those I visited in York about what God’s love can do to transform a life.”

Becky’s article in full

I love the job I have now working as a nursery nurse in a local primary school, and I do believe it’s where I’m currently meant to be, but I know the best job I’ve ever had, and possibly will ever have, was at the Besom in York.

It was back in 2011 I initially approached Rob and the team about coming in one day a week to help sort out the items, and make up packs as directed by the lists on file. I had been working full time as an Early Years Team leader, but one day singing ‘God of Justice’ at St Michael Le Belfry I was struck by how much I loved this song, singing about how we should be acting, to feed the hungry and stand beside the broken, but that I never did.

I knew then that I wanted to do something I just wasn’t sure what! My friend Sam had been working at the Besom for a few years and at another friend’s wedding I was on a table with Rob Ainsworth (Besom in York co-ordinator) and heard more about their work. From the Bible, Micah 6 verse 8 had always been a favourite – telling me all I was required to do by God was act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him.

The next week the Besom had this verse posted on their facebook page. It all seemed to be coming together. I prayed a lot and arranged to come in for a meeting. Shortly after this my personal circumstances took a huge turn for the worse. I found myself in a position where I no longer thought I’d be able to financially commit to giving up a day of work and was heartbroken that something I believed was God’s will was not going to happen.

I prayed to God desperately that if he wanted me to work for the Besom that he would have to provide, and quickly. The next day my employer offered to fund the training I was hoping to complete and said they would give me my promotion immediately rather than waiting till I’d finished the qualification. This meant I’d be earning the same amount doing four days that I’d originally received doing five and my desire to work for the Besom could go ahead! Praise the Lord!

I was only there for a few months before the problems in my personal life took over and I had to return home to Leicester to take stock and get myself back on track. I wasn’t sure what the future held but I knew that Besom was firmly placed on my heart. When I felt ready to return to the world I looked for jobs that would enable me to give at least two days to Besom. I found one, got the position and moved back to York.

I was delighted to be back at Besom. Unfortunately the job turned out to be less than perfect and I handed in my notice after only a month. I then had a few months where I kept praying about what I should do and in this time was able to give three-four days to Besom rather than the original one.

I knew in my heart what I thought was right and later found out the team had been praying about me becoming a core member too. I decided to just go for it. I would take the gap year I’d not had before and commit to working full time at the Besom in York for a year. Thankfully my brother and family were able to take me in and offer me accommodation at a very generous rate involving lots of babysitting rather than money! God had made everything work out for the best.

That year transformed me as a person. I relied completely on God to get me through and saw the most amazing answers to prayer, time and time again. It was still a difficult time for me, but to be able to spend my days surrounded by amazing Christians, studying the bible together, worshipping together every week and praying every day several times, it was incredible! You could really feel God’s presence there, working through us and in us.

There were days that were tough both in the work and personally, but still God was there every moment and used each experience to show us how we should trust in Him. One day I was having a particularly bad morning and I almost rang to cancel the assessment I was going to because I didn’t think I would do it justice. But I went and it was the most wonderful experience. I stayed with the lady for an hour – chatting, having a drink, talking about the things she needed – offering a birthday cake from our partner ‘Free cakes for kids’ as her son would be soon turning one.

By the end of the session she was in tears – she just didn’t know there would be people that would care so much about her. I explained we were just trying to show her God’s amazing love. I asked her if she wanted a Bible and us to pray for her and she said yes to both! What a turn-around to the day!

The perfect matches turned up weekly and I learned not to rely so much on what I thought would happen, but on God’s perfect provision. One time someone rang up offering a geometric print multi-coloured sofa – I was sceptical as usually every person we met wanted black leather and I tried to explain in my kindest way that no longer having the warehouse we could only pick up items if we had a home to take it to straight away and there may be a wait as we relied on volunteers so would understand if she wanted to give it elsewhere.

Needless to say the very next day I went out on assessment and as soon as I walked into his house and saw the geometric print wallpaper in the hall, that the man had designed himself, I knew this was the place for it to go – he was delighted at the prospect.

After being there a year I considered returning back to Leicester, but I once again turned the decision over to God. I would need something part time to keep paying my way, but told God I wouldn’t apply for anything in York. If He wanted me to stay at the Besom I would need to be offered something that would suit before the end of June.

A couple of weeks later I got a text from a lady I’d approached a long time ago about a position in their school based nursery I’d always liked and done some supply work for – they had a 20-hour job and they wondered if I’d like to do it.

I replied asking the date by which I’d need to apply. She wrote back telling me they were asking me first on an extension of my supply contract for the year and that until I answered they wouldn’t advertise the job. And so my time at Besom was able to continue on. It was harder doing the shorter hours and still trying to get things sorted in a way I was content with, but I wouldn’t have done anything else for any gain. It was clear this was still where God wanted me to be and I was happy therefore to serve.

There are so many people and stories that I will remember forever from my time at the Besom. The small girl we were able to buy new toys for who couldn’t believe that we, who didn’t know her, would give her such special gifts when her dad wouldn’t even let her have her own toys since they moved away. The lady who only needed a new fridge and washing machine for her home to be complete – we were able to provide her with both and not only that but they were an exact match to the other appliances she already had.

For her, having colour coordination and matching items was really important and her ex-partner had burnt down their old apartment so she’d tried so hard to make the new one perfect for her children. Once again God answered with perfect provision.

The first man I ever met, an elderly man who had been a traveller all his life now living in a flat with the most amazing view of the river and Clifford’s Tower, but absolutely nothing inside – just a mattress on the floor of his bedroom – one plate and one set of cutlery. Nothing else – not even enough light bulbs to power each room.

As this first visit was with Rob, we were able to carry a few essentials round to the flat – some bedding, mugs, pans, towels etc. And over the next few months we were able to fill the flat with a sofa (an interesting trip in the lift just squeezing it in), table and chairs, a bed, bedroom furniture, a microwave, light shades and some paint for him to decorate. He was so grateful for everything and kept trying to offer us money each time we came round and each time enabling us to tell him that he didn’t need to give money as the person who had donated it wanted him to have it as a symbol of God’s love.

Not everyone wanted to hear a message about Jesus or have specific prayer, either there at their house or back in the office. But we prayed for every person before we went to assess them and before items were delivered to their house and kept a prayer wall of every request that was made.

And I’ve seen firsthand the difference it made both to the recipients and the social workers, who always accompany us on our first visit to each house. One time a man wanted very little – he knew he wanted a new mattress but he didn’t want an old one – if he was going to be sleeping on it every night then he was willing to keep saving the little he earned to buy this one item. But his social worker said why not put down on the list that he wanted a new or nearly new mattress and see what happened. We’d been praying and she’d seen special requests answered before. The next day we had a phone call from someone who had purchased a £3000 speciality mattress only to find it was the wrong type, but it couldn’t be returned, so she wanted to donate it to us. It was quite a job getting it up three flights of stairs into the man’s flat, but the look on his face was worth it!

After another year I prayed again, that if it was now time for me to move on the perfect job would come up, somewhere in walking distance of my parent’s house in Leicester before the end of July. In June two Christian friends both approached me with an advert for a nursery nurse, my ideal position in a school, just ten minutes walk from my home. I applied straight away was interviewed early July and got the job.

I believe there is a time for everything and God can be relied upon to provide for whatever he is leading you towards. Keep praying, keep trusting. I hope one day I will be able to continue my work for the Besom somewhere in the UK, but until then I will keep praying and keep supporting them in all they do; being forever grateful for the love and kindness those involved showed to me over the three years and for all I learned from those I visited in York about what God’s love can do to transform a life.

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One thought on “The best job I’ve ever had

  1. Pingback: ‘I have realised again just how much the Besom taught me’ – The Besom in York

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