Cara has struggled with her mental health since her husband of 34 years left her and her grown up children stopped coming to visit. She tried to make sense of the situation and deal with it in her own strength, but her mental health started to deteriorate.
Karen (Lead Evangelist, North Belfast Centre of Mission) met Cara a few years ago and they stayed in touch. Cara’s mum was in her nineties and frail, so Cara acted as a carer for her mum, and Karen would visit them in their home on the Shankill Road.
Despite Karen’s reassurance that none of us are worthy of God’s love but that He loves us anyway, Cara couldn’t understand how He could love her. But a couple of years ago Cara gave her life to Christ and joined a local church. It was then that Karen started to see a real change in her.
But, last Christmas, Cara’s mum died after moving into a local care home. Cara was distraught at the loss of her mum.
She continued to visit Belfast Centre of Mission’s Connect Base infrequently, until one day she came in to tell Karen that she had tried to end her life and had ended up in hospital. The loss of her mum, husband, and children was all too much and in that lonely moment, life didn’t seem worth living.
After talking with Cara about how the centre of mission could help, Cara committed to coming into North Belfast Centre of Mission's Connect Base at least three times a week to help sort donations of clothing, nappies, and other essentials for Baby Basics (a project which supports mothers and young families).
With her superb organisation skills, Cara has been a fantastic help to the centre of mission and they love having her around. More importantly, as she shared with Karen; “it keeps me busy and means I don’t stay in bed getting low.”
Help us to continue and expand our work through more centres of mission like our North Belfast Centre of Mission by donating online now.
Watch the COVID-19 Diaries to hear more about how our frontline staff, like Karen, have adapted their activities and support for their communities during the pandemic.
Read more stories of transformation in other areas of our work here.