At Nicodemus, family is an issue close to our heart.
Nicodemus began with one couple’s vision to plug the gap in the care and support of young people transitioning into adulthood. Many young people who have been through care systems and programmes reach the age of 18 and find that they are on their own. Most struggle to cope. As this couple’s passion to equip and support these young people grew, it spread to their children – and Nicodemus, the charity, was born.
But, in God’s kingdom, family moves beyond the nuclear and, as the charity grew, others joined the ‘Nicodemus family’ – a Director of Operations, a Partnerships Manager, fundraisers, accounts and admin people, marketing staff, and youth workers. On their own, each of these people could do something, but together we can do so much more.
Today, Nicodemus is a growing international charity with dozens of partners and an ever-increasing staff base. But that concept of family and relationships is one that remains at the heart of who we are and what we do. We follow God’s calling to support and empower not only the young people we work with and for, but also each other in this wider ‘family’ that we are a part of. Our supporters too, are an essential part of the Nicodemus family – through their prayers, their giving and their belief in what we are doing.
This feeling of family, of being a part of something together, also reaches the young people we work with. Last December, Sammie described a Nicodemus Christmas lunch for our young people as ‘like a family get-together’. ‘That meant a lot,’ she says, ‘as my own family don’t really want to know me. With Nicodemus, I feel like I am loved.’ Meanwhile, in Guatemala, a young person from one of our partner projects explains ‘One of my biggest difficulties was that I never had a stable family.’ Now though, through being part of a youth hub supported by Nicodemus, this same young person describes finding ‘friends that I can trust and count on for support.’
So, on the International Day of Families, we celebrate and thank God for our Nicodemus family – for our staff, our supporters, our trustees and the young people we work with. And we pray for those who find family a difficult concept: that they will discover healed relationships, acceptance and a place to belong.
One thing’s for sure – however big the Nicodemus family gets, there’ll always be room for more.