Following God’s heart for the young

By Aimé Gotte - 1 September 2022

My (com)passion for vulnerable children started in 2004 when I was just a teenager. My church back home (in France) took our youth group to Romania to spend the Summer in a Romani Children’s home in Transylvania. It is then that my heart started beating fast for children in need. I was moved by the injustice that these orphans were facing whilst also overwhelmed by their kindness, love, and huge potential. It is then, not knowing where it would lead me, that I told God about my desire to serve the young across the planet. A few decades later this prayer and commitment took me on an incredible journey, traveling throughout the world, living in different nations & continents, working for two Premier League Football Clubs (Southampton FC and Manchester United), and working for several humanitarian and youth work agencies including the Square Café in Hailsham!

During lockdown and whilst still at Manchester United – I felt God spoke to me clearly and said: “Aime you were not born for the Glory of Manchester United”. Although, I am a huge believer in the fact that God is calling us/his church to be lights in our workplace and within our respective industries – in this case, having worked over 8 seasons (years) in football – I felt it was time for me to move on and pursue a job related to serving vulnerable children. As God was working in my heart regarding what the future may look like for us as a family – I received a call from Martyn Dunsford out of the blue, offering me a job at CRY – Care and Relief for The Young – a charity that I knew well and dearly loved. God works in mysterious ways. It’s important to mention that my professional (and volunteering) pathway was not as easy as it may sound or looks. It took a lot of work, sweat, tears, and years of doing many ‘unglamorous’ tasks behind the scenes – trying to humbly serve.

My first ever involvement with CRY, before any actual job offer – was to volunteer for them by writing reports, translating documents, organising fundraisers – and donating financially to their work. I believe that the following verse applied in my life: Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much [Luke 16:10]. I am far from being the final article and I am learning every day, but God has now given me new responsibilities that will influence many children across the planet. I don’t take this God-given mission lightly and I pray to God for wisdom, increased compassion, and strategies to enhance the work of CRY. As a charity, our ambition is to grow. However, for us, growth means one thing, and one thing only: being able to serve more vulnerable children across the world – period.

There is so much content in the Bible that could be potentially debated – however, there are certain things that cannot be challenged by any theologians, scholars, or atheists – a few of these things are: Jesus had a heart for the poor, Jesus welcomed & cared for the young and Jesus’s plan was for his love, grace, and gospel to spread across all nations of the world. This is exactly what CRY is trying to do – we are an international children’s charity that operates through Jesus’s love, care, and compassion for children globally. Consequently, our vision is simple: Let’s do what Jesus himself did. Our strategies may differ over the years but our CRY and heartbeat for children in need – never changes – as we believe that God’s heart for marginalised children, since the beginning of time, hasn’t changed either. Consequently, we operate in full confidence that we are doing God’s work here on earth. This confidence generates energy, enthusiasm, and the determination needed to advocate on behalf of those who cannot speak.

My good friend, Rachel Mewett, recently wrote a spoken word about the work of CRY around the world. Her words captured our vision, intentions, and compassion so accurately – here are a few lines:

“From conflict zones to children’s homes, we (CRY) work to ensure, that children survive, the poor aren’t forgotten, And the marginalised thrive. To us, injustice is not just a concept. It’s about children and families, with pain in their past, and no hope that will last. We CRY over this injustice. Our tears motivate, us to advocate, and fight on their behalf.

But we also CRY tears of joy, for every single girl and boy, that we see fulfilled, their God-given potential. Gain a sense of purpose. Receive an education. Achieve a dream vocation. When we see their lives turn around, and their stories shift upside down. We know we can’t erase injustice, From the face of the earth. But we will fight for a better future, and let children know their worth.”

Rachel Mewett

You can see the full spoken word video here:

Over the years, it has been a delight for us to partner with the work of ChristChurch Hailsham and Life Bridging Works in the Horn of Africa. We are moved by your church’s compassion, humility, and willingness to serve your local community as well as our brothers and sisters in East Africa and beyond.

As a charity, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary. This landmark is an opportunity for us to look behind and celebrate all that God has done through the work of CRY – but it is also an opportunity to look forward and dream about the future. We want to go further in serving young people across the world and as we look ahead, we see and believe that ChristChurch Hailsham, Life Bridging Works, and CRY will continue to work hand in hand in bringing God’s kingdom, justice, peace, and care to the most vulnerable people on earth – the young.