I'd never met Vanessa, until she bounded up to our table, beaming and bursting with joy about how much Intentional Health had changed her life. Then about 10 minutes later her husband Matt arrived and what he shared moved me to tears... Vanessa recently went on a 10-session Intentional Health programme run by Helen, another of our amazing trained coaches.
I met Vanessa in August at this years Creationfest, where she came over to tell me just how much Intentional Health has changed her life.
She went on the programme to help her lose weight, and while that part was really helpful (and impressively she has lost around three stone already), she told me that she had not expected the second part of the programme to impact, challenge and help her in quite the way it had! As she was telling me all of this, I asked her to share a quick 30-second testimony, which you can watch below:
A short while after, her husband, Matt, came along and Vanessa said: "Tell them, Matt, tell them what it was like when I came home after each Monday's session!"
Matt, paused for a moment, before he looked carefully at me, and again at Vanessa and simply said... "changed".
He went on to tell me, whilst looking still lovingly at her, "Let me tell you something about my wife... My wife is the most loving person you will ever meet."
He continued... "She loves me, she loves our kids, she loves God, she loves her church, her work, her family... she loves everyone. But! She has always found it really hard to receive love".
"Since she's been at Intentional Health, I am able to love her, as much as she deserves to be loved and she is learning to receive my love in that way, possibly for the first time - It is wonderful"
I was so moved by what he said, I asked Matt to give a brief testimony too, and as he looked at Vanessa and told her just how precious it was for him that she was able to receive his love, tears rolled down his face...
I was crying, the camera was shaking... it was utterly beautiful!
Sadly for the rest of us, I had pressed the wrong button and only managed to take the photo at the top of this page, rather than record a video, but it was such a moving and amazing opportunity for Matt to tell his wife, so lovingly and genuinely, something she needed to hear.
We agreed afterwards that maybe the camera not recording, was divine intervention and that it probably wasn't meant to be a publicly shared moment.
I know that it will be a moment that would not have happened without Helen delivering an Intentional Health programme in their community and one that I will remember forever!
You see, Intentional Health is different because it addresses the whole person's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing and equips us all to make intentional choices regarding our whole person health and wellbeing.
It might be relatively easy to make healthy choices in today's day and age, but we are so often misled by clever marketing and a western culture, that it is much easier not to!
The consequences are that the NHS is at breaking point, and 3 out of 4 people are dying early or suffering needlessly.
We don't think that this is right!
I had never met Vanessa or Matt before they came and told me about the impact that Intentional Health had on them, but they were exactly who Intentional Health was created for. Normal, everyday people, just like you and I.
Intentional Health has also been designed to have lasting effects way beyond the length of the programme, so it is great to hear that the ten people who met and grew in their community group, now have a strong friendship together and are still supporting each other through all sorts of other difficult life issues.
We have an exciting and ambitious plan to get Intentional Health all over the UK too. We want people just like Vanessa, who we might never meet, to be able to attend a 10 session programme, become part of a loving community and have their lives transformed!
Despite being a relatively new charity, we already have 10 church partners in 5 counties across the south of England and are a recognised Cinnamon Network Course
To be able to inspire more healthy communities, we rely on training and equipping amazing volunteers just like Helen, from the amazing community focused church partners, like Liskeard and Looe Methodist Circuit.
If you can't help in that way, you might be pleased to know you can still help by becoming an Intentional Health Angel. These are a special group of people who give small monthly donations which already make up a third of our necessary income.
The challenge we face with fundraising is that we are not an emergency aid charity and there are SO many other worthy causes to give to.
We don't provide a bag of rice to those who are hungry, and we don't mop up after disasters.
We are a 'root cause' charity: we prevent people needing emergency care, prevent people's lives from being cut short or disabled and help people live well, understanding how loved they are.
If you are one of our, precious Intentional Health Angels, I'd like to personally thank you! We could not do what we are doing without you, and I'm sure Vanessa and Matt would like me to pass on their sincere thanks to you too!
If you aren't yet one of our supporters, we'd love to invite you to be part of this exciting, preventative and life-transforming work today, by clicking here.
If you are or know of a local church who might want to partner with us to deliver programmes in their community, you can register interest for our next round of training in November by clicking here
And if you want to join Helen as she starts her next Intentional Health programme, starting 12-2pm on Thursday at Liskeard Methodist Church, you can contact her directly on 07958 940263.
I'd like to finish by personally thanking Helen, Vanessa, and Matt for sharing their story with us, and letting us share their story with you!
Until next week :)