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Laurie Marks Vincent Introduces the Blessing Fund

The Christian Women's Fellowship started with an event in 2015 known as Afternoon Splash, a time of refreshing. It was an afternoon "mini-conference" held every May for three years. It was a vision stirred by the Lord for Laurie Marks Vincent, a Christian Speaker, Singer, Songwriter, and Christian Author who resides in the city of London.

Laurie Marks Vincent Introduces the Blessing Fund The purpose of The Christian Women's Fellowship was to bring ministry to women who needed Sisterly Christian fellowship, surpassing denominational walls. Many times it meant ministering to women from all walks of life, from those who had difficulty getting to their home church, regularly, due to a disability, or perhaps lost their faith, or didn't feel they belonged anywhere.

Many Christian ladies just wanted to be there for other women. Many times, Laurie ministered to women one on one (and still does), just as much as to a crowd joined together at one of these events. Much of the spiritual focus was about being set free from what holds you back, being a King's Daughter and walking deeper in a relationship with Christ.

Over the course of the numerous events, there were also Christian Businesses who sponsored the events as well. Speakers included Sherry Stahl, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson (700 Club Canada), Melinda Estabrooks (former 100 Huntley Street co-host) along with Laurie. Laurie also provided special music along with other musical guests who appeared, Lynda Barber and Helen Hibbert leading worship. There were a number of valued and treasured volunteers that even included Laurie's Mother at one event. Coffee nights at the Fireside Restaurant on Commissioners were held approximately four to six times a year, where each lady experienced a fun night of fellowship, laughter, food, a devotional and encouraging one another.

Laurie Marks Vincent Introduces the Blessing Fund One of the mandates that Laurie encouraged is that as we all gather together, we remember that the community needed to see our collective light shine in the city. The ladies took up an offering at every event and The Blessing Fund was developed through Laurie's charity, a department of ACT International/Canada (Artists in Christian Testimony International).

The Blessing Fund became the catalyst that provided financial assistance in crisis situations where one could not get help from other government assistance resources in the community. Laurie Marks Vincent Introduces the Blessing Fund During that time, a young couple with their first baby was helped by The Blessing Fund. The new baby had turned blue and was rushed to the hospital. The infant was having breathing difficulties in the hot mid-summer and after an approximately 10-day stay at the hospital, doctor's had told the couple that he couldn't release the infant from the hospital in good conscience unless they had an air conditioner in the baby's room. The ladies of the Afternoon Splash raised the funds through their offerings, to get an air conditioner for the baby's room and the young couple's apartment.

There were a number of other needs met, among the group of women as well as some needs that were presented to her through the ladies, including a family who became homeless due to illness and job loss. Fireside Restaurant became a great supporter of The Blessing Fund and the Christian Women's Fellowship, by accommodating special menus for the Coffee Nights and allowing Laurie to hold fundraisers for The Blessing Fund and concerts at the restaurant as recently as December 2018.

In 2017, Laurie had an injury that affected the mobility in her left hip. She persevered while she didn't realize that her injury wouldn't be a quick recovery. The last public event was held in the Fall of 2017. The theme was "Fall into Jesus" with guest speaker, Joanne Goodwin. Along with a team of 7 ladies who looked after details, Laurie hosted all the events as well, but on this last event, she stayed on her feet. She was the special music and featured a song she wrote, entitled "Fall into Jesus". (Released in 2020) .

Laurie's recovery became the priority and so the task of handling everything from design, marketing, advertising, budgeting and arranging all the Coffee Nights and Mini-Conferences, came to a halt, but the vision for The Blessing Fund marched on. Recently, a woman who was a Senior Citizen received financial assistance to get custom orthotics because her ankles were collapsing. Laurie accompanied the woman to her first appointment to have her custom orthotics fitted. The woman was in tears as she realized she could stand up straight for the first time in years, without any pain. Weeks later, Laurie has learned that the Senior Citizen is fairly pain-free and often forgets her cane as she is beginning to walk with much more freedom. Laurie says, "I felt so humbled with gratitude to the Lord and to all who donated to this ladies cause. It really overwhelmed me because it truly shows the collective demonstrated power of God's love as we join together to make a difference in one life."

Laurie does not receive a "paycheck" and says that it can be a challenge to make sure that she has supplies and expenses covered. The Blessing Fund isn't often heard about publicly. It doesn't have a public office for anyone to walk in and get help immediately. There are no volunteers or staff and it's run from Laurie's ministry office, in her home. There have been no massive public fundraising campaigns. It has only been Laurie's lone voice appealing for each need as they arise. There is no huge funding source or government backing to draw from. It is mainly a quiet undercover endeavor, mostly appealing for requests on social media to spread the word.

Laurie Marks Vincent Introduces the Blessing Fund Laurie says, "I am presently running the "Coffee with Heart" Fundraiser for The Blessing Fund. The reason is that there is an elderly woman on ODSP who has been living in a hotel since last December with her closest family member, a cat." Laurie explains, "She has not been able to find an affordable apartment on her government check, while paying $111.00 a night at the hotel, drawing from her savings now, the sale of her former condo. She cannot get any more government assistance than she already has, and not only needs affordable housing, but also financial help in her current situation, to keep a roof over her head while her savings in running out." In the city of London, there is less than a 1% vacancy for Senior Citizens.

Currently, The Blessing Fund is running a campaign on social media called "Coffee with Heart". Asking people to donate the price of one coffee perhaps just one or per week to help raise funds for The Blessing Fund as the Christmas season may present itself with new needs that crisis for families.

Donate or Find out more about The Blessing Fund at http://www.TheBlessingFund.Online

Laurie is on the tail end of recovery and has taken occasional opportunities to minister at Women's events and Churches across Ontario over the past two years while recovering. She will be going back on the road to begin ministering regularly in 2020 with the release of new books and new music releases.

A message from The Christian Women's Fellowship founder, Laurie Marks Vincent

During my ministry, the hardest part is longing to serve and to minister without the means to do it. While my husband and I believe that God is our only source and provider, not his job, not my CD or book sales or my speaking engagements, God does work through them to provide. However, I have learned some interesting facts. God’s most desired way to live and love is to work and move through the humble hands of his people. He makes His heart and His Holy Spirit evident through us.

One department of my ministry helps others financially in crisis situations. We have two single Fathers in urgent need right now. Also, a woman who is on Disability and has been homeless since last December because she cannot find an affordable apartment in the city. This is because the city has a less than 1% vacancy for Seniors. Others who are asking for help ... A family who can’t make their rent this month due to job loss and a husband and wife who are on disability now due to a car accident. They have a son with special needs and their car is in need of serious repair to take their son to his ongoing specialist appointments in a nearby city.

We approached 43 Christian businesses by email because I just don't have the manpower to do it any other way. We asked for some financial help and there was no response. Not even a "Who are you? or Tell me more about what you do?? Even if it is tax-deductible, does that seem to matter? While trying to bring the need before some Christians who have been successful financially in business, my husband and I became distraught by their responses. “If I help one then everyone else would be asking for my money and I would have to help everyone else.” So my question is.... you believe it’s YOUR money and you need to protect it yourself? Or you can’t handle the guilt and so you exclude giving all together?

My heart is not broken because they did not give to help the less fortunate. My heart is broken because the Lord sees the condition of our heart. This is the very reason that Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 19:24. (See scripture). Could our salvation weigh in the balance between our money and our heart? I’m a little beside myself at this point because I am conflicted. I have a sense of deceived Christians that believe their wealth is meant purely for their own enjoyment or that they need to protect their wealth, while I also have deep pain for the condition of their eternal soul. I'm also hurting deeply, fervently praying for the needs of those that we are to be an example of Christ to.

As I look over the names of each donor to my ministry I know something personal about each one. With the exception of one donor, all of them are Seniors on limited income including the woman who is homeless I spoke of earlier. Yes, the homeless woman was once a regular financial supporter of my ministry. As I sit here in a puddle of tears this morning crying out to God for the needs of each one and asking the Lord to grant favour, that the wealth of the wicked is handed over to the righteous. ...And that the people of God would live with conviction and not for their own benefit, Lord Jesus help those who need to break free and help each with their needs today. You said you would make a way. Now I can only wait.