“As an Occupational Therapist, my whole focus was to help people find purpose in life and to set goals. But with CAP, I’m able to give people a true sense of purpose – because I’m working through the church.”

Jo Knowles, Manager, Dunedin Debt Centre

When Jo Knowles was growing up, there were times her family struggled to make ends meet.

She trained as an Occupational Therapist, and became even more aware of others’ struggles and, as she went about her daily work, she witnessed real poverty and debt in the community around her.

While Jo loved her work as a therapist she felt a sense of frustration because she couldn’t openly share the love of Jesus with clients – and see them truly set free!

Fast forward several years when, as a stay-at-home mum of three, she came across this scripture which set her life on a different course:

Stand at the crossroads and look; Ask for the ancient paths, Ask where the good way is, and walk in it (Jeremiah 6:16)

Jo believed she needed to take a risk and ‘walk in it’… and that led her to put her hand up when Musselburgh Baptist decided to reach the Dunedin community by opening a CAP Debt Centre.

While deciding to become a CAP Centre Manager was a huge step of faith, Jo can now confidently say she has a clear way to both practically and spiritually help people:

“I love CAP! With CAP I go into homes but now I can share God’s love with people as well as give them a hope and a real practical solution – that just makes sense to me!”

As Centre Manager, Jo is taking Dunedin by storm; she’s excited about the church and local agencies working together to break the cycle of poverty… and change people’s lives!

One of Jo’s favourite moments so far was when she ‘did a food shop’ for a new CAP client who had nothing to feed her family:

“Seeing the joy in her face when we dropped off the food was incredible.”

The next day Jo took this same client to the bank, and to Spark to figure out some of the mess she was in. Jo said “Each time she experienced breakthrough and realised there was going to be a way out of the mess, I could see it sinking in with her… I just love seeing it happen right before my eyes.”