Mission of the Month for September – Scripture Union

How can they hear if nobody tells them? (Romans 10:14)

Estimates suggest that 95% of children and young people in England and Wales don’t have regular contact with a church. Scripture Union believes that every child should have the opportunity to explore and respond to the good news of the Bible.

Scripture Union was established as a charity over 140 years ago and now works in more than 120 countries with children, young people and families. The purpose is to encourage people of all ages to meet God every day through the Bible and prayer, with the goal of helping people to grow in Christian maturity and become not only committed church members but also servants of a world in need.

Today in the UK they respond in innovative and exciting ways to encourage younger members of society to explore what a faith in Jesus might look like for them. For example, they organise a wide range of holidays throughout the school break and they estimate that this year over 1400 children and young people will attend – they ask that we pray for them all, and the leaders and volunteers, that they will have fun in a safe environment and feel God’s presence.

Another example of the outreach in the coming months is the annual Light Party, an alternative to Hallowe’en celebrations. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5)

The organisation also offers us suggestions about how to talk to children about Jesus: be yourself, keep it short, pray, stick to your theme, keep it simple and just do it! Good advice for sharing the good news with everyone, not just children!

We can support Scripture Union physically by holding activities or using any of their resources, financially through donations and prayerfully each day. For more information visit their website www.scriptureunion.org.uk

For more information about Scripture Union, contact Kate Butcher

Mission of the Month for August – Wycliffe Bible Translators

The Bible for everyone

Wycliffe believe in universal access for all. They want everyone to have the chance to engage with the message of Jesus – in the language that speaks to them best. For over 60 years, they’ve been pioneering and innovating, working alongside communities around the world.

1.5 billion people are still waiting. One in five people worldwide, still doesn’t have a Bible in their own language. It’s not right that some of us have free access to the Bible, while others have none.

That’s why Wycliffe works with urgency for the long term.

Currently they have 362 people from the UK and Ireland serving 326 languages spoken by 461 million people in 56 countries.

Dependent on God, backed by our financial and prayer support, specially trained personnel seek to make God’s Word available to all.

For further information, visit Wycliffe’s excellent web site – www.wycliffe.org.uk and see display boards in Church.

Mission of the Month for July – INF

International Nepal Fellowship (INF)
Nepal now has a Marxist/Maoist Government as the pro-Indian Congress Party was defeated in recent elections. There is now an embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Kathmandu. Until recently the relationship with India was under pressure when Nepal declared itself a Secular State instead of a Hindu State. A dam project is now going ahead, it had been suspended because of the pressure from India. There are plans to build an extension of a railway from Tibet into Nepal! India and China both built main roads in Nepal in the 1960s.
Nepal has always been proud of its position as a country never conquered by Britain and has guarded its independence. Will things change now?
The church continues to grow apace and there are Nepali Christians in many European countries and the Middle East. They witness wherever they go and plant churches,
A Nepali woman I met a few years ago in Oxford, up from Brighton for the baptism of a dozen Nepalis including the one Nepali family living in Faringdon, said to me: “you brought the Gospel to our country and now we are bringing it home, to your country”. The persecution of Christian Nepalis in Nepal has risen dramatically over the last few months- up to 10 churches burnt down, individuals arrested and jailed, one Pastor for 10 years on trumped-up charges, and individuals accused of smashing Hindu idols. This is happening across Nepal.
INF has been training Nepalis over the years and now many are doing work in medicine, nursing, teaching, encouraging villagers to grow crops, and encouraging the women to learn new ways and building up their confidence. Visa have been difficult to obtain for expats over the last few years – it is wonderful that there are so many Nepalis ready to take over.

We hope to have a Curry Evening, to include two short videos, sometime in the future – details will be in the weekly notice sheet and the magazine.

For more information about INF contact Margaret Scott-Brown on 240 509

Christian Aid Week 2018 – Mission of the month

Christian Aid Week this year will be from the 13th to 19th May 2018. Our theme is “Together, we are Stronger than Storms” which focuses on the plight of people worldwide facing relentless earthquakes, storms and hurricanes.

In Haiti, seven years on from the devastating earthquake, an estimated 38,000 people are still displaced and more than 40 million people globally are internally displaced but we rarely hear their stories. What’s more they’re often ignored or forgotten by governments. But even if the world has forgotten them, Christian Aid has not. As we come together for this Christian Aid Week, the fight for justice for these people will continue.

Christian Aid stands with the most vulnerable and excluded people of the world – both in times of crisis and for the longer term. They give people survival essentials when they are without shelter or refuge, and help them find the strength and resources they need to flourish and protect themselves from disasters. They support people to stand up for their rights and to build stable, secure lives they can enjoy living.

This year’s events are as follows and if you would like any further information, please contact Julie Campbell on  242 589.

Sunday 13th May:              Cake Sale (after 10:30am Service)

Tuesday 15th May:            10:30am – 12:00noon – Coffee Morning (Barber Rooms)

Saturday 19th May:           7.00pm – Concert at All Saints’

All Week 13th -19th May:    House-to-House Collection

However we are able to support Christian Aid, we’re united in our belief that the world can and must be changed and that we are each called to love our neighbours, every one of our fellow human beings, wildly, wholeheartedly and sacrificially. This is our mission, this is the Jesus mission.

Let’s live it out this Christian Aid Week!

Mission of the Month for April – African Children’s Fund

Kenya was the first country African Children’s Fund worked in and our name there has now become synonymous with our “Porridge Clubs”. These run in eight schools in and around Thika and allow children to take up the free education offered and go to school.

When parents cannot afford to feed their children, they have to work, beg or scavenge for food when they should be at school. The provision of a nutritious porridge meal once a day eliminates this problem entirely.

What’s more, a hungry child struggles to learn or concentrate – so the introduction of “Porridge Clubs” into some of Thika’s most needy schools has produced remarkable results!

Our partner Watoto Kwanza (Children First) reports that:
• Absence rates are down by over 80%
• There are fewer cases of children falling ill due to better nutrition
• The children’s participation in games and physical education activities has improved
• Enrolment within the schools has increased with higher completion and retention rates once enrolled
• Children are achieving better results in their exams

Through Watoto Kwanza, we provide the schools with a basic kitchen, water and cooking utensils. After that the schools receive a supply of a nutritiously fortified porridge each month so the children receive a school meal each day. Some of the schools have planted their own kitchen gardens and are supplementing the porridge with fresh vegetables and beans.

Watoto Kwanza and African Children’s Fund are currently supplying 1,550 mugs of porridge each school day. This equates to 7,750 mugs each week which results in an incredible 93,000 mugs of porridge every school term! Impressive numbers, we’re sure you’ll agree!

Mission of the Month for March – Faringdon Family Centre

Faringdon Family Centre is run under the auspices of CTiF with a committee made up of members of all the churches including Mairead Boyce, Maureen Courtney, Val Jones, Mary Valente, Jill Heady & Jeni Summerfield.
It is responsible for running a Breakfast Club at the Junior School with a paid leader, a member of the School’s Support staff and a number of volunteers.
It also operates the local Food Bank, with the support of church volunteers.
The Family Centre should not be confused with the Children’s Centre that used to operate in the Baptist Church until local authority funding was withdrawn in 2017. Work is underway to set up a new Children’s Centre project with assistance from Spurgeons, who were instrumental in the formation of the original centre. This initiative is supported by the Town Council, CTiF and the Pump House Project. We hope to have news of progress in the near future.
For more information about the Family Centre contact Jeni Summerfield (240 912)

Mission of the Month for February: Interserve

Our Vision

To see lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ.

Our Purpose

To make Jesus Christ known through holistic ministry, in partnership with the global church, amongst the neediest peoples of Asia and the Arab World.

The story of Interserve

In 1820 it was estimated that out of a population of 40 million women in India, only 400 could read and write. That’s just one woman in every 100,000.

For many of these women life was spent shut away from the world in a secluded woman’s quarters, called “Zenanas”. Marriage at just 13 or 14 was not uncommon for them, neither was her husband’s death. This left her two choices. To die with him by horrifically throwing herself onto his funeral pyre or choosing a life of seclusion in the Zenana, hidden from the world.

In 1852, responding to a plea by Mrs Mackenzie, an English merchant Lady Mary Jane Kinnaird founded the Calcutta Normal School in the United Kingdom. It’s task: to train Indian Christian women to go into the Zenana to teach those there to read and write. She had written that “If we can give the women of India the power to read, and the Book to read, God will bless His Word.”

By 1950,100 years after its initial founding, the British mission accepted its first male missionary. Shortly after, in 1957, the name was changed to the Bible & Medical Mission Fellowship (BMMF), auxiliary committees were formed across the Commonwealth, and the international fellowship emerged.

In 1976 it became known as Interserve and has continued to send those with hearts like Mrs MacKenzie to serve where there is a need – from doctors and nurses, to teachers, and those with technical and practical skills.

To find out more about this story and others, go to www.interserve.org

For more information about Interserve contact Janet Deane  (241 145)

Mission of the Month for August – Wycliffe Bible Translators

Wycliffe Bible Translators – Mission of the Month for August

The History of Wycliffe – how the vision for Bible translation began

For more than 70 years Wycliffe has helped people around the world translate the Bible into their own languages. They also help with language development, literacy and other spiritual and physical needs.

In 1917 a missionary named Willian Townsend Cameron went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. He was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the books. They spoke Cakchiquel, a language without a Bible.

Cameron believed that everyone should understand the Bible, so he started a small linguistics school (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, known as SIL) that trained people to do Bible translation. The work continued to grow, and in 1942 he officially founded Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Over the following decades, Wycliffe celebrated many milestones – from the first translation in 1951, all the way to the 500th translation completed in 2000.

Around the same time Wycliffe adopted a new challenge – a goal of starting a Bible translation project in every language still needing one by 2025.

In 1999 the leaders realized that at the speed they were going, it would be at least 2150 before a Bible translation could be started for every language that needed one. As they thought about the people dying around the world every day without hearing the Good News of the Gospel, they felt God calling them to adopt a new goal for accomplishing this mission.

The leaders were committed that they should do everything they could to see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one in 2025. They initially called this goal ‘Vision 2025’, although they later adopted the words as their mission statement.

Today, up to 1,800 languages are still waiting for a Bible translation to begin and Wycliffe is working faster than ever to reach those languages as soon as possible.

Ruth Seedell

Mission of the Month for July – INF

International Nepal Fellowship (INF) – Mission of the Month for July

 Centre of Excellence

Dr Dipak Maharjan, a Nepali Christian orthopaedic surgeon and specialist in spinal disorders is the newly-appointed Medical Director of Green pastures Hospital (GPH). He is passionate about developing INF’s work at GPH into a centre for health excellence, training and research.

I was raised in a Christian family in Kathmandu. After completing my Masters in Orthopedics at Christian Medical College, Vellore, I served for nine years in the United Mission to Nepal’s hospitals in Okhaldhunga and Tansen. I was responsible for establishing and leading successful orthopedic departments at each institution. My wife, Rachel, is a paediatrician and we have three daughters.

Touched by the plight of those suffering from Spinal Cord Injury [SCI], sadly a growing problem in Nepal, I decided to specialise in spinal disorders. After much prayer and consultation with experienced Christians working in the clinical field, I felt called to lead INF’s clinical work at GPH. Taking up the position in September 2015 I, along with a team of professionals in the sector, have spent the past few months developing a long-term vision for GPH.

GPH will increase its focus on disability related to SCI, spinal disorders, trauma, ear diseases, dermatological diseases, general disabilities including traumatic brain injury, amputations, cerebral palsy as well as other paediatric developmental disorders and palliative care. Previously known for its leadership in leprosy work, GPH’s shift in focus reflects the reduction in new leprosy cases and the increase in disability related to trauma.

A Trauma Rehabilitation Centre is also in the planning to assist those affected by significant falls, industrial injuries and transport injuries – bus accidents are common in Nepal and often see passengers badly injured.

As part of the new vision, upgrades are in progress for the existing operating theatre and wards. INF is working with its financial partners to ensure enough resources are available and INF’s Initiative for Financial Sustainability hopes to create new funding opportunities for GPH’s vital work.

There are challenges ahead but I am excited about GPH becoming a centre of excellence and can already see the community responding as numbers increase at the outpatients clinic and in the wards.

I have a real sense of God’s hand on GPH as it strives to serve those most affected by disability and trauma.

Sounds of Hope and a Future

Nicola McGunnigle writes:

INF’s has taken its ear specialists and medical teams to some of the most remote parts of Western Nepal to help the deaf and those with hearing loss. Since the early 1990s, 50 ear Outreach Programmes (formerly known as ‘Camps’) have been run, and now INF is able to provide constant ongoing ear care with the opening of its Ear Centre in the grounds of GPH.

The Ear Centre opened to coincide with the 51st Outreach Programme, which was held in the centre itself. Dr Mike Smith undertook the first operation at the new centre having been instrumental in making this long-held dream, a reality.

Mike first worked in Nepal in the 1980s and after discovering the extent of ear problems across the country returned in 1990 to establish Ear, Nose & Throat training at the Government’s Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara.

In 1992 the INF Camps Programme began, providing ear care and treatment in partnership with Ear Aid Nepal (UK) and Stiftyng Ohrchirurgie Nepal (SON, a Swiss organisation that supports ear surgery) across remote districts in Western Nepal. It was during these camps that the vision for a training centre came to Mike and long-serving Scottish nurse Ellen Findlay, one of the founders of INF’s medical Camp’s Programme; a vision to continue and develop ear care in Nepal and to provide a place where patients with complications could be referred. The Ear Centre will also work with local government health posts at the outreach locations to help staff identify patients with ear related complications. The Centre also offers speech therapy as an outpatient service.

Several months on from its official opening, the Ear Centre has a dedicated team of passionate staff ensuring services run smoothly. Although the centre will replace much of the work previously done during ear Outreach Programmes, INF will continue to send teams out to remote locations each year. The next Outreach Programme is planned for Gorkha in April.

A special note of thanks goes to SON who contributed a majority of the funds to complete the building and to those involved in supervising the construction, sourcing equipment and recruiting of staff to ensure a successful start.

Please continue to pray for the work at Green Pastures Hospital and the Ear Centre.

For more information about INF contact Margaret Scott Brown