Missions news

News from the Church Mission Society

You will remember that in the July magazine we reported that our Mission Partner had flown back to UK from Maridi as she was not well. Lynn had suffered two bouts of Malaria and also had muscle wastage and stomach problems. Those who have met Lynn know that she is not one to sit down and suffer, no, she has been busy getting tests, scans, follow up etc. But we all know how these take time, however we try to speed them up. Her latest letter, written on 13th August, says that she has still not been passed fully fit, so it will probably be into September before she is able to return to Maridi.

How thankful we all are, that after Lynn’s last visit back to UK, she was able to install the internet connection, so she has been able to keep in close touch with her friends in Maridi. You can read Lynn’s last letter, (August) on the board outside the Barber Rooms. Do pause to read it and pray for her to be completely cured, to be able to return to Maridi, and to be able to have a better diet so that she does not fall ill again.

Meanwhile, the situation in South Sudan seems better., and we must pray constantly that this time peace will prevail. We continue to keep up to date news on the notice board, so up date your prayers each week. I am sure that when we pray regularly, God answers.

CMS staff have been very busy during the summer, with stalls at most of the large Christian gatherings all over the country. It has been very encouraging to see many folk coming forward as they feel that God is calling them to work abroad.  CMS takes care to discuss their call with them, so that together they may be sure, especially as some feel called to work in countries who are not keen to welcome Christians

Christians, worldwide, have been praying, “Thy Kingdom Come”  and despite what the newspapers print, we do see the Love and Forgiveness of Jesus is being believed and accepted across the world.

Those in the UK who feel called to difficult places like the Middle East, parts of Asia and North Africa, go out to encourage and help the local Christians and to worship with them. Their names are not known as it is dangerous and in the weekly prayer paper they are mentioned as R or S, and in some very dangerous places they can only be mentioned with no name, no place of work no country.  These workers need our faithful prayers, and we can rejoice with them when they report that Christians are encouraged to keep going and many people are believing, and accepting, the love of Jesus. The CMS is supporting well over 100 Mission Partners and Mission Associates in 49 countries and around 200 Pioneers in this country.

It is very easy to get discouraged when there is so much in the papers about the failure of Christians and the Church in this part of the world, but we must believe that God’s Kingdom IS coming and pray for that. Make sure that you always pause to read what the various charities are doing as you rush off to coffee after the service. Ask regularly for the magazines that tell you what is happening in the World Church. Constantly read your Bible and the parts that speak of God working across the world. And PRAY. Jesus, when he was on the earth, constantly called his followers to Pray Without Ceasing. Most of us will not be called to go other countries, but our task is to PRAY, not just in church on a Sunday, but at home when washing up or eating a mango from Africa, or eating a curry or booking an exciting holiday abroad! And then, when you read in a Christian magazine of the Church growing in some country, you will feel Jesus saying to you, Well done my good and faithful servant. And what would be more wonderful than to hear that.

A reminder that from September our prayer group will meet on every 3rd Wednesday in the month from 10.30 to 11.30am with coffee at 10.00am. You will be welcome and come when you can. Let me know if you would like to receive the weekly CMS prayer paper. If you need a lift to the meeting, let me know or if you are unable to get out easily but would like to join us from your home, I can tell you what we will be praying for before the day. It would be wonderful to feel that we had a powerhouse of prayer going out to support the work of CMS each month.

Joan Plumtre

Missions News

NEWS ABOUT CMS and Matt and Liz Wisbey

News from the Church Mission Society

As we start the holiday months of July and August, we can give thanks for a good June when we thought about the work of the Church Mission Society.

Lynn Treneary had come back to the UK for medical treatment in May, after 2 bouts of Malaria which had left her rather weak. Sadly, as we move into July she is still here. She is staying with members of her family in the north, while she has visits to the Doctors and the Tropical Medicine experts, but so far we have not heard of a positive diagnosis. It may be that it is just rest and a better diet than she has in Maridi. We ask all of you to pray for Lynn, that she soon regains her strength and is able to return to South Sudan. They are missing her so much there, not only for her teaching work, but for herself as she encourages them in the Faith and shows them that if you put your trust solely in Jesus, you will not be let down.

Our main event in June was the visit of Jonathan Self on 10th June to preach at the 10.30am service in All Saints’, and to talk at the lunch after the service. Jonathan told us of his visit to Tunisia and the amazing things God was doing there. Many of the locals had become followers of the Muslim Faith when other countries had invaded them from Europe. Now, apart from the work in the Christian Churches, they were dreaming dreams about Jesus and becoming followers of Him. God is working in an amazing way.

One result of this visit for Jonathan, was that he felt that God was telling him to change the sermon he was going to preach at All Saints’. and to talk about Prayer. He gave a powerful talk on how we should learn to listen to God. So often we rush about trying to do what we think is right, not listening to God’s voice. As in Tunisia, God was saying, I will do the teaching in dreams, your work is to gather them into the Christian family.

Jonathan challenged us to listen to God speaking to us, then pray daily for a month about what we felt God was saying to us. At the end of the month, look at the outcome and see what God has done.

We had a retiring collection at the service and lunch  to raise money to help fund “Global Mission through Local Leaders” More and more of the mission work abroad is being done by local Christian leaders. Mission Partners sent out from the UK go to encourage, give Bible teaching and assist these local leaders. By God’s grace, both the harvest and the workers are plentiful in many of these places, but a significant obstacle remains, lack of funding! Many of the new churches are in very poor areas where the people are unable to support a leader. In these cases , CMS is raising special funds for these leaders to free them to do the work. It is this fund to which we have sent what money we raised. On the day we raised £500 and this will be increased by some of the gifts being Gift Aided.

Thanks you to all who gave so generously and also to all who helped to make the day a success. We have had a thank you letter from Jonathan Self, who said how much he appreciated the welcome he received and he would love to come again to Faringdon.

Meanwhile, please pray these next two months for the many people from CMS who will be working on stalls at the various  summer festivals, Greenbelt, New Wine, the Big Church Day Out for North and South. Also pray for the many who attended the Pioneer Church Day at the end of June to explore whether God is calling them to this work

Whatever the world looks like, there are so many signs of God working His purposes out We must continue to pray every day and listen to God to tell us what is our mission for that day.

Many said how much they enjoyed Jonathan Self’s talk. Would you pray to see if God is calling you to give a morning once a month, to pray for the work of CMS. At the moment we meet on the 3rd Wednesday in the month, but we are open to change. We are praying for younger people who will carry on the work for CMS in All Saints’, when those of us who meet now can no longer cope. Please pray to see if God is calling you.

For more information about CMS contact: Joan Plumptre

News from the Wisbeys

The sun is shining and the rain is falling, summer must be arriving! We hope this update finds you well. In our last newsletter we spoke about being open to God guiding our steps in unexpected ways, quoting the verse: We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9) This seems very apt as we look back on the last few months as unbeknownst to us at the time, a big change was coming.

On Easter Saturday a very significant member of our church leadership team died suddenly. Phil had been diagnosed with three aggressive cancers only a few days before and though he had been unwell for a few months this obviously came as a big shock to the whole church family. While we have only been part of the church for four years, through that time we have enjoyed and appreciated getting to know Phil and his wife Julie, particularly since joining the leadership team of the church this time last year.

That role now feels even more important to us as we seek to help guide the church through a time of grief and transition. Please pray God gives us wisdom and strengthens us by His Spirit for all He is calling us to do.

In other news, Matt has been keeping busy teaching two courses–Language Program Planning and Implementation and Multilingual Education–and preparing for a trip to Florida (this week!) for team meetings as part of his role in Asia.

At home, Levi only has a half term left in Year 1 and Anya started playgroup after February half term! She is enjoying it a lot (though is not always sure about leaving Mummy in the morning!) and in September will move up to the preschool room and increase to two and a half days per week. I (Liz) am already beginning to think about how I can use this time best – exciting times are certainly ahead!

As ever we LOVE to hear your news. What unexpected changes have happened in your lives since we last wrote? Do you have any fun summer holiday plans? Will you be travelling down the M5 past Gloucester? Hit reply now and do drop in and say hi if you can!

Love Matt, Liz, Levi and Anne

For more information on the Wisbeys visit http://wisbeys.blogspot.com/

Missions news

News from the Church Mission Society

As I write this article for June, the month when we remember the Church Mission Society and the work it does throughout the world, we are in the nine days in May when we are praying in all the churches, “Thy Kingdom Come”

As we read the daily papers, full of terrible stories, we know how important it is that we all pray this prayer.

In South Sudan it is reported that 100 aid workers have been killed since the war began in 2013. These are local people who are willing to risk their lives to go to help the sick, the hungry, the homeless, every day.

Lynn Treneary was able to go to Juba, along with others from Maridi, to the enthronement of Archbishop Justin Badi, a joyful occasion, but on the way back to Maridi the new Bishop of Maridi’s car was attacked and those passengers were robbed. They gave thanks to God that no one was killed or injured, but it was a reminder that the roads are just not safe, whoever you are.

Lynn herself has not been well. She had two bouts of malaria, and though she recovered after treatment in Kampala, Uganda, she was still not fully fit. It was decided that she needed further treatment in the UK and she flew back in mid May. Please join us in praying for her full recovery.

CMS works in many countries worldwide and we are pleased that Jonathan Self, from CMS Headquarters in Oxford, is coming to speak at the 10.30am service in All Saints’ on Sunday 10th June. Keep this date, it is going to be an exciting visit. Earlier this year Jonathan was able to represent CMS at a Mission Conference in Tunisia. and on 10th he is going to tell us the amazing story of Muslims in North Africa turning to follow Jesus. This is not due to the expertise of mission workers, the local church has told the stories from the Bible between the Crucifixion and Pentecost and God has done the rest!

There is not time in the service to expand much, but there will be a Bring-&-Share lunch after the service and Jonathan will be there to chat and to show a short film .Do stay for this, I think we will all be inspired. Water/squash/coffee will be supplied, just bring something that we can all share.

Jonathan will also tell us more about CMS support for local Christian leaders in their own countries, whose community are too poor to support them. CMS has support for UK mission partners from UK churches and individuals, but there is no special fund for these local leaders. We will be having a retiring collection at the service and also at the lunch for the local Christian leaders. There will be leaflets about these people to take away and other CMS leaflets. This day is your chance to learn more about the world wide work that CMS is doing, and seeing how your giving and your prayers are making a difference.

We were reminded last month that Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, so I send you”. We may not go ourselves, but we can pray for Lynn who goes with our prayer support. We may not know any Christians in another country, but we can pray “Thy Kingdom Come” in the confidence that Jesus said “Ask, and it will be given you”

So please come to the service and lunch on 10th June and if you are able, we would love more to come and pray for CMS once a month on the third Wednesday at 10.30am at 8 Coach Lane.

Joan Plumptre

Missions News

News from the Church Mission Society

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21) What does this mean? One answer is that we are sent together as a church. Together the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit send us, and they send us together. We may be praying at home, but we are not really alone, we are part of the church, praying daily for Lynn, our Mission Partner.

Lynn sent an e-mail at the end of March, saying, “I thank God for your love and prayers. They encourage me to keep rejoicing that God has won the victory. I have so much joy in sharing what you send and do tell people how supportive they are in the UK”

Thank you to all those who supported the board game afternoon on 7th April and a big thanks to those who organised the event. We have been able to send £330 to Lynn’s UK bank account. She is spending a little time in Kampala, Uganda when she hopes to be able to get this money to use in Maridi to help those in need.

Lynn has not been very well, after two bouts of malaria and was very run-down. We have just heard that she has had a Vitamin B12 deficiency, which plays havoc with concentration and memory. Following medical treatment she now feels well enough to return to Maridi.

One suggestion to her for spending this money we sent, is to help the Maridi Mothers’ Union, which is very active, to help to get treatment for children with ‘nodding syndrome’

You can read about this on Google but these are some of details about it. It attacks children between 5 and 16 who live in rural areas of Northern Uganda and South Sudan. These are children who should be running around playing, but they are seen just sitting in groups in their village on the ground.

Their bodies and brains stop growing, they have repeated epileptic seizures which weaken muscles in the head and neck, so that their head tends to fall forward, hence the term, nodding syndrome.

It seems that serious research for a cure only started in the 1960s. They now know that the disease is caused by a parasitic worm that also is linked with the disease river blindness. So far there is no cure, but if caught very early there are drugs which help to slow down the disease or in some cases to kill the parasite. Research is ongoing to find a cure.

Other CMS News

Meanwhile, there are still people offering to go with CMS to other countries of the world to take the message of God’s saving love. A few are offering to serve in the Lebanon, working with Syrian refugees. Do pray for these and others who are not able to be named as they serve in dangerous places. One couple writes, “It is exciting to be embarking on this adventure but it is different to any previous adventure we have done. We have gone travelling before but we have always known we are coming back soon. We have known that it might go wrong and we might not enjoy it, but it has a limited duration. But this time the uncertainty is similar, but the length of time is so long there is no visible exit.”

On Sunday 10th June, Jonathan Self is coming from CMS in Oxford, to preach at the 10.30am service in All Saints’. He will be able to tell us how CMS sees the future and about their current plans. There will be a Bring & Share lunch after the service, with the opportunity to talk with Jonathan and hear more about the work of CMS. Do mark the date and try to come to the service and the lunch.

Meanwhile can I draw your attention to the leaflets and prayer booklet on the table in Church. We can arrange for you to receive a copy of the CMS weekly prayer paper and there is always a welcome for those who can meet to pray on the 3rd Wednesday in each month at 8 Coach Lane, from 10.30 to 11.30am.

The Barber Rooms notice boards are kept up to date with news of Lynn Treneary, our Mission Partner. Do read it on the way to coffee!

Joan Plumptre

 

Missions News

News About The Church Mission Society and CMS FUNdraiser

News about the Church Mission Society

Internet connection with Lynn Treneary in Maridi is a bit hit and miss at the moment, – very good when it works, frustrating when it doesn’t ! But we do get news of Lynn and the South Sudan via the CMS weekly prayer paper and MAF prayer papers, as well as Lynn’s e-mail.

Last year we reported on the launch of the New Testament in the language of the BAKA people and how thousands risked the dangerous roads to get to Maridi to receive it. From MAF we have recently heard some of the results.

Pastor Bennett Marona, the translation project manager said “God is not a foreigner any more. Jesus is one of us. He can talk our dialect”. Mama Eunice, a women’s leader in the Maridi church, said, “I was so happy as I held my own Baka Bible, I felt the Holy Spirit blow over me, finally now, I am able to read and understand God’s word in my own language.”

Phodunze Martin, one of the translation team said, “Before I joined the team, I was a Christian, but not to the extent that I am now. Now I know I have salvation in Christ. Now I follow Christ, now I live the life Christ wants for me. I can now encourage others with the word of God.”

It makes you think, doesn’t it. Does the Bible, the word of God mean that much to us? I once asked a keen member of one of my previous churches about the whereabouts of her Bible, and she answered, “Yes, it’s in the bookcase!” Reading these stories from the Maridi church members, I think, what a wonderful church it must be.

Lynn has sent some requests for prayer. Their own much loved Bishop Justin, is moving to Juba in July, where he will be installed as the new Archbishop. They are all very pleased for this, though they will miss him. A new Bishop has to be chosen for Maridi. At the same time the name of the college, where Lynn teaches English, is to change from Chaima Christian Institute to The Episcopal University, Chaima Campus. The college will need more qualified staff and they are praying that some refugees will be encouraged to return from the camps in other countries to which they fled.

They are also praying for more qualified teachers to return from exile. Haddow Secondary and Primary Schools and the Chaima Secondary school have many students longing for teaching but no one to teach them. It is not an easy choice to make, to bring your family back home to a country that still often flares up with hatred. Please pray for those who feel called by God to return.

Meanwhile the Mothers Union goes on at full strength. In late February they had a conference to discuss ‘how to avoid abject poverty’ and ‘how to mentor girls in the church’. The ladies of the Mothers Union work so hard, do pray for them.

The situation in South Sudan is still not stable, despite the work of many from outside. Do pray for them all at Easter, that they may know the peace that only God can give.

Below, you will find the details of the games afternoon we are holding on Saturday 7thApril . Do try and support this as we raise some extra funds for Lynn to support the returning teachers from the refugee camps and the work of the Mothers Union.

Later, on Sunday 10th June Jonathan Self, a member of staff at CMS headquarters, will be preaching at the 10.30am service at All Saints’. We will have a bring & share lunch after the service, when Jonathan can show a short film and/or chat about the work of CMS around the world. I hope he will also talk about the Pioneer work in this country, where CMS members are trained to reach out to those who have no contact with a church, but are looking for something missing in their life. Book that Sunday and stay for the lunch

We still welcome anyone who is able to pray with our small group that meets on the 3rd Wednesday in the month from 10.30 to 11.30am. at 8 Coach Lane.

For more information about CMS contact: Joan Plumptre (243 388)

CMS FUNdraiser!

Afternoon of Tea, Cakes,

Board Games and Fun

Saturday 7th April, 3.00-5.00pm

Barber Rooms

In aid of Lynn Treneary (CMS Link Missionary)

Entrance Free Donations welcome

 

Christian Aid Week 2018

Christian Aid Week this year will be from the 13th to 19th May 2018. Our theme will be “Providing life saving new homes to poor communities at risk from disasters”.

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.

There will be more in-depth information as we get closer to May, but in the meantime we would be very grateful if you would “Save the date” for the following events:

Tuesday 15th May – 10.30am – 12 noon: Coffee Morning in the Barber Rooms

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

We will  be doing the House-to-House Collection during Christian Aid week and it would be much appreciated if you would consider volunteering to help with this or any of our other events. If you would like any further information please contact:

Julie Campbell on 242 589.

 

Marcelin still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti in September 2016, destroying his home, possessions and livestock. ‘I lost pigs, goats, everything in the house. I have nothing left,’ he says.

He now in an old concrete shower block, a tiny space he shares with his teenage daughters. There are no windows or doors, and the only furniture is a single bed for the girls.

Marcelin has fought hard to raise his children alone but can no longer afford to send them all to school. He gets up at dawn each day to work the land, but the changing weather frequently destroys the food he grows and the family often go hungry.

Marcelin fears his daughters’ hunger could lead them to be exploited by predatory men in exchange for food.

Missions News

News About The Church Mission Society and CMS FUNdraiser

News about the Church Mission Society

We have very little to write about Maridi that is new this month. Ceasefires have been signed and then broken yet again. Maridi is still without electricity and regular clean water, the roads are still dangerous. Lynn, our Mission Partner has had an attack of malaria, has recovered , but is not in the best of health. (most expats in  Africa, no longer take malaria tablets as long term it can produce blindness. There are good medicines which cure the infrequent attacks quickly).

The one piece of good news is that the Bishop of Maridi, Bishop Justin, has been elected to become the new Archbishop of South Sudan, (Primate of the Episcopal Church). There has been great rejoicing, though it does mean that a new Bishop of Maridi has to be found. Bishop Justin said of the close election victory that it showed that tribal differences between Dinkas and Equitorians played no part. The church is showing that the tribes can work together without fighting.

March is the month of Lent this year, and CMS is concentrating on Mission. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, where he accepted his calling. He emerged from this time of testing to proclaim that the kingdom of  God is at hand, and that we Christians have a part to play. So we too, are called to use the time of Lent to reflect on what God is calling us to do.

What is God calling you to do?  Some will feel God is calling them be become members of CMS as an organisation.  They make the following affirmation:-

“I’m a member of the CMS mission community because I believe God is still working in our world and I want to be part of this. I want my life to be about mission and I know that mission isn’t about someone else’s job- it’s mine. I want to live for Jesus daily and I realise I need fuel for this journey. As a member of the CMS mission community I desire to help my local Christian community keep mission a priority. I also wish to join other CMS members in regularly renewing my mind and spirit and my commitment to mission.”

We could make a similar affirmation to our church mission here in Faringdon. Did you know that CMS has provided pioneer mission training for more than 200 people who are putting their call to mission in this country?  This is an ongoing course and draws interest of over a hundred each year. Examples of their work are: Nigel, working to build relationships in Bradford between migrants and those of other faiths; Michael, working among Syrian refugees and other migrants in Ipswich; Chris and Anna in Hull, helping to run a breakfast club, a mission house, a community garden and a sewing collective; Ruth in Plymouth running a work club to help unemployed people to find jobs; andLuke pioneering a church for ragamuffins’ for people on the edge of society. Some of these people have full time jobs and some are retired and feel called to help others in this way. All, by God’s grace, want to help to grow communities of Christians who act like Jesus with one another and within their neighbourhoods

CMS has called all Members to practice five minutes of silence in each day of Lent. Listen to God to discern his call to you. At the end of the day, look back, you may well notice unexpected ways in which you encountered God’s call for you during the day. We are not all called to be CMS members, but we are all called to Mission.

As we go through Lent to Easter Day, let us all pray for Lynn Treneary and the South Sudan, that the fighting and hatred will stop and that all can celebrate the victory of Jesus.

In Africa, Easter is the most important of the Church festivals. Christians dress in their best, often new clothes, children will often gather palms and go around their area singing Easter carols at dawn. There is feasting together, often after a long church service with singing and dancing. This is their God in whom they trust and they worship together with energy and joy.

With thanks to Peter Foot for extra information.

For more information about CMS contact Joan Plumptre (243 388).

CMS FUNdraiser

Afternoon of Tea, Cakes,

Board Games and Fun

Saturday 7th April, 3.00-5.00pm

Barber Rooms

In aid of Lynn Treneary (CMS Link Missionary)

Entrance Free Donations welcome

Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid Week this year will be from the 13th to 19th May 2018. Our theme will be “Providing life-saving new homes to poor communities at risk from disasters”.

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.

There will be more in-depth information in the April & May issues of the Parish Magazine, but in the meantime we would be very grateful if you would “Save the date” for the following events:

Tuesday 15th May – 09:00 – 11:00am: Street Collection
Tuesday 15th May – 10:30am – 12:00noon: Coffee Morning in the Barber Rooms
Saturday 19th May – 7.00pm: Concert at All Saints’

As well as the Street Collection, we will also be doing the House-to-House Collection during Christian Aid week and it would be much appreciated if you would consider volunteering to help with this or any of our other events. If you would like any further information please contact:
Julie Campbell on 242 589.

Missions News

News About The Children’s Society and The Church Mission Society

News about the Children’s Society

The Annual Box Opening which took place during November realised the sum of £419.15 being collected from Boxholders. This has been forwarded to The Children’s Society. Very many thanks to all Boxholders for your continued generosity and the support you give to the Society which enables it to provide vital help to disadvantaged children and young in this country.

The total amount from the Envelopes and the Collection at the Christingle Service in January was £352.00. This, together with the Boxholders donations, gives a total of £771.15 which has been passed to the Society to assist in its essential work with children. Many thanks to you all for so generously continuing to support this UK Charity.

I am relinquishing the post of Co-ordinator for The Children’s Society. A very kind offer to take on this responsibility has been made and this will take place immediately. The Box Opening for 2018 will take place as usual in November when Mr John Seedell will be pleased to receive your Boxes. John’s very kind offer to represent the Society is greatly appreciated. He can be contacted on 242 440.

Hazel Catling

News about the Church Mission Society

Good News! At last, Lynn Treneary, our Mission Partner with CMS, has internet connection. At last, we can send and receive e-mails. It is not all perfect, three months after Lynn returned to Maridi, she has made a quick trip to Kampala, Uganda, to get more solar battery power, and also, as roads are closed and supplies are short, to buy tyres for her car and households needs. She has had to use the MAF plane to get there and back, as the roads are dangerous.
The latest prayer paper from CMS reports that on 21st December, a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed by government and rebel forces. This was the eighth agreement in three years, but sadly, there have been as many violations of it since then as the previous ceasefires. Please continue to pray for an end to violence and fighting and a recovery of the rule of law. Please also pray for the 209,011 people still displaced from their homes and living in camps in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Wau. (see the Barber rooms board for the map.)
Lynn wrote a Link Letter for the church before Christmas and we have received a copy from CMS in the new year. In spite of the troubles she faces daily she writes of many good things that are taking place there.
Just before Christmas Lynn had some experience in organising college exams. She says she was glad when the college decided they must look for an expert to do the job! The college is doing well and they hope to open as a campus for the Episcopal University next year.
The Diocese is much the same as when Lynn left it. It is still without electricity or open roads and the water stop/start. However, everyone keeps going and retains hope for a better future.
Positive news is that a team from Kenya and Uganda from Action Africa Help are in Maridi to help improve the health system. There is a long way to go, there are no mosquito nets at the hospital etc, but there are medicines for malaria, typhoid, dysentery, and pneumonia all of which talk too many lives. The team is also helping with the biggest health crisis of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B, both of which are spreading fast. There is also a team helping to deal with Nodding Syndrome.
The youth are also doing really well, with over 2000 singing, dancing, and praying in the diocese. The Bishop has recently returned from Ireland with some new electronic equipment. Lynn says they hope to put on an evangelistic concert in six months
The Mothers Union is doing well. They have managed to rebuild a small meeting room that had burned down a couple of years ago. They have also raised funds for the widows and orphans group school fees for next year. This will be a great relief. Much of this money has come from donations and they are looking for schools in UK and elsewhere who might like to twin with the local schools in Maridi.
The cathedral and the staff houses are also in a bad state of repair and need help. It is not easy to get donations for buildings , and, in All Saints’ we know the difference good buildings make as we use the Barber Rooms.
Other good news. Lynn reports that the evangelistic team (see photo) spent a week touring the town including seven markets, the army barracks, the police recruitment centre and the state legislative HQ. Many people came to the Lord and/or renewed their faith. God is so great!
Lynn finishes her letter with grateful thanks to God and the way he has blessed them. The situation is grim, people are traumatised through being held captive by rebels or having their family members killed, but they know that God still loves them. The letter is humbling, in the midst of their troubles, they are not sitting back in despair, they are out there working to make lives better, and God is loving them and blessing them.
The full Link Letter will be pinned on the notice board by the Barber rooms. Do read it and all the other information that is renewed each week. The CMS sends out a weekly prayer paper and we put any information on South Sudan on the board. If you too would like to keep up with information on CMS by using the prayer paper, talk to Joan Plumptre – or join us on the 3rd Wednesday every month at 10.30-11.30am to pray for Lynn and CMS. When people pray, God always answers and sends his blessings.

For more information about CMS contact: Joan Plumptre (243 388)

Missions News

News from the Church Mission Society

It has been an amazing six months, first being accepted by CMS as a Mission Partner, then 3 months training with them in Oxford, an amazing education and time of encouragement. I want to thank everybody for your loving hospitality.

The news from Maridi and South Sudan is…peace is holding. This can only be a miracle and I believe an answer to our faithful prayers from our loving Father in heaven.

I will arrive in Maridi at the end of June. I want to say thank you for partnership with us in this mission  Thank you for your prayers, your financial support and all your encouragement. We are working to transform lives in Jesus and really make a difference.

With love in our King and Saviour,

Your sister Lynn

The latest news from South Sudan is mixed. The new Transitional Government of National Unity is very slowly moving into action on a few fronts. But opposition members are complaining that international donors have not so far offered financial support to the country, because of the lack of progress in implementing the peace agreement. The economy is still in a dire state and security is not much better. The government has resolved to release all prisoners of war; but, despite the official peace, fighting continues among multiple militias who pay no heed either to President Kiir or Vice-President Machar.

We are asked to pray for:

  • lasting peace in South Sudan.
  • all refugees, that they may one day be able to go back to their homes in peace.
  • the situation of food security so that people may have enough to eat.
  • the many South Sudanese recovering from fighting and violence at this time.

Pray for Lynn regularly as she returns to old friends and faces new challenges; for her work encouraging the many members of the Mothers Union; for her improving ability to learn and use the local language; and as she puts her complete trust in Jesus her Lord that she will know that Jesus will use our prayers to support her.

Joan Plumptre

 

Peacebuilding

Liza and I deeply appreciated our time with you all at All Saints’ in May, when we reported some of our activities during our time in Kenya, which you so kindly supported in prayer and finance.

But you can blame John de Wit for asking me to expand on some of our comments made during Holy Communion!

We share ‘The Peace” in that service, and for some of us, it’s not at all comfortable.  Even the act of shaking hands and greeting someone, whether a stranger or an irksome fellow church member, can be something of a trial rather than a blessing!  And God forbid that we move out of the safety of our seat!  But “The Peace” is not only an expression of our union, it is also a crucial interplay that mirrors and reinforces the reality that peace-making involves us in movement – in moving out of our comfort zones.

Our job in Kenya included peace-building which is not the same as conflict resolution, although one flows often enough into the other.  And the key approach is to strengthen Connectors and weaken Separators.  Strengthening connections outside of family, clan, tribe region, or nation.  Enabling people to find the humanity in others, to identify common ground, to break down the separators that maintain unjust enrichment, oppression and cruelty.

The story is told that one lady left a suicide note on a safety railing on the Golden Gate Bridge in California, stating that, “If just one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.”  It’s 220’/67m from the Bridge to the sea, and sadly, she was not one of the very few who have survived the fall.  Whether apocryphal or not the story illustrates that small actions can have major repercussions.  Sometimes all it takes is to smile at someone. Sometimes all it takes is to walk across the room.  Sometimes that first step leads to amazing positive outcomes. We all know the proverb ascribed to Lao Tzu, “ The Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

The Nazis called non-Aryans, “Untermenschen” –  meaning subhuman. White supremacists argued for years that non-whites were inferior; ethnocentrism and tribalism dictates policy in many parts of the world, and we must not overlook the way many men perpetuate misogyny.

Yet we all have faces. We are all made in the image of God.

We all have two ears and one mouth, yet we speak far more than we listen.

I ask myself the following questions:

  • Is it my fear and selfishness that gives me permission to ignore or mistreat other human beings?
  • Is it my greed to make money, my ambition?
  • Can I accept difference without loss of the other’s dignity?
  • Is it my pride that demands their recognition of my high status, and thus their lower position?
  • Where is the Peace in that?
  • And how can we have peace in the big picture, at corporate and trans-national levels, if we do not even do Peace and be Peace within ourselves and with our neighbours?

Peace is a seed – and big Oak trees from little acorns grow.

And remember, He is our Peace – and we are His followers.

David Cooke