Missions News September

News from the Church Mission Society

The situation in South Sudan has improved a little, partly due to the recent visit of our Archbishop, Justin Welby, who visited Sudan and the refugee camps in Northern Uganda, for people who have fled South Sudan. He encouraged the people of different tribes to make peace with each other.

As a result, the African Development Bank has released 43 million dollars to South Sudan to provide, food, water, medicines, and fodder, and to assist the basis for longer term resilience. There has also been appointed a special envoy to South Sudan , Ismail Wais, to work with all parties to bring about eventual democratic elections.

We tend to disbelieve in government envoys, but read Isaiah 51 when the people of Israel were in captivity in Babylon and felt they would never be free to return to their own country. God spoke to the captive Israelites: “Listen to me, my people, hear me my nation. The law will go out from me, my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations.”

Our God is in charge and our trust is in Him, not in the political envoys. So we must pray faithfully to our God for the people of South Sudan and it is our God who will bring peace and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, we are looking forward to the visit again of Lynn Treneary, our CMS Mission Partner in South Sudan. Before her visit, on 1st September, we have an ‘event’ to raise some money towards a satellite connection for Lynn in Maridi. (see below).

Then, on Sunday 10th September, at the 10.30am service in All Saints’, Lynn will be preaching and possibly showing some photos of her work in Maridi. After the service there will be a Bring-&-Share lunch in the Barber Rooms for any who can come. Drinks will be provided. There will be a chance to talk to Lynn and it means a lot to her to meet those who pray for her. There will not be a stall this year as CMS have closed their shop, but there will be a chance to give some money towards the satellite connection in Maridi, which will enable Lynn to keep in internet connection with us. Please contact Joan Plumptre if you are able to come to the lunch

As well as supporting Lynn in her work, we must also pray for the organisation of CMS. All the Mission Partners have to raise their support from churches or individuals, but the offices and staff in Oxford rely on personal donations or grants. A few years ago they moved all the staff into half of the building, hoping to rent the other half to a suitable organisation to give a regular income. So far they have not received any offers to rent that half. Please will you pray for this situation to be resolved.

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

 

Missions News July and August 2017

News from Church Mission Society and Matt, Liz, Levi & Anya Wisbey

News from the Church Mission Society

A big thank you to all who helped at the service and the lunch on Sunday 11th June, when the Revd Colin Smith came to speak about the Church Mission Society. It was a very happy day, and we were able to send a donation from the retiring collection of £336.51, of which £240 was gift aided. Many thanks also to St Mary’s for supporting CMS and their gift of £110. These have both been sent to CMS for general funds.

Colin spoke at the service and the lunch on Mission: What is Mission?; Who is called for Mission? This is the theme that CMS is concentrating on this year, and it tied in with the talk by the Bishop of Oxford when he visited  our Deanery three days before.

In Matthew 5:14 Jesus said “You are the light of the world”  and in Mark 16:15 Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation”. Every Christian believer is called to join in God’s Mission, to bring challenge, change, hope and freedom to our world.

As a community of people in mission, CMS wants to help as many people as possible to be set free to put this call into action – whether that means going overseas or over the road. The call is for all. So the question isn’t IF we are called to mission but, WHAT DOES THIS CALL LOOK LIKE FOR ME?

To help us to think about OUR call, there are various publications from CMS on the Church table and on the board outside the Barber Rooms.

  • A booklet entitled “The Call is for…” lists the six priorities in mission and examples of those who have responded to their call.
  • A quarterly newspaper, The Call tells stories of those whom CMS is supporting in their response to God’s call.
  • A weekly prayer paper, sent by e-mail to those whose call is to pray regularly for those whom CMS supports.
  • A quarterly Prayer booklet.
  • Information about Lynn Treneary, our Mission Partner, on her work in South Sudan. At present she has no internet, but she knows that we pray regularly for her. That too is our call.

All these publications are free and we ask you to take the copies to help you in your call to support Lynn.

Date for your diary

We have the exciting news that Lynn Treneary will be visiting us on Sunday 10th September. Lynn would not usually be visiting the UK for two years, but one of her daughters is getting married in the UK and so she is making a quick visit for that. She is not able to visit all her supporting Churches but we have managed to arrange for her to visit All Saints’ for the 10.30am service.

Lynn will preach at the service and we will have a Bring-&-Share lunch afterwards. Do put the date in your diary and come to hear about her work. She has found it difficult to keep contact as she has no internet. If we write to her, she has to go around the area to other NGOs to find someone who has a working internet connection. It is just possible to use Facebook, but that has dangers with the fighting all around. She is hoping perhaps to get a satellite dish and I am hoping we may be able to help her with the money needed .

We will put on the notice board more details of her visit as we get them. Once she is in the UK she will be able to contact us easily. So keep reading the material on the notice board; it is updated most weeks, and come and give Lynn a good All Saints’ welcome.

Joan Plumptre

News from Matt, Liz, Levi & Anya Wisbey

Dear Friends and Family.

I LOVED that community of practice newcomers led sessions (at this event). This really showed the spirit of a community of practice. We all come with many things we can contribute, even the first time we join.”

This was what one of the participants at last month’s community of practice (CoP) event shared after attending the event in Bangkok. The event, for teams working with minority language communities across Asia and beyond, was on this occasion focused on how to work in ways that encourage community participation and was part of the first of two trips Matt is taking to Asia this May/June (if you’re interested you can read more about the May event here—https://storify.com/languageimpact/encouraging-community-participation).

We’ll write a longer update later in the month but we wanted to write a quick note now so that you could be praying for some of the exciting things happening over the next few weeks. We’re pleased to say that the May trip and learning event also went well from a personal perspective, with Matt’s travel going smoothly and Liz and the kids doing well at home without him. Given that Matt will be away for another couple of weeks this month this was particularly encouraging. Please join us in giving thanks to God for the event, the participants who joined and learnt together, and for provision for our family as we were apart.

On 10th June Matt is off again, this time to the Philippines to help colleagues there run their own national CoP event and then on to Cambodia to provide training for a local organisation. Both these activities are building on work Matt’s team have done over the last year and so it’s great to see that hard work come to fruition. Please be praying for the teams as they prepare for the events, pray for those who will attend – that they will learn more together and so be better able to serve communities where they work, and of course for everyone’s safety as we travel and for our families as they remain home.

Finally, it is getting increasingly difficult to send legitimate group emails without them being automatically deleted or spammed by email providers. To help us review our processes could you please take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about our current communications and how we might communicate better in the future. Just click on this link to fill in the form –https://goo.gl/forms/gdxGXxT6QeGQZy2d2

Thank you for standing with us and supporting us in this work.

With much love,

Matt, Liz, Levi and Anya

http://wisbeys.blogspot.co.uk

Missions News June 2017

Church Mission Society

This is the month in the year when we especially remember CMS and in particular, Lynn Treneary, our Mission Partner working in Maridi, South Sudan.

There will be no stall selling crafts this year as CMS have closed their shop in Oxford. This is because the internet and mobiles enable the different craft producing groups to make their own contacts in UK markets.

Our main event for June will be on Sunday 11th June at the 10.30am service in All Saints, Faringdon, when the Reverend Colin Smith will be speaking. He will stay after the service for a Bring-&-Share Lunch in the Barber Rooms, when he will show a short film on the work of CMS. and be available to answer questions on the work of CMS

We know now that  it will be a weekend of Election fever, but we do ask that you will make a special effort to be at the service to hear Colin and to come to the lunch afterwards to talk with Colin about his work.

Colin was a Mission Partner in Africa and now prepares new Partners for their work in a different culture and different conditions. This is very important work.

A couple with two small children recently felt God was calling them to serve abroad, and they went to Ethiopia to work amongst the refugees from South Sudan. There were drought conditions and temperatures of 40 degrees and above, and they had to move to Kenya for the sake of the children who could not cope with the intense heat. They have just returned as the rains have started and are able to continue their work and learn the local language. They asked for prayer as the heat made them so tired and the work was hard.

Lynn, too, has been away in Kampala, Uganda for a week or two. Though it is so far safe in Maridi, she needs a break every three months or so, just to access money, meet other church friends and recharge her spiritual batteries. But, despite the  fighting and misery in South Sudan, God has been amazingly answering our prayers. There are many all over the UK who are praying for South Sudan ,and  as we have been praying in May, saying “Thy Kingdom Come”. God’s answer came in March, when a new translation of the Bible in the language of the Baka tribe, a group living near Maridi, was launched. Despite the fear that the people there had of leaving their homes, because of the soldiers patrolling the roads, over 7,000 came to celebrate the launch and enjoy five hours of worship and celebration! The boxes of Bibles were opened and everyone rushed to buy a copy and straightway sat down on the grass to read it. Yes, they were able to read the bible in the language of the majority, but they said, “This Bible speaks to our heart”!

This gathering was an answer to the prayers of many, but it is also a challenge to us. These 7,000 people risked shooting or kidnap to possess a Bible that ‘spoke to their heart’.  Would we have done that? Is reading our Bible daily so important in our lives, that we are prepared to set the alarm earlier so as not to miss it?

These people not only made the effort to get to Maridi, but, once there they spent five hours, singing, dancing, eating and praising God for his gifts to them. We as a congregation have promised to support Lynn Treneary, financially, by our prayers, and by our support mentally and spiritually. This service on 11th June is a chance to show that care, in our enthusiasm to hear about the work of Lynn and CMS. This is our CALL from God.

We can also show that care, to which we are called by sharing a meal together (see below). Drinks will be provided, just bring something savoury, and/or sweet that we can all share, and talk with Colin Smith and each other .and celebrate what God is doing in South Sudan.

As I was sending this to print, a Link Letter from Lynn arrived. It is very exciting and will be on the Barber Rooms board from 21st May. Do make an effort to read it – you will be inspired to give thanks and to pray.

Missions News May 2017

News from Church Mission Society 

News from the Church Mission Society

We have just heard that Lynn Treneary has been welcomed into the church and the college on Easter Sunday as a Lay Reader. Our congratulations have been sent to her and our prayer support as she extends her work in South Sudan.

You will have read on the notice board in the Barber Rooms about the continued fighting in South Sudan. It has also been on the BBC News and in the newspapers. Now there is a drought in East Africa to add to the problems. We can only pray for the mercy of God and for guidance to the church to know how to help bring those who are fighting together – to make peace.

CMS is also working with those in camps in the Middle East, where there are almost 5 million refugees from Syria. The conditions are not good and many have lost all hope, so much so, that, according to the papers many are committing suicide. One Lebanese couple living in the UK felt that God was calling them to return to Lebanon and help these people. They did not know how they could help and prayed for God to show them what He wanted them to do. They felt that God said to them,

“One day I will have you stand in front of my throne and I will ask you: ‘I was marginalised, and what did you do, I had nothing, I had no school, I was a child stranger, what did you do?

This couple set up a school for 80 children in the camp from ages 3-15 years. CMS is providing their living costs as they carry out this work.

Other couples are doing a similar work in the refugee camps in Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. For safety reasons they  cannot be named or written about,  and some have to be careful how they witness to their Christian faith. But, along with their setting up schools or health centres, they work to bring hope to those who have none, and to show them that they are loved by God and they are not alone.

It costs £36 a day to support these brave couples and make their work possible. Will you pray for them. We cannot support every request we receive, but pray to know if this is your call. Any gifts can be sent to Church Mission Society, Watlington Road, Oxford, OX4 6BZ

Date for your diary

The Revd Colin Smith, from CMS will be preaching on 11th June at the 10.30am service at All Saints’. This will be followed by a Bring-&- Share lunch with him in the Barber Rooms and a chance to talk further.

Members of our congregation meet every third Wednesday of the month at 10.30am at 8 Coach Lane to pray together for Lynn and CMS. Do join us any time, Jesus called us to pray together as well as individually. We look forward to more taking up the call to pray.

Joan Plumptre

Missions News

News about Christian Aid, Church Mission Society and Matt, Liz, Levi & Anya Wisbey

Christian Aid

Our theme in 2017 will be “Refugees all around the World” and Christian Aid will be celebrating 60 years of fundraising to bring an end to global poverty. British churches initially founded Christian Aid to support hundreds of thousands of refugees who lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War.

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 16th May: Coffee Morning & Cake Sale in the Barber Rooms

Saturday 20th May: Concert at All Saints’

 We will also be doing the House-to-House Collection and a Street Collection during Christian Aid week and it would be much appreciated if you would consider volunteering to help with this.

If you would like any further information, please contact Julie Campbell

News from the Church Mission Society

A big THANK YOU to all who helped to make the afternoon tea party to raise money for our Mission Partner, Lynn Treneary a lot of fun and a great success. We were able to send £895 to Lynn, and we received a reply from her by return:

Thank you for your enormous support. It will help many people in some way as I try to answer all the calls for help I get.

Maridi Town is in a sort of bubble of peace meaning we can carry on here under God’s blessings. But all around us, quite close even, is suffering of the worst kind. Towns and villages we know under attack. Basic human rights like food and shelter, even water, not available.

On an encouraging note, five of my English students walk five and a half miles to get to college. There is commitment to development being practised.

My job is to encourage and that is what I do thanks to The Holy Spirit. Your prayers for me and Maridi are being answered and we all continue to pray for South Sudan and the world.

Much love and many blessings to you all

Lynn

As Lynn says, the rest of the news from South Sudan is mostly bad.

First, on the good side, Wycliffe Bible Society reported that copies of the New Testament and Genesis in the Baka language, used by a tribe from Western Equatoria, South Sudan, was launched on 12th March to much rejoicing. The people have waited for 30 years to be able to read the Bible in a language that touches their heart.

Fighting continues in other parts with the utmost brutality, whole villages are burned, some food aid got through to one area, but straight away the government told all the aid workers to leave in preparation for a major army campaign.

The President has called for a National Dialogue to start on 15th March and a Day of Prayer on 10th March, but it is government soldiers who are some of those who are causing the violence. However, the churches are working together to try to bring reconciliation. The Pope has declared his desire to visit South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury, possibly later this year.

A small group meets to pray for CMS and South Sudan, every 3rd Wednesday of the month and we welcome others to join us. Information on South Sudan is updated most weeks and this is placed on the Barber Rooms notice board. We do ask you to pray with us or at home and especially for Lynn whom we support.

June is the month when we especially remember CMS and we hope to have Revd Colin Smith, Dean  of Mission Education, responsible for the training of mission partners prior to departure, to preach at the 10.30am service in All Saints’ on 11th June. This will be followed by a Bring-&-Share lunch in the Barber Rooms to give us time to talk further to Colin. Do put this date in your diary, it will be a chance to hear more about the work that CMS is doing in this country and across the world.

Also, a reminder to take the free copies of the quarterly newspaper The Call which are on the bench in the Church. These provide a great deal of information on CMS in the world and will inspire and encourage you as you try to play your part in God’s church.

Joan Plumptre

News from Matt, Liz, Levi & Anya Wisbey

Matt’s work has been busy since his trip to present at the conference in October .The presentation went wel, and his trip to visit a partner organisation’s work in the Philippines was a particular highlight of 2016—getting to see first hand the work they are doing with a minority community to restore the rainforest.

In January, much of Matt’s time was spent working on a brochure to help people in their work communicating about the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education This was one of the goals of the October conference and so it was great to see that come together just in time for International Mother Language Day.

After a period of steady office work, the spring brings more teaching and travel. In May Matt will be teaching on the multilingual education course, and travelling to Thailand to support the next community of practice event.

Please remember us as we all adjust to different work patterns over the next few months. We love to hear your news and to pray for you, so drop us a few lines if you can.

Thank you for your continued support of this work and our family.

For more news visit www.wisbeys.blogspot.co.uk

Missions’ News

News from the Church Mission Society

This month’s copy had to be sent to the printers before the Tiddlywinks event took place. But you can see the results on the Barber Rooms notice board and our thanks to all who took part.

We give thanks to God that Lynn Treneary has recovered from her illness, mentioned last month, and has returned to Maridi in South Sudan. Though the College where she works and teaches English is still safe, there is no certainty of their continuing safety as fighting keeps breaking out in different places. She is always aware of this and feels that it is safest to correspond with us only through the Mission Society, so we have to wait to receive news. Lynn is going to try to send monthly news for our prayers.

As we reported last month, one of the requests for our prayers is the lack of available food in the country, with the result that many, especially the young children, are starving. Lynn has asked for help for two groups of people that she is trying to help. One is the widows and orphans from a tanker accident. Not far from them, two years ago, a tanker had an accident, the fuel spilled out and the local people rushed to collect what fuel they could collect. The lorry suddenly exploded and many men were killed. Their families are still facing starvation as food is expensive or unavailable.

Another group Lynn is hoping to help have been displaced in the last couple of weeks. There was recently an armed robbery in a village not all that far from Maridi. Three people were killed, including a soldier of one of the armies. The army retaliated, killing three people and they then burned the whole village to the ground and destroyed the borehole which had provided them with drinking water. 705 people have made their way to a church near Lynn, where they are sheltering under the trees without anything.

The churches in South Sudan are working hard to bring forgiveness and reconciliation to the two tribes, but it is hard when you see such hatred that people can do these things to each other. They need us all to pray always for God to work in the hearts and minds of these troubled people.

Lynn is working with the churches as well as teaching, and she is also working with, and bringing encouragement to the large numbers in the Mothers Union.

We still keep in touch with our previous Mission Partners, Liza and David Cooke. They have a home in Chichester and Liza has gone back to Kenya this month to help again with the distribution of the wheelchairs, this time at their own expense. This year the chairs are being given mostly to children, whose lives will be transformed as they are able to take part in village life for the first time.

We can all pray at home, but a small group of us meets monthly to pray specifically for requests sent from CMS. Jesus said, when two or three are gathered together, it is something special. We would love more to join us, if not every month, but when they can. If you feel that you could make this part of your work of mission in the world, do please phone Joan Plumptre,  243 388. We meet to pray on the 3rd Wednesday in each month from 10.30 to 11.30am, coffee at 10.00am!

Joan Plumptre

Missions’ News

News from The Children’s Society, NSPCC and CMS

Thank you on behalf of The Children’s Society

The Annual Box Opening which took place during November resulted in the sum of £444.50 being collected from Boxholders. A very big Thank You to all Boxholders for your generosity and for the continued support which you give to The Children’s Society. This sum has been forwarded to The Society and will assist them in continuing their work with the many vulnerable children and young people in this country who need help.

If others would like to have a House Collection Box please contact me on 242 355 and I will get one to you.

Hazel Catling

Thank you on behalf of NSPCC

The Faringdon Branch would like to thank everyone for the wonderful toys donated to the NSPCC for distribution in the Swindon area.

Also we would like to thank everyone who attended our Carol Concert which raised the amazing sum of £845. The committee value our link with the Church as our group was originally started in 1956 by the then Vicar of Faringdon, Revd Clive Davey, and we really appreciate the support that we still receive.

Brenda Barber

News from the Church Mission Society

This magazine marks the beginning of a new year, 2017. Can we make a New Year resolution to look at the Barber Rooms notice board and to read the CMS items, perhaps before we rush for a coffee! We try to update them every week to give you new items for your prayers.

After a silence of 3 months, we have at last received an e-mail from Lynn Treneary. Sadly, for the wrong reason, as Lynn had become very ill suffering repeated attacks of malaria and stomach problems and the principal of the college where she works decided she should go to Uganda for better medical treatment. The good news is that the doctor in Kampala diagnosed a blood parasite and was able to get medicine to cure it. However, Lynn had lost a lot of weight and will have to stay in Kampala until she is strong again and her blood is back to the correct levels. Lynn is just longing to get back to her work and friends in Maridi, and many are praying for her.

The situation in South Sudan is better in parts. The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission launched a peace and healing conference in Juba, including religious leaders, traditional leaders, and government officials. In Yei state the Governor has also assembled a team of religious and community leaders to negotiate with the armed groups and has pulled together a force of police, fire brigade and the wildlife unit to patrol the streets. These efforts resulted in a fairly quiet Christmas and New Year. Maridi has remained peaceful throughout ,but the latest news reports fighting in Yei and Yambio.

The problem of hunger and starvation remains. The fighting has meant that crops were not planted and imported food is much more expensive and sometimes difficult to get. As a result of this, salaries are low and many government salaries have not been paid for months. It is estimated that 3.6 million are ‘severely food insecure’, (i.e. starving) Rebel fighters are preventing food aid from getting in to the country. Pray for the people, especially for those unable to feed their children.

Elsewhere in this magazine you will see that we are having a fun event for all the family to raise some money which will be sent to Lynn for her to use to help friends in Maridi who are suffering. Some of her other Link churches have already done this and she was able to provide meals for the small school children. Do please support this event generously. There will be a stall selling crafts from CMS that are at rock bottom prices as CMS are closing their shop at the Oxford offices.

Pray for peace to come to South Sudan and for the people to be reconciled together. Pray too for Lynn to be restored to full health so that she can return to Maridi.

Joan Plumptre

Missions News

News from the Church Mission Society

Lynn Treneary was able to send a little news when she attended a Mission Partners’ gathering in Uganda in October. She used the two weeks there to get solar panels for her house in the hope that they would give her electricity at night. She also stocked up with books for the students and foodstuffs that are not available in Maridi. She sent her thanks and love to All Saints’ while there and she is now back home in Maridi with no internet connection.

We continue to send e-mails to Lynn in the hope that occasionally she will be somewhere where she can read them. We have sent her a copy of Jeff Lucas’ book, which is reviewed here, for Christmas and will send two Christmas cards from our church. Any new messages Lynn is able to send us will be on the notice board; do read this on your way to and from coffee!

Wycliffe Bible Society wrote in mid November, “Several of our members working overseas have written to us requesting prayer for more financial support….Many understand the emotional toll of having to tighten your belt and when you are living in an already stressful situation it can bring you to tipping point”.  This is also true for CMS and other Mission Partners. The fall in the value of the pound compared to other currencies has hit hard. Also, as people are living longer after retiring, keeping up with pensions is proving difficult and donations are going down as churches support more different charities. Lynn Treneary made a point when she visited us, of saying that she would never ask for money. She would accept whatever was sent and she trusted God to provide.

But we are His hands to dispense His Blessings. Can we all think if we should send some extra to Lynn to enable her to buy food for herself and those who work with her, to buy food for the children around who cannot afford to buy sugar, salt, bread and other basic things? Maridi is just now, peaceful, and they are able to grow a few crops, but elsewhere in the South Sudan towns, both sides of Maridi, where there is fighting, families are unable to get to their fields to grow anything, so food is scarce or very, very expensive.

Can we commit ourselves to pray daily for the fighting to stop and the tribes to be reconciled? The churches in South Sudan are working hard to bring peace, let us pray with and for them.  Also, CMS headquarters in Oxford asks for our prayers. They moved all their staff into half of their building to be able to rent the other half out as some churches are unable to keep up their donations. So far they have not been able to find someone to rent the other half. Please pray as they are struggling to pay pensions and provide extra funds for Mission Partners.
For more information about CMS contact: Joan Plumptre (243 388 or bobjoanplumptre@btinternet.com)

Missions News

NEWS ABOUT CMS, Matt and Liz Wisbey and The Children’s Society

News from the Church Mission Society

Happily, our Mission Partner, Lynn Treneary, has managed to get an e-mail letter out of Maridi to say that Maridi is peaceful, the surrounding areas have quietened down and the road to Yambio is safe. Sadly that is not true for Yei and the area around it. More of this below, but first, part of Lynn’s latest letter.

“My main focus this month has been getting MSF (Drs Without Borders) to come and assess and treat the burns victims from the petrol tanker explosion a year ago. They attended to 29 patients here but unfortunately there are 100 to 175 nearer to the explosion which was Faraksika, about an hour’s drive (40km) away, who were unable to get here because the road is too unsafe. Motorbikes would have brought them in convoy but at SSP2000 (about $20) a round trip it was unaffordable. I am waiting for the report from MSF on the patients they did see so that we can at least apply (somewhere) for antibiotics and bandages etc and then find a way to get it to them.

“People are still dying from infections a year after the event. I’m applying to ICRC ( Red Cross) to try  and get those who need plastic surgery out to Egypt. It’s a tall order but God is my Father.

“Chaima is going well if somewhat lacking in money for tutors and food. We are still trying to persuade the internet server co. to come and fix the internet. (Editor: Lynn still has no internet connection so cannot send e-mails, nor receive those we send to her) But the lessons are going well. I have started a group for adults wanting to learn to read and write in Juba Arabic. They had originally come to learn English and thought they could read but unfortunately they have only learnt how to write and cannot read what they have written. It is a common problem with over 100 pupils in a class that some slip through the teacher’s net.

“Money for food is short and some extra that has been sent to provide food for the children has had to be spent on new pit latrines as the old ones fell down. As you can imagine, with around 100 school children around, a toilet is a priority. My watchman Matthew is building the new one. I am so happy to have helpers around the house. They are called “watch men” (I have two who do one week on and one week off) because they do guard the place but they do so much more, including helping the wider community. This week they helped to re-build the car-port whose tin-roof was threatening to fall on top of the car because the wood posts had been eaten, they helped to prepare the guest house for MSF coming and dig the latrine! This week I hope they will raise the hen-house up higher as cats keep getting in and stealing the little ones.

“I am aware that we are in some kind of protective dome of the Lord, but all around me things are not so great and I ask you to pray about that too as I’m sure you do. I want to say I think of myself as ‘we’ not just me. I am we. The Lord showed me I am one of many with you on this mission, all kneeling before the throne.”

As mentioned at the start of this article, the situation around Yei is very bad. 100 orphans en route to Uganda have been trapped by the fighting and several hundred more are reported trapped in Yei. All roads are blocked in and out of the city, schools, health centres, and markets are not working and no one can get to their crops to tend them. A convoy was attacked on the Yei to Juba road in mid October and 21 people including 5 women and 15 children were killed It is reported that the gunmen divided the travellers by ethnic group and shot all those who were not of the gunmen’s group, including the children. The roads around Juba and Yei are all unsafe, there is looting and burning of crops and livestock killed in areas that were once known as the bread basket of South Sudan. 1868 cases of Cholera were recently reported in Juba. The church in South Sudan is working hard to bring reconciliation and peace. Do pray for them.

Our CMS Prayer Group meets every third Wednesday in the month. We would love more to join us in this mission of prayer. If you can come, even occasionally, you will be very welcome. As a church we have promised to support Lynn and the work of CMS in the world, and we know that our loving Lord wants his people to pray and he will answer in amazing ways beyond our imagining

For more information about CMS contact Joan Plumptre 243 388

News from Matt and Liz Wisbey

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1

While many of us believe the above is true, sadly the reality in our world today looks very different. There is much beauty and wonder, but also much destruction and pain. The condition of our planet should be a concern for us all, yet there seems to be a growing disconnect between the environment in which we live and our individual and collective well-being. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of the importance of the planet’s health for our own health.

The world’s climate is changing, and it is now almost unanimously agreed that this is as a result of human actions. The effect of these changes cannot be underestimated, as we see extreme ‘natural’ disasters happening more frequently and with increased devastation. These changes will ultimately impact us all, both directly and indirectly, but the communities who will be (and already are being) most strongly affected are those living on the margins, the communities we support through language, education and development activities.

Believe it or not, finding and supporting ways for these communities to increase their resilience to the changing environment and climate is part of Matt’s work with LEAD Asia (Language, Education And Development Asia). As a team, LEAD Asia is committed to working with linguistic minority communities across Asia to see their lives transformed through right relationships with God, with themselves, within their communities, with others outside their community, and with the environment. As the verse at the top of this letter says, we believe EVERYTHING in the world is God’s and that real transformation will only be seen when people recognise and respond in ways that respect and reflect this.

Within LEAD Asia, Matt currently heads up a small team with a particular focus on finding ways for communities to use their languages and culture to find creative solutions to the range of problems they face in their daily lives. One way is to integrate environmental issues and responses into education programmes, and Matt and his colleague were recently at a large multilingual education conference in Thailand presenting on this topic.

Matt is also responsible for coordinating a communications team at the event and, afterwards, pulling together a publication summarizing the key themes from the conference. Please do remember him as he shares about the work LEAD Asia is doing and that through his conversations communities across Asia and beyond would be truly transformed.

For news of Matt and Liz Wisbey see http://wisbeys.blogspot.fr/

The Children’s Society

This is the month when The Children’s Society Boxes are opened. If you have a Box would you let me have it during November so that it can be emptied and the contents sent to the Society.

Your continued support for the Society is very much appreciated by them, and your gifts will assist them in carrying on with their excellent work with so many vulnerable children and young people in this country.

Please contact me if you wish me to collect your Box from you or let me have it at one of the services at Church.

Very many thanks.

Hazel Catling (242 355)

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