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 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



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

Missions News

News and Urgent Prayer Requests from International Nepal Fellowship (INF)
Visa Situation

Every five years, INF renews its project agreement with the Government of Nepal. We are thankful that the project agreements are progressing and have not met with any significant opposition or change, but there have been significant delays. These delays are having a huge impact on expatriate mission workers.

Ordinarily we would anticipate extensions to existing visas being given while negotiations progressed. This has not been the case this time. As a result, all expats have had to transfer onto tourist visas. The Department of Immigration have made it very clear that expats should not work on tourist visas, so all INF expats have been asked to step back from work.

There is an additional uncertainty for expats on non-medical visas as the Social Welfare Council is now stipulating that expats should hold a Master’s degree relevant to their visa post. This will have an impact on a number of people.

Over the next few weeks, all INF/UK mission personnel will be returning to the UK until the agreements have been signed. In spite of this we anticipate that almost all INF project work will continue, thanks to local capacity.

Please pray:

  • For all expat mission personnel; for safety in travel, and for God’s peace and security while they live with uncertainty and the additional pressures that brings
  • That the final stages of the agreement negotiations can proceed smoothly and quickly
  • For the INF team remaining in Nepal and their ongoing work
  • That God uses these unusual times to bring blessings in many ways.

Nepal Constitution

A critical issue before Nepal’s Government is planned changes to laws governing religious expression, and in particular conversion from one faith to another. If passed in the current form, the restrictions will be heavier than prior to the 1990 revolution.

Article 156 of the proposed criminal code, makes it a punishable crime even to express one’s religious beliefs. A person held responsible for converting another person, propagating one’s beliefs or encouraging someone to do so, is an offender according to the proposed law and may be punished with five years of imprisonment. It is not yet clear how the law would be enforced.

Nepali Christian leaders are lobbying the government against these proposed changes and are hopeful that amendments can be made. Please pray for Christians in Nepal at this time that their lobbying will be successful.

Building Homes and Lives

Over 500,000 homes were totally destroyed in the earthquakes. Thousands of people are still living in temporary shelter which makes then very vulnerable, especially during the monsoon season (June-September), when rains make life very difficult and risks of landslides increase.

Across Nepal the construction of new earthquake resistant homes, schools or other buildings are in limbo until the Government publishes new building regulations. Please pray for clear guidance to come quickly so that rebuilding can start soon, and for God’s protection on communities who are waiting for new homes.

Every year, thousands of Nepalis migrate to other countries for work, as they can earn higher wages elsewhere. There is a concern that this is causing a shortage of skilled workers, such as stonemasons, for the reconstructions work in Nepal. Please pray that once construction work begins, enough skilled workers will be available locally to meet all needs.

For more information about INF contact 240 509

Margaret Scott Brown

Missions News

News from the Church Mission Society

This is the month for comings and goings.

First up is the return of our Mission Partners, David and Liza Cooke from Kenya. They will continue supporting the work they were doing in Kenya, but at their own expense and not with CMS. As our Link Partners, they are coming to say goodbye to All Saints’ Church on Sunday 29th May. They will speak at the 10.30am service and stay for coffee to meet people. There will be a Bring & Share lunch after the service in the Barber Rooms, to which we hope members of the congregation will come and share memories of the Cooke’s time with us, and to say goodbye. We hope that quite a few will be able to come to this, even though it is the Spring Bank holiday. Could you please let Joan Plumptre know if you will be able to stay for the lunch and say what you can bring to share at the meal (243 388 or bobjoanplumptre at btinternet.com).

Second is the Coming. Many of you will have met our new Mission Partner whom we have promised to support financially, spiritually and emotionally. Lynn Treneary came to visit in April and met the CMS Prayer Group and others over coffee after the Civic Service. Lynn hopes to go to the South Sudan later in the year and we hope that she will be able to visit us again to speak at a service before she leaves the UK.

Lynn will be working at the Chaima Christian Institute in Maridi, a town near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is a college offering courses in theology, social work, business administration and agriculture as well as vocational training skills, placing a particular priority on training young people and women. Lynn will be teaching English, a critical skill for all those looking to improve their situations.

She will also be heavily involved in the local church and the flourishing Mother’s Union. Lynn has already served as a short term Partner between 2013-2015 in this Institute, a time when the area was affected by the civil war. As a member of the diocese leadership team, Lynn helped with the relief efforts and liaised with Médecins Sans Frontières in their work.

The CMS Partners were evacuated to Uganda at the request of the College because of the fighting and later, Lynn felt that she was called by God to return to South Sudan as a long term Mission Partner. So she hopes to fly out later this year. The picture and article about her work is on the notice board in Church – do read it.

PLEASE remember to support the visit from David and Liza on 29th May as they say goodbye.

Joan Plumptre


News from the Wisbeys

Did you know that 21st February was International Mother Language Day? If not that’s understandable, particularly given the number of crazy international days that are around but for us in our work, International Mother Language Day is an important one in our calendar. Every year SIL (the organisation we work with; see www.sil.org/) and other organisations around the world with whom we partner, use this day to try to raise awareness of the millions of people around the world who are disadvantaged just because of the language they speak.

But did you know, even the term mother language (or mother tongue as it is often called) has its own complications. Some people, when they say mother tongue, literally mean the language used by the mother in the family. Some people use it to mean the most common language in the family, which might be the father’s language or it might be a different language altogether. And still others use it to mean the language that the child is most familiar with. This might seem like a strange question for English speakers who have grown up in monolingual households, but for many people around the world it is very common for the definitions given above to result in 3 different answers! A mother and a father may have different first languages, coming from different tribes or people groups within a country. The family may now be living in a different area from where they grew up and so the language used around them, in the market or at work and school, may be a different one. This multilingual scenario, although odd to many of us, is actually a very common scenario all over the world.

This year UNESCO Bangkok (one of the key partners Matt’s team works with) have collected stories showing the importance of the mother-tongue in education. One story from Bangladesh included this powerful extract:

“I cried when my mom dropped me off on my first day of school and didn’t stop until my teacher spoke to me in Kok Borok, my mother tongue… Now I am an MTB-MLE teacher at a pre-school in my village and the children who come to my school from Kok Borok-speaking households no longer have to have the same fears of being stuck in an environment where everything is incomprehensible.”

Thank you for continuing to partner with us to support minority communities around the world. Your support enables us to continue to promote the importance of using communities’ languages to enable them to engage with education, pursue their own development goals, and ultimately reduce inequalities.

Please pray for:

  • University revalidation of Masters programmes.
  • Matt’s teaching and contribution to the work of Wyciffe.
  • Matt facilitating at LEAD Community of Practice event in Thailand in May.

Love from Matt, Liz, Levi and Anya

For updated news on the Wisbeys see http://wisbeys.blogspot.fr/

Missions news

News from Church Mission Society

Joan Plumptre

This is the month when David and Liza Cooke will be leaving Kenya to return to the UK.  They will be flying home on 2nd April.  Do pray for them as they cope with the packing, for a safe journey, and adjustment to the next stage of their life. It is always difficult to leave a country for another.  Their minds will be on those they have left behind, will they stand firm against corruption, will they manage to continue to work for reconciliation?  Will they continue to work with the charity that sends out the wheelchairs?

Back in the UK, it will be all about UK politics and the Referendum, very few, if any, will want to be concerned about the problems of Kenya.  This is where David and Liza will value the visits to their Link Churches where they can share their burdens for their friends in Kenya and know that people are praying.

With this in mind we ask you to pray for and support the Cookes’ visit to All Saints’ on Sunday, 29th May.  It will be their farewell, a time when we will hear about how God has used their time in Kenya and they will be thanking us for our prayers and financial support.  When they first went to Kenya, our PCC, on our behalf, promised financial support and the prayer support of the members of our congregation.  David and Liza will continue their connection with Kenya but will no longer be supported by CMS, they will become a CMS Associate, still a member of CMS but self supporting and free to work from this country.  David and Liza will speak at the 10.30am service and there will be a chance to chat with them at coffee after the service and at a Bring & Share lunch afterwards in the Barber Rooms.  Put the date in your diary and let me know, if you can help.

We live in exciting times.  New technology, such as smart phones, enable people to receive the Bible in their own language, contact  other Christians,  group worship through their phones, even though the government may forbid public worship by Christians.  The number of new Christians in countries across the world is growing so fast, God is working where people are searching.  We may feel a bit dispirited in this country but the Archbishop is calling for a week of prayer for this country over Pentecost, and we can all take part in this believing that when we pray, God does answer us.

New Link Mission Partner

We now have another Mission Partner to support. She is Lynn Treneary going to South Sudan later in the year. Lynn is visiting All Saints at the 10.30 am service on 17th April and she would like to meet people at coffee after the service. She hopes to return later in the summer when she will be able to speak at a service about the work she will be doing in South Sudan. Please remember Lynn in your prayers.


Missions news

News from Church Mission Society

Joan Plumptre

A Kenyan man called Enoch, who had both of his legs amputated after an accident, received a wheelchair and urgent medical treatment, thanks to generous supporters, mission partners David and Liza Cooke and partnering organisations.

In May 2015, as part of their community based rehabilitation (CBR) work, the Cookes were involved in wheelchair distribution with Wheels for the World.

They take up the story: “After the team left, we received an anonymous donation from the UK to assist two of the wheelchair recipients with hospital fees for much-needed treatment. One of these was Enoch. He’s a highly independent character but he was struggling to care for himself and had open wounds which needed urgent treatment.

“After the funds arrived we found Enoch and had to persuade him to allow us to help him. By the time we succeeded in getting him to hospital he had a life-threatening infection. However, two weeks later he was discharged fit and well.

“Enoch’s wider family, whose help he had refused, saw the timing and intervention we were able to offer (as both CBR and Wheels for the World) as a clear answer to their prayers. There is something special about working in partnership across cultures to see people’s lives transformed.”

David and Liza are again giving life changing wheelchairs this February/March to those who need help. Then, in April they will be returning to the UK, leaving behind a capable Peace Group of Christians in the Borderlands and a capable group of Kenyans to continue  delivering wheelchairs. They will still be associated with CMS from their home in UK but will no longer be our Link Mission Partner.

Please make a note in you diary for Sunday 29th May when David and Liza will be taking the 10.30am service in All Saints’, and we will be able to say goodbye over coffee and lunch.

New Link Mission Partner

As we need to find another Link Mission Partner to support, we have been in touch with CMS and have agreed to support Malcolm Pritchard. At the moment he is waiting to see where God wants to use him, but it is likely to be in Africa where he already has contacts. Once we know his placement we hope to be able to invite him to All Saints’ so that we can get to know each other. Meanwhile, please remember Malcolm in your prayers.

CMS Community Vision Day, Saturday 19th March

The Community Vision Day will be held at the CMS offices in Watlington Road, Oxford on Saturday 19th March.

This is an opportunity to spend the day with the CMS Leadership looking together at the vision for the year ahead.  The day lasts from 10.00am to 4.00pm and you can go to any part of the day or the whole day.

Bob and Joan Plumptre will be going for the whole day and can take 2 extra persons in their car. (243 388).

Details of the day can be seen on the Barber Rooms CMS noticeboard.

You need to tell CMS before 7th March that you are going.

If you have questions please phone Joan Plumptre.

Missions News

The Children’s Society

The Annual Box Opening which took place during November realised the sum of £427.14 collected from Boxholders and a very big Thank You is due to you all for your continued generosity and support. This has been forwarded to The Children’s Society and your kind donations enables it to provide vital help to needy children and young people in this country. If others would like to have a House Collection Box please contact me on 242 355.

The total amount from the Collection and Envelopes received at the Christingle Service  in December was £199.82.  This, together with the Boxholder donations, resulted in a total of £626.96 and this has been forwarded to the Society to assist in its essential work.

Very many thanks to all who have generously contributed.

Hazel Catling

Church Mission Society

Liza and David Cooke write:

We had a restful break over Christmas during which we visited Lake Baringo where we watched the hippos cavorting in the shallows and rushed around with our field guide identifying some stunningly beautiful birds like the Pied Kingfisher and the Monarch Flycatcher.

Then with the arrival of the new year we once again hit the ground running and David in particular hasn’t stopped since- January started with some challenging news from the borderlands where one of our most faithful peace activists has been attacked and injured. He was taken to hospital and is now slowly recovering at home but the incident has shaken things up again- we’d value your prayers for this situation.

The container of wheelchairs for our February distribution at CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) has just arrived at Mombasa. The revenue authorities have recently changed their requirements and so on top of all the normal challenges at the port, it is now a very complicated process to gain release of goods. Please pray for a speedy release by the port authorities and the safe arrival of the wheelchairs.

We are unbelievably now in the last 12 weeks of our three plus year term of service! We will be arriving back in the UK in early April and will then begin five months of final leave during which we will be visiting churches to talk about our work. As you and your church have been such a support to us during our time here we thought we would let you know now so that if you wanted us to visit we could make a date.

We are happy to visit at a time and date that works well for you and to talk about our work in whatever format you’d prefer and most importantly to thank you all in person for your partnership with us during our mission here in Kenya.

We could not have done this without you.

Joan Plumptre writes:

David and Liza are leaving CMS in April. They will still be helping in the work in Kenya but at their own expense and time, as they will be based in the UK.

We are in the process of finding a new CMS Mission Partner to support, who, we hope, will be able to visit All Saints’ before they leave the UK.

Subject to PCC approval, we expect to support someone who will work in the newly-formed country of South Sudan. The Church is growing strongly in South Sudan but many of the leaders have had little access to training and have asked CMS to help with this. There will be more news of this in the March magazine.

Missions News – December

This Christmas, look on the CMS website (www.cms-shop.org.uk) for some more unusual cards and crafts for those little extra gifts. Read the stories of those who make these crafts to give your gifts meaning.

Kit gum Crosses that carry the story of a people’s tragedy and hope

For over two decades the population of northern Uganda was terrorised by the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA). Over the years, more than 1.6 million people were displaced and some 30,000 children were abducted to be child soldiers or ‘wives’ to LRA fighters.

The Kitgum crosses were first created  to help these people with funds. The crosses carry the story of the tens of thousands of abductees. They are made from Cwa wood, favoured by the LRA for its flexibility and used to whip and torture those they abducted.

Since 2006 northern Uganda has been increasingly free of the fear of the LRA. The last few hundred LRA fighters now roam the border districts of the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, still causing havoc and death among local populations.

So our prayers are still needed today. Pray that the LRA may finally cease their activities and for those thousands still living with the deep trauma of what happened to them.

By buying a cross (costing £1.25 each) you are helping CMS to fund peace and reconciliation work in northern Uganda

Traditional African crafts made by people living with HIV in Uganda

Over 2,000 people are registered with Kiwoko Hospital’s HIV department as HIV-positive. The majority are women. Many are excluded from their communities, unable to find employment and widowed. They are now left to bring up many children alone.

The Resource Centre Craft Project at Kiwoko brings together around 20 women every Wednesday to make traditional African crafts. It provides an income for the women and the hospital. (As a not-for-profit private hospital Kiwoko barely breaks even, so income generating projects like this are vital for its survival and the ability to treat those who can’t afford it.)

Most importantly, this project gives these ladies a sharing community, dignity and the ability to provide for their families.

All work to make purses from maize leaves and each has their own speciality: Rosemary and Joyce make paper bead jewellery; Sarah, Grace and Agnes make mats; Betty, Dariah and Meridah make bags; Olivar and Jesca make a range of baskets and pots; and Resty and Josephine make coasters and place mats, They all work with a perfectionism and resourcefulness that defies their illness and makes them a true inspiration to everyone who visits.

CMS mission partner Dr Corrie Verduyn currently leads the women’s health, obstetrics and gynaecology work, which includes prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.

Buy online or see Joan Plumptre before 13th December

Missions News – November

News from Church Mission Society

From Hopeless to Homeowners

In 12 years, deaf and disabled men and women in Iringa, Tanzania have gone from begging on the streets to building their own homes.

This is thanks to CMS mission partners who pioneered Neema Crafts in 2003 with the diocese of Ruaha and also to the hard work done by the deaf and disabled Neema staff. (this is the project you helped when buying crafts in June).

At a Neema staff meeting in October 2014, mission partner Ben Ray announced that profits from the Neema guest house had been set aside to help Neema staff build their own homes.

“This raised a loud cheer! It is such a gift from God to be able to do this.”

Four Neema staff members helped form a housing committee, which handles the house-building logistics. “In order to fund these houses, staff have to have saved up money to buy land and contribute a percentage,” Ben explained.

“Each beneficiary will personally own a two-room home that has been especially designed for disabled use.”

The first home built was for Mama A, who does beadwork at Neema.

Mama A, a widow, raised four children on her own. She scraped by, selling vegetables and making bricks until 2000, when she was in an accident and had to have her leg amputated. Using heavy crutches and with no prosthesis, she carried vegetables on her head every day into market until in 2007 she found work at Neema Crafts. And now she has her own home.

“Our dream is to see 40 homes built over the coming two years and up to 80 over the next five years,” said Ben.

“Current calculations indicate that we have enough for 30 such homes, so we are working to raise the rest of the projected cost through sales at our shop and other outlets.”

Neema has trained and employed more than 100 deaf and disabled people in a variety of skills and runs a physiotherapy centre and a guest house.

 From Refugee to Top of the Class

A young man in South Sudan has overcome displacement, hunger and loss and become a dynamic student leader.

Rafael’s earliest memories are of fleeing Maridi, South Sudan to a refugee camp in DR Congo during the Sudanese civil war. Rafael recalled, “In 1993, my father took us to Uganda in hopes of better education. We walked 200 miles to another refugee camp in Moyo.”

Rafael attended primary school in the refugee camp, but his world was rocked by his father’s death. This made his financial situation even more unsteady.

Wanting to earn money to pay for his education, Rafael returned to South Sudan. He took whatever jobs he could find, yet there were still days when he went without food.

Rafael managed to earn just enough money for his secondary education, though he says, “I was so hungry I sold my mobile for food. “I wondered if my hardships would ever end. Yet, as a Christian I knew there was hope for the future.” Hope came in the form of a job at the office of the Maridi county commissioner.

“The commissioner saw me as a young man with a lot to offer our country, so he sent me to train at Chaima Christian Institute, which offers quality further education.”

At Chaima, Rafael met Patricia Wick, who was serving as principal and encouraged him in his pursuits. Rafael studied for a certificate in business administration and entrepreneurship, yet his accomplishments haven’t stopped there. “Rafael is a gift from God to the institute,” said Patricia. “He is our highest achieving student, has been elected president of the student council and he motivates and mobilises other students.

“Rafael’s prayer is that in the future he will do great things for his country. May God honour his prayer.”

David and Liza are currently in the UK for their daughter’s wedding. We will get news of them next month, or at the CMS prayer meeting on 18th November.

Visit http://davidandlizacooke.wordpress.com for their blog and more information