Missions News

News from the Church Mission Society

September was a busy month as we had the pleasure of a visit from our Mission Partner, Lynn Treneary, who had returned to the UK for a few weeks to attend her daughter’s wedding. She also tried to visit most of her Link churches who support her financially, and so she came to Faringdon on Sunday 10th September.

We knew that one of her pressing needs was for internet connection to help her keep in touch with her Link churches,. Therefore Max Young and his friends, and helpers from All Saints’, put on a ‘Super Sibilant Supper‘ the week before Lynn came, in order to raise some money towards the satellite and it’s connection. Those who came will agree that we had a lovely supper, followed by an entertainment that sent us home saying, “wasn’t that just fun”. Our thanks to Max and his friends who were such good sports, and those who came and raised £550.

On the Sunday following, Lynn came and preached at the 10.30am service. I think that all those who heard her speak were challenged by her natural way of speaking of her love for Jesus and her complete trust in God the Father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit for all of her life. Out of her trust, God has given her a tremendous love for all those she meets. The retiring collection added £160 to our gift to Lynn.

After the service Lynn showed pictures of Maridi and her work colleagues and told us more about the work she does with the college, the Church and the Mothers Union. She spoke of the terrible poverty, caused as a result of the fighting between some of the tribes, many people dying of starvation because their crops have been destroyed, thousands fleeing the country to Uganda, and no one able to travel out of the town.

But, the ordinary people who remain, especially the Mothers Union members, are helping each other, making children’s clothes, feeding the hundreds of orphans. There is no help or hope from those whose hearts are full of hate, nor from the government, but the ordinary people are finding that in the love of Jesus for them, they are coping and the churches are full and growing: they are proof of the verse in Romans 15 verse 13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

Lynn told us that her complete lack of fear and her ability to work in those difficult situations, is, she is sure, due to the prayers of her friends and her Link Parishes. It is like the story of Moses in Exodus 17, when the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites, Moses held his arms aloft praying to God for deliverance, and when his arms were tired his two friends came and held his arms up for him. Our Church has promised to be those friends for Lynn, praying with and for her.

CMS can help you to be constant in prayer. The quarterly newspaper, The Call gives prayer requests and information. We put 10 copies in the Church, but I can get one for you each quarter, or, if you sign up as a CMS member, you will get one sent to you. Another real help to prayer, is the weekly prayer paper sent from CMS by e-mail every Friday. This usually includes a piece of up-to-date news from South Sudan.

If you would like me to forward you the prayer paper (weekly) or The Call (quarterly), please send an e-mail to bobjoanplumptre@btinternet.com or if you are not on e-mail, I can leave them in Church on Sundays with your name on.

As Lynn returns to South Sudan this month, to a very difficult situation, let us make sure that we, as a congregation, support her with our prayers.

Joan Plumptre

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

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

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