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.
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/