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