Quotable Quotes I bind unto myself today, God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the virtues of the starlit heaven, the horizon. the glorious sun’s life Madame Day holds classes giving ray, every morning, the whiteness of the moon Professor Night lectures at even, the flashing of the each evening. lightning free, the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks, Their words are not heard, Their voices aren’t recorded, the stable earth, the deep salt sea, But their silence fills the earth: around the old Unspoken truth is spoken eternal rocks. from the hymn ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’
Psalm 19: 1–2 from The Message Remixed
The privilege of a lifetime is Every human has being who you are. a fundamental right Joseph Campbell to an environment There are many people talking of quality that about the poor, permits a life But very few people are talking of dignity and to the poor. Mother Teresa well-being. United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm
The Earth is not dying – it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses. U-tah Phillips
Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find. Quoted in Time
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. Martin Luther
10 we are the earth keepers
16 the greening of mission
4 6 9 10 14 18 20 22 23
19 advocacy: easy ways to sustainability
Mission News From our correspondents Cover story: Get a life! Sir Ghillean Prance, Director of Science at the Eden Project, on ecology and faith Tobacco: a new kind of slavery The shame of water People & Events In light of recent events... Cathy Ross Pity the mission kid Jane Williams
ondon taxi drivers have a nickname for the CMS office at 157 Waterloo Road SE1. They call it ‘Go Forth House’. Carved above the entrance is the bold declaration, “Go forth to every part of the world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation.” Hence the nickname. Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is enabling the Bible to speak afresh to every generation. In the mid-eighteenth century a set of passages towards the end of the Gospels (Matthew 28:18–20, Mark 16:15 and Luke 24:47) suddenly sprang to life. The so-called Great Commission became a watchword for a great people movement. Eight generations later people continue to be inspired to ‘go forth’ with ‘every part of the world’ as the destination. As Bishop John V Taylor often reminded us, the mandate embodied in the Great Commission passages has not been cancelled. The question for each generation is to discern how the Spirit is prompting us to engage with that mandate. The world today cries out for a Gospel that is good news for all creation and that is the Gospel that we believe. The work of Christ is not merely a project for the salvation of humanity; it is for the whole created order. God’s ultimate purpose, said Paul, is “to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth”. (Ephesians 1:10) We hope our cover by award-winning illustrator Billie Jean will help set imaginations rolling. So in this issue of YES magazine we begin an exploration of the theme of mission and the environment. We interview Sir Ghillean Prance who is science director of the Eden Project and linked to CMS through his work with A Rocha International. Alongside we take the opportunity to showcase examples of CMS work where mission and environmental concern meet. Thanks to the many readers who wrote or emailed having read our previous issue. Some of you asked if there could be a letters page. For now space constraints dictate that it’s not possible, but we shortly hope to launch a YES readers’ forum on the CMS website.
YES Magazine Epiphany Edition. Published by CMS. General Secretary: Canon Tim Dakin. Editor: John Martin. Staff writer: Jeremy Woodham. Designer: Gareth Powell. Printers: CPO. Printed on Arctic the Volume, a sustainable paper that has been accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council. Cover illustration by Sam Piyasena see www.billiejean.co.uk for more information. Views expressed in YES are not necessarily those of CMS. CMS is a community of mission service: living a mission lifestyle; equipping people in mission; sharing resources for mission work. CMS supports over 800 people in mission and works in over 60 countries with offices in Abuja, Kampala, London and Nairobi. Church Mission Society, Partnership House, 157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UU. Registered Charity Number 220297.
“Go forth into all the world...”
Mission News UGANDA
Bishop Zac with Sheelagh Warren, Janice Hobday and Ann Cutler. Photo: S Warren
applauding gayaza girls
Ugandan prime minister Apolo Nsibambi joined CMS mission partners to celebrate 100 years of the pioneering Gayaza Girls’ School. Set up by CMS at a time when schooling for girls was unheard of, Gayaza educated many of Uganda’s leading women – including the first woman university graduate in east and central Africa, Sarah Ntiro. Although the original aim of the school was “to train Christian wives and mothers”, leading newspaper The New Vision said nearly every professional field now has a Gayaza girl – engineers, mathematicians, doctors, historians, playwrights and politicians. The national dress even evolved from the school uniform. Students and old girls thronged the school at the celebrations in July, proud to be witnessing the centenary – a rarity as Uganda is only 44 years old as a nation. Joining them were four former CMS mission partners who served at the school. Miss Joan Cox, 94, was headmistress from 1950 to 1972; Miss Sheelagh Warren was headmistress from 1972 to 1990; Miss Ann Cutler (1961–2001) and Miss Janice Hobday (1965–1995) were both teachers. At the beginning an enrolment of just four girls studied needlework, housekeeping, cultivation, child care, Scripture, reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. Today, Gayaza has a junior school as well as the high school with 1,000 pupils. It aims to impart a strong foundation of faith in God, and a spirit of excellence. The school motto is “Never Give Up”. As part of the centenary celebrations, Miss Cox was asked to lay a foundation stone for a clock tower outside the gates of the two schools, and in memory of the first headmistress Miss Alfreda Allen also from CMS.
A decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to catch one of the world’s most vicious warlords has dealt a big blow to peace in Uganda, say CMS-backed activists. The warrant for the arrest of Joseph Kony plus three commanders of his dreaded Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was issued after 19 years of conflict which has devastated Uganda and southern Sudan. Both military force and an amnesty have been used in the past to quell the violence. Yet peace advocates including the Church Mission Society claim that attempts at dialogue led by chief negotiator Betty Bigombe have received little backing. Bigombe has said that the ICC’s indictment will force her to quit her efforts. Now the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative has branded the ICC’s warrant a last resort which can only work if it is swift.
Grace Mazala Phiri: co-ordinating the Zambian Church’s fight against AIDS. Photo: Mr. Nelson Waitolo, Lufwanyama District Health Management Team
zambia A church plan to combat Zambia’s AIDS crisis has snowballed with help from CMS. After financial backing from the Society, an HIV/AIDS desk in the Anglican Church of Zambia has turned into an integrated health programme leading the way for Zambia to control both its AIDS and Malaria problems. As well as all five dioceses now having an AIDS co-ordinator, there are 110 trained homebased carers, support for over 1,500 vulnerable children and some 150+ people already tested.
UNITED KINGDOM A former CMS mission partner has won Country Life magazine’s search for today’s most loved country parson. The genteel journal of the wellheeled bestowed the title on the Revd Richard Morgan from Therfield in Hertfordshire, following a flood of nominations from his parishioners. Mr Morgan said his secret of success is just being
there. “People want to be affirmed, they want a sense that God cares, that the Church cares.” Although his beard, which won him the epithet Brother Morgan in Kenya, fits the image of a country cleric, the only bike he ever owned was looted by soldiers in southern Sudan during nine years with CMS in Africa. Oxford Diocese has elected Canon Tim Dakin, CMS General Secretary, to General Synod. Canvassing for election, he placed mission and the Anglican Communion as his top two priorities. CMS Northern Team leader, Ian Smith, has also been re-elected to Synod by York Diocese – for a fourth successive term.
“People want to be affirmed, they want a sense that God cares” BANGLADESH The first arrests of sex traffickers in a notorious area of Bangladesh have followed the launch of a CMS-backed project to eradicate the flesh trade. The wave of arrests came at the end of June in Meherpur District – a border area in the east of the country where the CMS project is based. It followed an education drive in the capital, Dhaka, run by the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme which is advised by CMS mission partner James Pender.
Building for the future: Guizhou Bible School. Photo: Chye Ann Soh/CMS
The heart of the East African Revival, the Kabale Convention, celebrated its 70th anniversary in August. Held once a decade and organised by Uganda’s Kigezi Diocese, the colourful celebration is marked by singing, pounding drum beats, energetic Kiga dancing, and old men proudly wearing their Boys’ Brigade berets. Among the crowd of thousands was Mariza Zaribugire, who experienced the Revival as a teenager.
Two thousand people, many having to sleep rough on journeys from remote villages, gathered in Guizhou, south-west China, in September to celebrate the opening of their new Bible school. Cash-backed by CMS, it is the largest Christian building the province has ever seen. Local dignitaries, including the head of the government’s provincial bureau of religious affairs and Buddhist and Muslim leaders, joined the crowds on a day when the marginalised Christian community held its head high.
More news updates every week at www.cms-uk.org/news
Recovering addicts at Izhod Drug Rehab Centre, Krasnodar Photo: Mark Oxbrow/CMS
from our correspondents CMS partners report from around the regions Chris and Polly Barton are mission partners working with the Church of Uganda in Kabale The headaches of surgery design, positions of sockets, sinks, choosing taps, painting, etc finally ended when the new Rugarama Dental Clinic (pictured right) was officially opened by the governor of the Bank of Uganda (with armed guards close by). The Dentaid equipment is now installed, dental staff has doubled and the two offices are busy. We had a great time keeping Emma Tyrrell and Newcastle student Christina Nelson busy looking into hundreds of kids’ mouths during a WHO tooth decay survey for 12–13 year-olds. Dentaid is sponsoring screening and dental treatment at six primary schools for some 4,500 children. The schools’ toothpaste dispenser scheme will get going once the toothpaste sponsor has perfected the consistency. Two Bristol fourth year dental students have been with us doing a natural water fluoride content and tooth fluorosis (enamel discoloration) survey. This has involved much driving around Kabale and the neighbouring Kisoro district. An example of the far-reaching ministry of the new dental surgery: Kato Orin and Kakuru Jonathan are a young pair of twins who were unable to go to a good school as their mum, Allen, lost her husband while she was pregnant. We are delighted to be able to help by employing Allen at the dental clinic as a cleaner. In gratitude, she recently invited us with the dental students to a meal at their house.
Catherine Lee, mission partner in Taiwan, takes a trip to Tanzania It was night in Kenya, when our bus stopped so everyone could relieve themselves. Bottoms bared, the women crouched on the road... except my three Taiwanese companions. They headed for the grass, with an umbrella for a shield. The Africans laughed heartily at the ‘wachina’. As we travelled through Nairobi, Kajiado, Arusha, Dodoma, Mvumi, Tabora, Mwanza, and Bunda, my friends became more comfortable. They loved the Tanzanian food and learned so much Kiswahili that they soon preferred, “Habari?” rather than, “Hello, how are you?” Children everywhere showed them kung-fu kicks, assuming from movies that all wachina are kung-fu experts. Instead of kungfu, my friends taught them Chinese songs. We also encountered many people from mainland China; mostly doctors sent to Tanzania by the Chinese government. One had just bought a Bible and wanted to know more about Jesus. We also prayed with a fearful runaway bride before she returned home. I hadn’t been back to Tanzania for eight years. My former students are now teenagers, or grown up with their own families. It was fascinating to see new schools, roads, and water and electricity improvements, and heartbreaking to see AIDS wreaking havoc, broken families and churches in conflict. Overall, we received warm hospitality. Special thanks to the Bahati family who finished building their house in time to host us. Now back in Taiwan, I am pleased to send you Taiwanese greetings from Tanzania and Tanzanian greetings from Taiwan!
“Such hopeful examples of complete freedom from addiction give me strength to continue focusing on rehabilitation and prevention here in Ukraine” Alison Giblett, mission partner in Ukraine, runs anti-addiction training We began a prevention-training project to equip volunteers to work with Social Services in schools. About 40 people attended the first week of training in Crimea. The plan is to prepare 60 consultant trainers in different cities throughout Ukraine. These consultants will train groups of volunteers in prevention education regarding AIDS, drug addiction and alcoholism, and will promote a healthy lifestyle to pupils in their last four years of school, as well as to military cadets. A similar programme in 2003–4 has already gained government respect. I also recently had a useful visit to Moldova, another country struggling to find its identity amid Eastern and Western influences. I visited some rehab centres and was encouraged to see that despite even greater economic obstacles than we face in Ukraine, these centres had entrepreneurial projects to support their industry such as a carpentry workshop and a farm. Participating in regular visits to the AIDS ward, I experienced love in the midst of great pain. On a trip to Krasmodar I saw many of the people I used to work with in the rehab centres. It was encouraging to see previous residents now leading churches and other rehab centres. Such hopeful examples of complete freedom from addiction give me strength to continue focusing on rehabilitation and prevention here in Ukraine.
Rugarama: ministry through dental care. Photo: CMS
Alison Fletcher is a mission partner and physiotherapist at Kiwoko hospital in Uganda Before you sit down to read this, go and get yourself a glass of water. Now that you’ve got it, think what you did to get it. Glass under the tap? Fancy water filter? Fridgechilled? Let me tell you how I get mine: 1. Jerry cans of borehole water are delivered to my house daily. Each contains 20 litres of water, weighing a considerable amount. I’m grateful I do not have to carry these any distance like many local people – often small children. 2. Sarah, my wonderful house-girl, boils a large pan of borehole water on a charcoal stove for 20 minutes. 3. When it’s cooled, she pours it into a large water filter. The filtering ‘candles’ remove any small particles of dirt – boiling on a charcoal stove sometimes means tiny pieces of ash, or dust, get into the pan, and there is always something skuzzy at the bottom of the filter when Sarah cleans it out. It takes several hours for a large pan of water to soak through. 4. The water is then ready for drinking, but is at room temperature – not great on a very hot day. Sarah therefore fills up empty bottles from the filter and puts them in the fridge. 5. I have a cold drink of water at last! As I write, it’s the middle of February, and the dry season has gone on since early December. We had a massive downpour of rain in mid-January, and I was jumping around in excitement, as I knew the tanks would be full again – it is an amazing sight to see the water tanks and gutters overflowing.
Photo: Laura Vivash
“The real lesson learned has been the worth of an empty beer can. It has made recycling a permanent lifestyle change for friends and neighbours” Laura Vivash spent time in Guinea on a CMS Encounter visit The only logos we recognised were Shell garages and CocaCola. There are no working traffic lights, no washing machines, no cinemas. Dinner is cooked using charcoal – and is mostly bread or rice with chicken or fish. There is a huge problem of unemployment, particularly among young men, and many drop out of the education system because even with a degree there are no jobs. Christians are a minority group numbering only two per cent in a majority Muslim population. Although the relationship we experienced was mostly a cordial one between Christians and Muslims, there are sometimes infractions, usually political, on both sides. Our travels included a visit to a small village called Fallanghia – the first landing site of missionaries 150 years ago. It was incredibly moving to see the graves of these people who were so willing to serve God even if it meant never seeing their families or homes again. We were also able to visit diocesan farms, one way the Church is able to create income for its work, and jobs in the local community. The story of Christians in Guinea is like Peter and John meeting the lame man at the temple gates. Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk.” Likewise Jesus’ followers in Guinea have a daily struggle sometimes even to find food, but they live their lives with joy, celebrating and sharing Jesus’ message of forgiveness and hope.
Mission partners Anna and Chris Hembury have found the true price of an empty can in Hull We’ve been picking up the cans from grass verges and flowerbeds in Hull to help subsidise the cost of summer camps for young people. This unusual habit has permeated day-to-day life in the area. Our children can spot an aluminium can at 40 paces. Wheel rims are collected from local bicycle shops. Friends and neighbours have begun to fill bin-bags with empty beer cans for the cause, and those with a self-confessed dependency on alcohol are thankful that some good can come out of their addiction. At 55 pence per kilo of aluminium, this means a staggering number of cans are needed, which can feel like hard and humbling work, often in adverse weather conditions. But the real lesson learned has been about what price to put on the worth of an empty beer can. Roughly speaking, the money earned works out at about a penny a can at most. Yet it has given us an opportunity to help young people to put their faith into action in their local community. It has made recycling a permanent lifestyle change for friends and neighbours. Two fathers, one suffering from a disability and the other battling his addiction, have found, through this simple activity of collecting recyclable products, a new sense of purpose and how to make a valuable contribution to their community. And a few bin bags full of empty cans made it possible for a young person to get to a point on his journey where he voiced a commitment in prayer to follow Christ.
Get a life! While we go on destroying life, God goes on sustaining it, says CMS General Secretary Tim Dakin, introducing the theme of this issue of YES A recent cartoon shows a man slumped in front of the TV, while his wife stands at the door asking, “I’m going out to get a life, can I get you one?” ‘Lifestyle’ has become a byword for celebrity culture, consumerism, fitness, nutrition and the spiritual quest. Yet ‘lifestyle’ has plunged our world into crises of economic oppression and climate change. The technological development that made it possible now goes on inventing new things just to keep pace with where we are. Getting a life is rapidly becoming a matter of survival rather than a luxury of choice. Mission lifestyle is fundamentally about choosing life. Not just for us but others around the world. We may have only 50 years before the oil reserves run out. Aware that this is becoming a popular perception, British Petroleum have begun marketing BP as Beyond Petrol. The Christian perspective on the future is shaped by resurrection hope. We are committed to a certain way of life now because of the new life of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Paul talks about this in terms of Jesus as the first fruit of a new creation. Care for this world now begins on the basis that it is valued by God.
He raised Jesus from the dead in order to give new life to what would otherwise be destroyed. We have a BP future because of Jesus. Thirty years ago John Taylor was struggling with these issues in his book Enough is Enough. He offered us five points to ponder: 1. We are citizens of the planet, not just a particular nation. 2. We are called to wastewatching, not just curbing our consumption. 3. In seeking to change things we are meant to first question our own, not another’s, lifestyle. 4. However, lifestyle is best changed with others and not on our own. 5. Our watchwords are: “My greed is another’s need”. The Make Poverty History campaign needs to be related to the wider environmental crisis, addressing an Enough is Enough perspective. Make Greed History might be more appropriate. We cannot expect governments and international finance institutions to change if we are not prepared to count the cost and take personal responsibility for social transformation. Debt cancellation, increased aid and fair trade are connected to consumption, waste-watching and taxation. Mission lifestyle at this level means making provision for the other. An ecology of mission begins by appreciating that God makes space for us in creation by giving us life. He continues to sustain this life and in his love restores us to life even as we choose a destructive lifestyle. In this edition of YES are practical examples of what it means to live a mission lifestyle reflecting God’s ecology of mission.
We are the earth keepers Given God’s promise to “make all things new”, what role should we as Christians play in caring for creation amid climate change and natural disaster? What does our faith in God and his blueprint bring to our fragile relationship with the environment? Professor Sir Ghillean Prance believes it adds an extra dimension of continuity, hope, reassurance and responsibility to any humanitarian concern for the Earth’s well-being. “I see ecology and our faith-based mission as intrinsically linked. One of the biggest problems we face today is what we’re doing to the environment – we’re heading for destruction unless we work to arrest and try to reverse the damage done. I believe it’s God’s creation, so that gives me even more compelling reason for wanting to protect it. Fortunately, interest in creation theology – the understanding that underpins the relationship
between mission and creation – is growing.” Prance is scientific director for the Eden Project, a former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, visiting professor at Reading University and an acknowledged expert on Amazonian rainforests. His connection with CMS is through an A Rocha project (profiled on page 16). What his distinguished career and eminent qualifications don’t prepare you for is a modest man with a ready humour, a strong sense of duty and a rock-steady ethic. He sees human beings as quintessentially important to God’s creation because Prance has “a Biblical faith, which tells me that we were ‘created in the image of God’.
“However, Scripture makes it evident that God cares for all living things. ‘Every living creature’ is mentioned six times in the Genesis account of God’s covenant with Noah. We’re God’s stewards of that creation.” How should we understand the mandate to have dominion over the rest of creation? Prance notes, “That question led, in 1967, to Lynn White Jr criticising Christianity very strongly about it supposedly championing ‘domination’ over nature in an article in Science, but I think that ‘domination’ in the Bible means ‘lordship’ in the Hebrew sense, which implies ‘care of’. “Man was put in the Garden to till and to keep, and the Hebrew words abad and shamar literally mean to ‘serve’ and ‘preserve’ the land. So I hold that Christianity doesn’t encourage us to ‘dominate’ nature but ‘look after’ it – be ‘earth keepers’, a term I use a lot.” “When God wanted to show Job the bigger picture, to reveal himself, he didn’t exhort Job to repent. Instead, in four chapters, he paints for Job the wonders of his Creation, which vary from the physical – the thunder, the clouds, the rocks – to the animal kingdom – the ostrich abandoning her eggs, the wild goats, the eagle soaring and feeding its young. God asks repeatedly, ‘Were you there when I did this?’ For me, that’s an outstanding account of creation. Those are chapters in which anyone out in the mission field who’s interested in the environment should be immersed because they say it all.” He views Ephesians 1.10 (see the editorial) as “a very strong message of hope for the future. Our part is helping that hope be realised.” In Cornwall, the Eden Project’s geodomes, housing plants and trees from around the world, illustrate Prance’s commitment to “making the world recognise the critical importance of plants to all life on earth. It’s a showcase for botany, which attracts a million and a quarter people each year, and demonstrates that natural ecosystems help to sustain our life.”
organisations that put environmental care on the Christian agenda. “One is the Au Sable Institute in Mancelona, Michigan, which specialises in teaching seminary and Christian college students about the environment. “The other is A Rocha, which has a good, solid scientific basis and unites local communities and Christian and non-Christian workers in environmental education and rehabilitation projects in Britain, Kenya, Lebanon, Portugal, etc.” As an A Rocha International trustee, he has twice visited the project in Southall, with which CMS mission partner Dave Bookless is working. “I’m very excited about it. It was a departure for A Rocha to be located in such an urban setting. The way it has renewed a completely neglected site is wonderful. David showed courage in taking on its restoration. A Rocha deserves our support.” What’s his take on climate change? “Climate change is real. Don’t believe sceptics who argue otherwise. I read the huge amount of confirmatory evidence in experts’ articles in leading scientific magazines like Nature and Science. “At Kew, plants are blooming about seven days earlier than they were 30 years ago. Colleagues at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington are witnessing the same phenomenon. If it was happening in only one place, it could be attributed to a minor local shift in climate but we’re getting worldwide data about this. “As a biologist, I see evidence for climate change worldwide. It’s much more rapid than previous climatic cycles. Consequently, I use every opportunity to speak out on the gravity of the situation.” How much is climate change linked to our use of fossil fuels? “About 75 per cent of the increase in carbon dioxide in the air is from burning fossil fuels. The other 25 per cent is from deforestation. All these emissions could be controlled. “Personally, in Lyme Regis, our heating bill for hot water has been halved since I put solar panels in the roof. Others could do that.”
Speaking of ecosystems, could he recommend one means by which we could help conserve his beloved rainforest? “One way to help directly is to protect an acre of rainforest for £25 through the World Land Trust (www.worldlandtrust.org).”
“My wife Anne and I recycle paper, tins, plastics and glass at home too. We buy recycled products as well. As consumers, using your wallets to express such choices does change things.”
Prance is personally linked to two Christian
Interview by Patrick Gavigan, October 2005.
For the integrity of creation
Tobacco where food crops once grew. Photo: David Sharland
Tobacco: a new kind of slavery After 19 years of war, Ugandaâ€™s food security is now being threatened by a rampant expansion of tobacco growing, says CMS agriculturalist David Sharland This article will inevitably step on many toes. Four million deaths a year are attributed to tobacco, mostly in the Southern nations who can ill afford the medical bills to treat lung, lip, throat and larynx cancers. Yet tobacco is big business, employing at least 70,000 contract farmers in the northwest corner of Uganda alone where it brings US $30 million per year. Annual exports total 35,000 tonnes. Northeast Congo exports a further 16,500 tonnes per year, through Uganda. We are not denying the importance of cash crops, but land is limited and the population growing. In short, Uganda pays a huge cost for this industry. Tobacco is not native to Africa. It acidifies the soil in which it grows to reduce competition. Very few other crops can be grown after tobacco, pushing out useful, native species. Few insects live in the tobacco fields or eucalyptus forests, so birds become rare and mammals cannot live in the barren, unnatural environment. Mission biographies tell of elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, exotic birds, and beautiful and mysterious forests full of trees used for fuel, building, and healing. What a tragedy if they remain the stuff of stories. While the genetic pool reduces to a puddle, greedy tobacco needs a lot of nitrates in the form of fertilizer, which build up in the soil and even pollute water sources. Tobacco also attracts a virus which causes it little trouble but lays low in the soil for years and devastates food crops.
Australian Blue Gum Eucalyptus, used in curing tobacco leaves, is not suitable for the conditions of central and eastern Africa. While taking up 150 litres of water a day, it does not easily release it again into the water cycle. Having recorded rainfall in this part of Africa for 10 years, I am convinced of an escalating catastrophe. The rain is reduced and delayed, stopping earlier and falling in more concentrated quantities, accelerating erosion. The soil is drying and becoming even more acidic. Long dry seasons are making it hard for this area to feed itself. Tobacco planters contract to plant 50 eucalyptus trees each year, and as they re-grow when cut, the landscape is fast becoming an African outback. The wood is good for little else than curing tobacco. It splits and twists if used for carpentry, is very smoky if used for cooking, and is quickly eaten by termites if used for building. The workload of tobacco growing is heavily loaded on the women and children: planting, carrying water for the seedbeds, weeding. Even at harvest, the women carry the loads from the fields. The dollars, meanwhile, are pocketed by the men of the household. Yet women are also responsible for daily food on the table. Once growers have committed their 1.5 acres to tobacco, they have to rely on food markets. This needs money, so mother struggles to raise what she can, sometimes being driven to selling the girls for prostitution while the men, rather than budgeting for the family will often binge on luxuries, enjoying the rare experience of a bulging wallet. Families go abandoned for months, and some fathers never return.
“Often we see well-built brick drying kilns towering above a small mud and wattle house with leaking roof. Farmers are usually poor and poorly-educated, seeking a ‘leg up’ to a better life”
Often we see well-built brick drying kilns towering above a small mud and wattle house with leaking roof. Farmers are usually poor and poorly-educated, seeking a ‘leg up’ to a better life. He has to enter into a contract with the company. If he defaults, the debt burden often leads to imprisonment.
transport of seed and other supplies to a local collecting point, and take cured leaves from them, and they guarantee a market for the product. Transport and markets are always a big issue for farmers. Reliable payments are made on time and planter groups offer tremendous camaraderie. So what can the Church offer in their place?
The contract gives the farmer a pre-season loan, covering seed, fertilizer, sprays, watering cans, tools and a metal drying chimney. But is he aware the cost is offset against crop payments? He must plant one acre of tobacco and 50 eucalyptus trees, tying up most of his land. He is obliged to sell to the company at a fixed rate (so cannot seek the best price), whatever the yield and however hard the season. On average, one acre will produce 600 kg, giving an equivalent £22 per month, less than the wage of a night watchman (who still has his land and freedom).
Surely camaraderie, mutual support, community spirit and unity should be found within our church fellowships. Church-based literacy projects can increase levels of understanding and self-esteem. But what can we offer on the business side? How can we improve family incomes? What can we do to improve household food security? What of marketing and agricultural inputs? These are areas of urgent concern, and we are seeking to address them in our agricultural development programmes supported by CMS.
Cash crops have their place, and are undeniably important to a nation. Tobacco companies offer
A longer, more in-depth version of this story can be found at www.cms-uk.org/yes
The greening of mission
Dave Bookless explains how turning a rubbish tip into a country park spreads the message of redemption Why should CMS – a mission agency – be working with an environmental organisation? Surely we can leave the environment to Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth? Here are three good reasons why mission needs to take the Earth seriously.
Mission includes creation-care: In the words of the Lausanne Covenant, mission is “the whole Church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world”. That includes not just spiritual good news, but good news for the poor, the prisoner, the persecuted, and a vision of God’s Kingdom on earth as in heaven, of our part in God’s care for creation. The Five Marks of Mission agreed by the Anglican Consultative Council are a helpful exploration of the boundaries of our mission under God, including “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth”. Mission deals with ‘whole people’ in their environment: In today’s complex world, we cannot and should not look at evangelism without also tackling poverty and injustice. Nor can we tackle poverty without facing environmental issues, which are among the biggest drivers of global poverty. Issues of water supply, GM crops, deforestation, sustainable agriculture, copyright of medicinal plants, and most of all climate change all relate to our mission to bring good news to whole people, and to proclaim Christ’s lordship over all creation. Mission scratches where people itch: Many see Christianity as irrelevant, arguing about questions of yesteryear, while a vast, and growing, number of people recognise a sense of spiritual connection with the Earth. They see environmental issues as the biggest we face. Rather than dismissing them as ‘new agers’, we need to engage with their genuine spiritual search and passion for justice Well, if that’s the theory, what about the practice? A Rocha is an environmental organisation that has been working on these issues with CMS.
A Rocha is Portuguese for “the rock”. Named after the Algarve headland on which an infant experiment in mission was planted in 1983, A Rocha speaks both of God in Christ – our rock and our redeemer – and also of solid, science-based conservation studies. Over the years, a commitment to Christian community, to welcoming visitors, and to high-quality research has led to the protection of a threatened estuary and headland, and inspired an international movement. A Rocha is an unusual beast: part Christian mission agency, part scientific conservation body. With projects now in 15 countries across five continents, it has close links with missions such as CMS and also green organisations like BirdLife International, the World Conservation Union and the United Nations Development Programme. A Rocha challenges the artificial divides between Christian and secular, between spiritual and practical. Whereas many projects are in beautiful areas of global importance for biodiversity, Living Waterways – the partnership with CMS – was established in 2001 in Southall and Hayes, among the most urban multicultural areas of London. My wife Anne and I had already been in Southall for ten years in parish ministry when we were given a vision of community-transformation and Christian mission arising out of a renewed relationship between people and place. In a community full of dis-located, up-rooted people, many of them refugees or second generation British caught between two cultures, Living Waterways offers a vision of rootedness and belonging, of a relationship with creation that could be a stepping stone to a relationship with the Creator. Visions need resourcing and from 2001 CMS agreed to support us as mission partners in Britain seconded to A Rocha. The last five years have been a rollercoaster. A 90-acre derelict rubbish-strewn site belonging to the local council has been transformed into a newly-landscaped and planted country park. It is managed for people and wildlife in partnership with the council. The message of redemption and hope that
“In today’s complex world, we cannot tackle poverty without facing environmental issues, which are among the biggest drivers of global poverty” this site has given to the local community has been incalculable. A kingfisher perching on a discarded shopping trolley, bee orchids spontaneously appearing in rough soil, migrant birds finding shelter – all images of hope in the midst of chaos. Many people speak of the sense of peace, of their discovery of nature, of enjoying fresh air and somewhere to run around. Now the link with CMS is being further strengthened with three new people joining the team. Ben and Susannah Green are Make a Difference volunteers spending a gap year with us. Siân Hawkins, formerly with CMS in Central Asia, has just begun a three-way partnership between CMS, A Rocha and St John’s Southall, teaching English to Afghan and Somali women. There are plans for an Everywhere to Everywhere team to be based in Southall, drawn from several countries where A Rocha operates – perhaps India, France, Lebanon and Kenya. The crossfertilisation of such visits greatly enriches both A Rocha and CMS – as together we explore our part in God’s mission to the whole creation. The powerful and moving story of A Rocha’s first ten years in Portugal is told in Under the Bright Wings by Peter Harris, available for £9 including P & P from A Rocha UK, 13 Avenue Road, Southall, UB1 3BL
Part of the 90-acre derelict site in Southall and Hayes before it was transformed into a country park. Photo: A Rocha
The shame of water New mission partner David Hall is a water and sanitation engineer, recently arrived in Dhaka to work with the Church of Bangladesh on developing projects to serve the poor Salma prefers to collect water from the electric tubewell at around 3:00am, while it is still dark, because of the shame of being seen. Many of the other women living in the slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, feel the same, so there is often a queue at this time. The wait can be up to an hour. Salma, her husband and four children live in one small room, in a ‘compound’ of similar rooms each housing a family, in the Pargandaria slum. The compound’s single handpump only provides adequate quantities of water during a few months of the year. Given the high population density, it is likely that this water is contaminated from nearby pit latrines. Salma complains that often the water smells bad and causes rice to turn black, which is why she uses the government electric tubewell 10 minutes’ walk away. When the electricity is not working she has to use wells even further away.
know of Bangladesh because of its regular flooding. However, despite having so much water, obtaining sufficient safe water is still a daily struggle for the majority of the country’s 140 million people. Some 50 million – nearly the population of the UK – have no access to a safe supply of water at all. Much of the groundwater from which the tubewells in rural areas source their water has now been found to be contaminated with naturally-occurring arsenic. If ingested it can cause arsenicosis and eventually cancer. It is estimated that up to 10 million people are affected. Solutions to the crisis are not straightforward – while a variety of filters to remove arsenic do exist, even the cheapest is unaffordable for most rural dwellers. CMS mission partner Maurice Connor in Pakistan has developed a revolutionary bio-filter that is easily constructed from everyday objects and which poor communities can easily teach each other to use. This may well turn out to be a successful and sustainable solution (see www.cms-uk.org/water).
Salma’s story illustrates the difficulties facing many of Bangladesh’s urban poor in obtaining adequate safe water supplies.
The Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP) is already working with affected people in a number of areas, raising awareness of the problem, identifying contaminated wells and providing assistance to affected people.
In many ways Bangladesh is synonymous with water. More flows through it than flows through all of western Europe; Bangladesh drains an area 11 times its own size, including the wettest place on earth; and a typical monsoon season sees one third of the country under a foot of water. Indeed, most people
There are no easy solutions to these issues, and any assistance must focus on the social and managerial aspects as well as the significant technical issues. It is my prayer that the CBSDP can continue to play its part in helping people face the challenge of obtaining safe water.
Easy ways to sustainability How do you feel when challenged to live in a more environmentally friendly way? Does it set you off on a guilt trip, overwhelmed by a list of ‘oughts’, asks Anne Bookless God is not calling us to be eco-pharisees, bound by long lists of joyless rules – he delights in calling us to life in all its fullness. Here are some suggestions for living more sustainably which our family have found helpful and fun. HOUSEHOLD • switch to an energy supplier using zero-carbon renewable sources (www.foe.co.uk compares companies) • don’t leave electrical goods on stand-by (up to 15 per cent of household electricity worldwide is wasted on stand-by mode) • use energy-saving lightbulbs • a lagging jacket on an electric water tank will cut up to 75 per cent of your hot water costs • insulate your loft • if you want one cup of tea, don’t boil four cups of water • hang your clothes out to dry rather than using the dryer (the sun will leave them sparkling white!) • when purchasing a fridge or washing machine, look for an A++ energy rating TRAVEL • if you can walk or cycle, do! • failing that, wherever possible use public transport • if you have to use a car, consider converting
it to liquid petroleum gas, or using a hybrid car combining a petrol engine with an electric motor • consider car-sharing – reduce pollution while getting to know your neighbours! • only use air travel as a last resort, and compensate for the damage to the environment (see: www.carbonneutral.com) FOOD • compromises have to be made juggling between fair trade / organic / local / free-range / non-GM and trying to keep within budget. We are accountable to God and have a duty to inform ourselves on the issues and choose prayerfully • sometimes change comes gradually: first, I bought big jars of yoghurt instead of little plastic pots, now I make my own REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE • reduce the amount of packaging that comes into your home • re-use things (try to repair rather than replace) • buy strong bags so you don’t need the plastic ones • recycle as much as possible The Bible speaks practically and clearly on lifestyle – look in Acts 2:43–47at the way believers sold their possessions and shared together. A radical eco-lifestyle can get very uncomfortable as God challenges us on our self-centred values. It can also be liberating, community-building, deeply fulfilling and good for the bank balance.
People & Events WELCOME New Mission Partners
FAREWELL Mission Partners
Shani Sedgwick from London is a new ecumenical mission partner in Bangladesh, set to make full use of her nursing skills in midwifery and tropical nursing. Meanwhile, visiting Britain as a CMS mission research associate is Valentin Kozhuharov. “I am a Bulgarian and Orthodox,” he tells us, “Since 2001 I’ve been a CMS mission partner in Moscow with my wife Daniela and children Martin and Zornitsa, working in the religious education department of the Moscow Patriarchate and teaching at the Russian Orthodox University.”
We salute Joanna and Stephen Wright, who with Emily, Stephen and Bethany have worked for 12½ years as mission partners in Nigeria, Kuwait and then Dubai. Now fully supported by their local church in Dubai (Christ Church Jebel Ali, where Steve is chaplain), the Wrights remain in the CMS family through the Salt programme. The world of theological training bids farewell to mission partners Carol and Richard Drury, from Bishop Allison Theological College, Arua, Uganda, and Andrew and Caroline Wickens with children Matthew and Catherine. The Wickenses, joint mission partners with the Methodist Church, were valued members of the academic staff of St Paul’s Theological College, Limuru, Kenya. Diana and Roger Wild were based at Trinity Theological College in Singapore, where Roger was on the staff. Diana supported the CMS Asia Regional Team. Now they have retired and give CMS Yorkshire the benefit of their talents. At St John’s Church, Waterloo, Anna and Vincent Dmytriyev from Ukraine, with sons Mark and Nikolai, have spent nearly four years leading youth and community work, including launching Waterloo Time Bank. Meanwhile Jeremy and Sarah Sylvester were in Toliara, south-west Madagascar. Jeremy was a local pastor supporting village evangelists. Sarah looked after young sons Samuel and Aaron and worked on women’s development projects and prison ministry. Rugarama Health Centre in Kabale, Uganda, has said a fond goodbye to the Sanderson family (Rachelle and Tom with Naomi, Bethany and Nathaniel) after five years. Rachelle was doctor in charge and Tom worked on development projects including micro-credit schemes.
Staff The YES editor rejoices to confirm Laura Callow as Team Secretary in Communications, a role she combines with her half-time post in the Africa team. We forecast a bright future for the CMS website with the arrival of New Zealander Alister McLeod as Web Development Manager and Hugh de Saram as IT Web and Application Developer. Naomi Rose from San Francisco is lending her copywriting skills to our promotional and fundraising work. The Mission Movement team welcome Reader Philippa Linton as temporary Office Manager and PA to director Chris Neal. She replaces Dorottya Norton who has entered full-time study. James Price succeeds Liz Jackman as the face of CMS for churches in the north, becoming the Northern Team’s Global/Local Mission Adviser. The CMS tsunami response occupies temporary staff member Paul Read two days a week. On the other three he’s Asia Region Personnel Officer, working under new Mission Personnel Manager Philip Bingham. Philip moved to the new job after five-and-a-half years as a regional manager in the Africa team, first for West Africa and then Mid-Africa, helping to make a real success of the integration with Mid-Africa Ministry. CMS work in Mid-Africa is being managed on a temporary basis by Steve Burgess, who has recently completed 18 years as a mission partner in Kenya. Europe, Middle East and Central Asia Region say hello to Jade Staiano, their new temporary Team Secretary, who previously worked for Lighthouse International Ministries in Manchester. She succeeds Meg Woolcock who has begun teacher training. Balancing the books is Meseret Teferra who replaced Genet Gebru as Accounts Clerk. Congratulations to Genet and her new husband as they start married life in the States.
Staff Peter Kenworthy left CMS in August to become International Personnel Director for Water Aid. Peter and Jan were accepted as mission partners in 1980 and served in Tanzania for a decade. They are remembered there for generous hospitality and a remarkable fish farm project. Returning to the UK Peter joined CMS staff, first in the Africa Department and then became head of the Personnel and Training Team. People valued Peter’s calm in times of crisis, clear thinking and above all his heart for people who find themselves in mission service. We said a fond farewell to our former Webmaster Alistair Besant in the summer, who had single-
handedly built the CMS website from scratch, with great industry and patience. Emily Evans, CMS Pensions Assistant, has moved on to further her career. Taking her place is Alex Coakley, who has previously worked for the Bank of New York and Shell. Jo Whiting, who worked with CMS for a year as Learning Administrator, left to take up a post with Door of Hope in east London.
Updates Congratulations to Tino Singodia (Financial Accountant) and his wife Marie-Louise on the birth of a baby boy, Rowan, on 16 August. Mission partners in Egypt Angela and Chris Chorlton, correspondents in the previous issue of YES, welcomed Isaac Thomas into the world on 5 October in Cairo. And Kate and Tim Lee (Philippines) had their third child, Grace Emily, on 25 October. Dr Patricia Nickson, CMS mission partner for 32 years, having served in Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Congo received the OBE in a ceremony in Congo on July 11, the day after she was ordained priest by Bishop Patrice Byankya Njojo. Congratulations too to Bob Wilkes, a former CMS mission partner and regional director, who is to be the next Provost of Birmingham Cathedral. He made a major contribution to CMS during the 1990s and as vicar of Mossley Hill in Liverpool he kept up his strong international links. Another former CMS mission partner, Roger Bowen, has edited A Guide to Preaching (SPCK, £8.99). It draws on a range of world church voices and is available from www.spckonline.com CMS staff on the move include Regional Manager for Eastern Europe Timothy Okroev, spending five months (until January 2006) in Moscow, assessing the viability of an office in Eastern Europe.
Deaths of former mission partners… Dora Candlin (Uganda), Vera Chapman (21 years in India, Pakistan and Jordan), Gwenda Chittenden (12 years in South India), Rev James (Jim) Hewitt (Pakistan), Frances Johnson (Egypt), Canon TPR Kenny (Nigeria), Barbara Kitley (26 years in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), Valerie Rennie (Pakistan), Margaret Wright (16 years in Uganda and Kenya). And staff… Pippa Handley (PA to Diana Witts when she was Regional Secretary for Africa).
Events CMS East Central Annual Conference is at High Leigh, Hoddesdon from 3 – 5 March. Theme: ‘Light
on China’, with Caroline Fielder of the CTBI China Desk. More details from Jane Fulford (email jane. email@example.com or ring 0118 969 5039). CMS Wales invite you to the Bishop JC Jones Memorial Lecture 2006: ‘Business as Mission’ by Mats Tunehag. 20 March: 11am, Christchurch, Carmarthen; 7.30pm, St Michael’s College, Llandaff, Cardiff. 21 March: 7.30pm, North East Wales Institute, Wrexham. 22 March: 2.30pm, Bangor Cathedral. Further details from Margaret James (Hmjames23@ hotmail.com or 01792 424090). They also give advance notice of the CMS Wales Residential Conference at Coleg Trefeca near Brecon, 21 – 22 July. More from Val Major (Val.Major@tesco.net or 029 20313492).
CMS – Some Key Contacts Mission Partner Openings & Salt Enquiries Stuart Buchanan 020 7803 3348 firstname.lastname@example.org Donations Information Louise Gibson 020 7803 3329 email@example.com CMS Resources Richard Long 020 7803 3376 firstname.lastname@example.org Short-term Individual Placements Alex Gough 020 7803 3357 email@example.com Short-term Team Experiences Debbie James 020 7803 3326 firstname.lastname@example.org Youth/Emerging Church Jonny Baker 020 7803 3343 email@example.com Enquiries & Prayer Linda Howell 020 7803 3332 firstname.lastname@example.org Speakers & Membership Enquiries Elizabeth Martin 020 7803 3304 email@example.com Mission Partner Links Julie Whitfield 020 7803 3339 firstname.lastname@example.org Northern Team Leader Ian Smith 01904 659 792 email@example.com Southern Team Leader Richard Hovey 01249 712446 firstname.lastname@example.org
“In light of recent events...” “In light of recent events please make sure that you take all your baggage with you...” Context is everything. A rucksack or a harmless phrase like “in light of recent events” now take on sinister connotations in the ordinary surroundings of a London tube train. It’s no less true when trying to educate people for mission. The content and method of education are at the very least highly influenced by the location and historical setting of the teaching. So how do we deal with the reality that most of the power and control in mission education are still held by predominantly Western males when the worldwide church is predominantly non-Western, female and very poor? Here are three reflections from the missionary turned mission theologian Sherron Kay George, plus a fourth of my own. Equality. We know about partnership in mission now, how it’s not just the West to the rest but is a two-way street. Rhetoric comes easily: giving and receiving, learning more than we ever offer. But do we do it? As George puts it, “Any mission practice that starts from assumptions of superiority of doers and inferiority of receivers is not really mission, but imperialistic aid.” Solidarity. Mission is best done out of poverty and weakness, requiring us to stand in solidarity with the poor and weak. George says it’s about “suspending one’s personal, cultural and religious ideas and practices to listen for the experience and meanings of others.” The perfect example of solidarity is Jesus, the God who emptied himself.
Voices from the margins. A process of defamiliarisation leads us into different dimensions of learning. For learning to be truly transforming, we must be destabilised so that we may come back to the same place but with a fresh perspective. In this way voices from the margins can help us. As we listen to foreigners and strangers our eyes are opened to new ways of seeing and understanding. We rediscover how the Bible speaks in community. The Stranger. It is only in becoming a stranger that true education for mission can begin. To be a stranger is to feel out of place, to be unsure, to experience dislocation, to feel vulnerable, to make mistakes, to be dependent, to have needs. To be a stranger is to lose control, to need a host – but on whose terms? These are all necessary as we begin to enter the new culture as a learner, so that one can begin to appreciate the richness of diversity and engage in new relationships. Our sisters and brothers in the majority world know what it means to live in relationship in mutuality. They know how to practise solidarity, and thanks to current global practices they live on the margins. They know what it is to be gracious hosts; they know what it is to be vulnerable strangers. If we too can genuinely live some of these experiences, then we will begin our education in how to do mission in context. Dr Cathy Ross has been a mission partner in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo and has recently moved from Aotearoa/New Zealand to the UK to become Mission Interchange Adviser with CMS.
Pity the mission kid Discovering another ‘mission kid’ is always a great bonding experience.
encountered some degree of strangeness, at the very least, on re-entry.
They don’t have to have lived and studied in the same country as you, or even have been with the same organisation, but the sense of some vital sharing is still there. It isn’t always easy to put that into words, though.
It can be easy, in Britain, to assume that the family unit is automatically conducive to a Christian lifestyle. But there is a good deal of uneasiness about that in the New Testament.
School-aged children of mission families will often have unusual and challenging school stories to tell. My two older sisters and I, for example, went to boarding school at the age of five, and we had to fly half way across India to do it. Other mission children are schooled at home, and yet others go to local schools, where they learn the language much faster than their parents do, however good the courses they take. Some mission kids remember above all the privileged sense of living for God, while others are damaged by a sense of dislocation. But all mission kids know that the wellbeing of the nuclear family was not the primary imperative for their own family unit. Although, of course, mission parents do everything they can to ensure the happiness, safety, health and education of their children, the fact remains that they have chosen a path that might not put those things first. Countless mission families have felt hugely enriched by their time living abroad, but almost all of them have
Jesus’ own family clearly didn’t understand or like his mission, at least to begin with. They expected him to put the family first, which he resolutely refused to do (see Mark 3.31–35). His disciples, too, can’t have made ideal family men, either during his lifetime or after the resurrection. They had to travel round preaching the Gospel, and many of them came to a very sticky end. Many mission kids must have written fantasy tales in their heads about the children of the apostle Peter, for example. They almost certainly existed, but do we hear a single word about them? Mission people are not the only ones to face this dilemma – it exists for all Christians, and particularly for any in full time Christian service. How do we balance out the calls of God on our life, when the call to preach the kingdom to all God’s children can conflict with the call to nurture our own families? Or the call to feed the hungry conflicts with the need to pay the mortgage? Jane Williams’ new companion to the festive season, Approaching Christmas, is available now from Lion Hudson priced £9.99
f o g n i m a Dre thing e m o s s i h t r e t t e b ? r e m m u s
ENCOUNTER something challenging this year The CMS ENCOUNTER programme is for 18â€“30 year old Christians. Go to Africa, Asia or Europe as a member of a group of up to 10 Christians for 3â€“4 weeks in July/August. CMS also facilitate visits for church groups (aged 16+) and university groups and organise ENCOUNTER visits specifically for youth workers. For futher Encounter details, contact Debbie James on 020 7803 3326 or email email@example.com or visit www.cms-uk.org