Growing communities together Issue 53 Autumn 2016
Inside this edition 4
14 Uncomfortable Places
16 Nurturing Growth
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our people Global Partners (by country) Burundi Dioceses of Gitega & Matana DR Congo Dioceses of Bukavu, Kindu & N. Kivu Egypt Diocese of Egypt Kenya Diocese of Kajiado; Urban Development Programme, Nairobi Nepal Human Development Community Services; SD Church Rwanda Dioceses of Kibungo & Shyogwe South Sudan Dioceses of Ibba, Kajokeji, Maridi & Yei Uganda Dioceses of Luwero & Madi West Nile Zambia Diocese of Northern Zambia
Mission Partners Rory & Denise Wilson, with Gideon Luwero Diocese, Uganda Paul & Tania Baker, with Lana Luwero Diocese, Uganda Ronnie & Maggie Briggs Kajiado Diocese, Kenya Keith & Lyn Scott Preparation in Ireland
Short-Term Experience Placements Conor Adams Kiwoko Hospital, Uganda (August 2016-April 2017)
Rachel Brittain Mission Resource Coordinator Anne Buckley Finance Assistant
Brian Lavery Finance Manager
Board of Trustees
14 Unc omforta ble
Growing communities Our Partnership Coordinators share stories of transformation Walking
16 Nur turin
Growing together Investing in the future as the CMSI Community
Uncomfortable places Jenny Smyth reflects on a family holiday and shares some thoughts on the cost of partnership
Nurturing growth Rachel Brittain considers the impact of the CMSI Childrenâ€™s Resource
Snippets News from CMSI
Roger Thompson Partnership Coordinator Kelly Yates Partnership Coordinator
Walking together Reflections from a team visit to Zambia
Gillian Maganda Personnel Coordinator Jenny Smyth Mission Director
Jenny Christie Administration Coordinator Roger Cooke Mission Resource Manager
Staff Linda Abwa Partnership Coordinator
Editorial Marram Grass and strong communities
Rev Adrian Dorrian (Chair) Robbie Syme (Vice Chair) Trevor Buchanan Rev Caroline Casserly-Farrar
Larger print versions of the magazine pages are available by contacting CMSIâ€™s Belfast Office.
Dr Elaine Elborn Shane Fitzpatrick Canon Brian Harper Norman Jackson Rev Dr Paddy McGlinchey
Isabelle Prondzynski UDP, Kenya
Niall Manogue David Shepherd
Deirdre & Mark Zimmerman, with Zachary & Benjamin Nepal Alison and Paul Guinness Province of Burundi
Published by CMS Ireland www.cmsireland.org @cmsireland
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Editorial: Dune lessons
dune lessons As September approaches, I’ve been reflecting on the variety of summer holiday destinations for the CMSI staff: the Alps, South Sudan, Budapest, the Algarve… County Wexford!
My wife and I love to get away – to put a bit of distance between us and home. Midway through our break in Cantabria, however, I started to wonder whether we should have stayed in Ireland. I’d have gladly swapped the low clouds and persistent rain of the hills in northern Spain for a windswept walk on Magheraroarty beach in Donegal. There’s something arresting and inspiring about the raw, untamed grandeur of our Atlantic beaches. They make the long, flat strands of ‘the Costas’ seem somewhat benign. It’s got a lot to do with sand dunes! For the most part, the sand dunes that form in the hot, dry deserts of the world are mobile features. They change shape with the elements; they grow, shrink and migrate as the tiny particles of sand are exposed to the wind. But the dunes that flank our beaches tend not to move or change very much. They owe their stability to vegetation. Marram Grass is an impressive thing. Its deep, matted roots bind the sand together; the upright, slender leaves draw in moisture and provide a buffer from the wind. Of course, a single strand of Marram Grass will not protect a sand dune. This is a collective thing.
The title and focus for this edition of inMission reflects CMSI’s Annual Theme for 2016-2017: Deep Roots – Growing Communities Together. As disciples of Jesus, we are individuals, but not independent. We worship with others and grow together; we support one other and serve together. It’s these experiences of corporate life and mutual service that make the Church so well placed to help build stronger communities in our world. And our world needs strong communities. Stable, healthy communities are vital if people are to survive, thrive and remain in the ‘uncomfortable places’ that Jenny Smyth talks about (P14), where the winds of conflict, poverty and political turmoil can lead to shifting sands and constant upheaval. Our Global Partners are each invested in the kind of work highlighted in the following pages – transforming communities through their presence, their love and their rootedness in Christ. May they inspire us as we embrace the lessons of the Marram Grass! As local communities of faith, may we provide stability and life to our neighbourhoods. May we help to establish deep roots that bind people together, offering hope, growth and life in all its fullness. Roger Cooke Editor Page 3
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growing communities snapshots from our partners CMSIâ€™s Partnership Coordinators each share a story from our Global Partners, showing just some of the ways in which they are investing in communities and helping to establish deep roots.
Lucy and Louise walking through Kayole
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Community from the ground up [UDP, Kenya] I first visited the Urban Development Programme (UDP), Nairobi in September 2013 as part of a sabbatical from parish ministry. What I found there left a very deep impression. Sitting in the office of Louise Githire (Social Outreach Coordinator at All Saints Cathedral), I was introduced to Lucy Irungu, a community leader and resident in the Kayole ‘informal settlement’. Together, Louise and Lucy issued a memorable invitation, “Come with us to another world!” We travelled by bus across town through the traffic-clogged Nairobi roads and stepped off at the edge of Kayole – a sprawling slum in the eastern outskirts of the city housing tens of thousands of people. I followed Lucy and Louise through a labyrinth of earthen tracks - rain-rutted and grey with effluent, flanked by shanty homes crammed together cheek by jowl. Everywhere people were busy, smiling and chatting, selling their wares at street-corners, while children played amongst the uncollected rubbish and open sewers. After about 20-minutes’ walk we arrived at Lucy’s home – two medium-sized rooms, with an outhouse, back yard and a flat roof for storage. In this confined space she had raised her nine children, and fostered another 24 (mostly girls) ensuring that they had the opportunity to attend school. After a cup of chai and some chapatis, Lucy took me up onto the roof and showed me a pile of scrap wood, beams and planks. She explained their significance:
“When the government demolished our old homes and relocated us here, we were given a plot of land (25 by 50 feet) and nothing more. Those pieces of wood were all I could salvage from my old place to build a rough shelter, and that’s how we lived to begin with. There were no roads, no water or electricity supply, no sanitation, no schools, no medical facilities…nothing!” That was in 1991, when 220 families who had lost their homes came together in Kayole and formed a self-help group called Tujisaidie Page 5
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(Swahili for ‘let’s help ourselves’). Two more community groups joined and, with support from Louise and CMSI Mission Associate, Isabelle Prondzynski, these groups formed the Urban Development Programme. From the beginning, the philosophy was ‘Building Community from the ground up.’ The three self-help groups held weekly meetings, taking decisions, setting priorities, adopting work plans, collecting member funds, paying for common objectives, and sharing out responsibilities. They each drafted a constitution, elected a committee and, in relevant cases, sub-committees for specific activities (such as water and the community nursery school). All Saints’ Cathedral (Nairobi) and CMSI then helped with several grant applications, including water supplies, latrine building, and school bursaries.
Lucy on her roof
Over the last 25 years the communities have made a massive impact in their local area. Achievements have been small-scale and incremental, but locally owned and therefore long lasting. They include founding and developing the Tujisaidie Primary School (originally a Nursery but now educating almost 400 children to secondary entry level) and the Bahati Community Centre Secondary School.
“…the new life of Jesus flowing out from the inside, fostering communities that re-invigorate their surroundings.” Through a sponsorship scheme many students have been educated through secondary school. One student has achieved a Master’s degree in Economics from Kenyatta University. Another is studying for his BA in Theology (Urban Ministry) at Carlile College, Nairobi. Another has completed her course in Media Studies. The UDP groups have also constructed 120 domestic latrines, laid community water pipes, installed water tanks (for times of drought), introduced free school meals, initiated small income-generating projects, set up a Young Mothers’ Self-Help group and introduced community health care programmes. Recently, the younger generation have emulated their elders and formed major groups, such as the Tumaini African Foundation (TAF), set up by Lucy’s son Antony to provide mentoring for the children of the area, including a programme called More than just a meal, where hundreds of children receive lunch and teaching on a Saturday. Once a fortnight, they also prepare and cook a meal for the elderly community members. Throughout my two visits to the UDP, I was profoundly aware of the spiritual core to all this community-building. The love and indomitable hope I sensed in Lucy, Louise, Isabelle and so many others connected with UDP is an outworking of their inner faith: “Christ in us, the hope of Glory!” They are living proof of the resurrection – the new life of Jesus flowing out from the inside, fostering communities that re-invigorate their surroundings. I want to be involved with people like that!
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Rev Desire with Twa group
are living. Rev Desire (who hosted visitors from Tynan, Middletown and Aghavilly Parishes in Goma in April), is involved in this work and says:
Uprooted, but growing again [Bukavu Diocese, DR Congo] Deep roots were exactly what the Twa people of DR Congo had before the civil war. Their defined community structure, traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle and ancient family knowledge of their homelands provided order, security, and deep-rooted community ties. Their differences from the surrounding Bantu groups resulted in some issues of stigma and discrimination, but together the Twa communities preserved their culture with dignity and security. A brief glance over news bulletins from the years of civil war reveals that during the violence and hatred, the Pygmies (as the Twa are better known) quickly became a target for soldiers and rebels, who took the fighting into the forests – the home of the Twa. Acts of violence and terror investigated by the UN revealed unrepeatable atrocities suffered by men, women and children of this people group. Today, having fled their traditional lifestyle to escape the war, many find themselves languishing on the edge of towns and cities with an unfamiliar culture and societal structure. Once secure and stable communities, they have not only lost family members in the civil war, but have lost their whole way of life, their culture and their shared identity. Bukavu Diocese runs a ministry to an area on the outskirts of Goma, where many displaced Twa
“A threatened and dislocated community has an opportunity to grow again.”
“The Pygmies are human being people created in the image of God, but when we look at their lives, we discover that they are the poorest and most marginalised people in DR Congo with no human rights consideration at all.” The diocese has identified many of the issues these displaced people are facing: poverty, isolation, vulnerability to illness due to poor diet and lack of medical care. Rev Desire says that many are living with the stigma of indignities committed on their relatives during the war plus the trauma of violent experiences. Illiteracy is high and their learned skills, although valuable in their own community, make no sense in the urban landscape. Bukavu Diocese’s Love Pygmies Project involves training and resourcing people to grow food, rear livestock, and develop safe shelter. Literacy classes are made available for children and interested adults. It is a project that CMSI hopes to be support even further. One of the great successes of the project is the emergence of a Twa church. This new church wasn’t included in the projected outcomes of the project, but it is growing fast as God’s compassion has been shared and, perhaps, as the ability to read the Bible has increased. A threatened and dislocated community has an opportunity to grow again. The building and seating arrangements – hard, grey and permanent – are made for Bantu people not Twa, but the dancing is distinct and familiar from previous days in the forest. The joy and growing feeling of being at home revives the memory of what it was like in days of security. Rev Desire rightly states that the true success of the Love Pygmies Project will not be measurable for a very long time, because the hurts have been deep and integration is painful after so much loss. However, the small shoot of a new community is showing in this fledgling church. It is there that healing can begin.
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Salt and Light [Madi West Nile Diocese, Uganda]
â€œThe church needs to have a vision and passion for being salt and light in their community, enabling the church and community to work together to address common needs by using their own shared resources.â€? Rev Alice Adakuru Rev Alice leads a variety of community-based programmes throughout the Diocese of Madi West Nile in northwest Uganda. She recognises that working in this way provides an insight into the needs of the community and offers Page 8
the Church an opportunity to establish strong relationships with local people. One of the initiatives brings people together to discuss how to tackle problems and issues facing their own community. Alice has seen people gain confidence as they realise their voice can influence important decisions that impact everyday life. Everybodyâ€™s participation counts. They have developed schemes such as group savings, small business start-ups and crop cultivation, which have brought benefits for the whole community. There have been improvements in livelihoods, health and sanitation, use of local resources, and gender equality.
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â€œThe church needs to have a vision and passion for being salt and light in their community...â€?
Rev Alice with a community group
Community members like Robert have learned better techniques in crop cultivation. Robert has seen improvements in the quality and quantity of the greens he sells at the local market, which in turn has helped him to afford school fees for his children. Local Christians have been encouraged to share their light and saltiness through Community Bible Study groups. These have grown, as people become more curious about the faith and hope of the friends they have made through this programme. There has also been a more active interest taken in Church; there has been a drawing-in of new people with
Crop Cultivation Workshop
a range of skills and backgrounds. They are becoming part of conversation that builds and strengthens the church. When the church intentionally nurtures strong communities, they in turn nurture the church to flourish.
Visa permitting, Rev Alice will be sharing with us at the Ignite Conference (see P13). Page 9
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Jayne with Rita Ngombe
walking together reflections from the zambia META In July, a CMSI Mission Experience Team Abroad (META) visited Zambia. Here, team leaders Jayne Martin (St Columbaâ€™s, Knock) and Rev Robert Ferris (Carrigrohane, Cork) share some of their reflections on the impact of the visit. Jayne Martin The team of 12 arrived back safe and well after a fantastic trip to Zambia. We were a mixed bunch: 10 from Carrigrohane, Jonathan Stanley from Bray and myself from St Columba's in Belfast. It was an amazing time seeing God at work in another culture and meeting so many kind, warm-hearted Zambian brothers and sisters in Christ.
Diocese Youth group and their leaders. What an inspiration they were. We got to know Chamba, Dennis and Neil really well as they seemed to pop up everywhere we went. Chamba and Neil even endured a seven-hour bus journey just to say goodbye to us at the airport. I'm sure most of the team especially the younger ones will be keeping in contact via Facebook.
This was my second visit to Zambia. The last one was in 2012 and it was great to meet up again with friends. It was encouraging to see how some projects had progressed and developed in the last few years. We met some of the
I feel that within my own parish of St Columba's, the link with Zambia has been strengthened. Being able to see and hear the news first-hand about people and the projects that we saw last time has ignited their interest and enthusiasm for Zambia.
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Rev Robert Ferris I first encountered Zambia during my time at Theological College, when I went out on an All Ireland youth META with CMSI. I’ve since been on a short-term placement and two METAs, including this recent visit. It’s been great to renew relationships and see how the link between Ireland and Zambia is growing and developing. We called our team Twende Chapamo – in the Bemba language this means ‘walking together’. This had a three-fold focus: as a team we would be individuals walking alongside each other; we would be walking together with God; we would be walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Zambia. Throughout this experience, we did these three things in equal measure.
“…it is my hope and prayer that these experiences live long in our hearts and bear much fruit.” I love the focus of CMSI METAs: where we are invited by the local church to draw alongside, to witness what God is up to, to get involved in all aspects and to build relationships. We were humbled by the faith of individuals who are changing lives through caring for the lonely, the orphan and the prisoner. We were in tears at the lack of resources of pre-Schools but amazed by the commitment of teachers. We
were challenged by the way the Church makes a difference in communities as they identify and meet needs. We were impacted by the common needs we had in Zambia and Ireland when it comes to working with young people. Archbishop Albert Chama, Diocesan Bishop of Northern Zambia and Primate of Central Africa is a great advocate for teams coming in person to the diocese to experience mission, to encourage his people and also to see that the world Church is primarily about relationships, not a money giving venture. He made it very clear to us that the encounter person-to-person is vitally important to him and to the Church in Zambia. In Carrigrohane, we’re at the beginning of this partnership link, but it is my hope and prayer that these experiences live long in our hearts and bear much fruit – in our own parish, in the lives of our parishioners as we tell our stories and also with our Global Partners, whom we have walked alongside. For me, this visit has reinvigorated my calling to be someone who builds bridges between the Church at home here in Ireland and our Global Partners, offering opportunities to learn from each other, to share resources, to develop deep relationships and to walk together. We need each other. In 2017, CMSI plans to send METAs to visit our partners in Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Nepal. The team to Nepal is open to all – do get in touch if you’d like to find out more. While most of the other teams will have a parish-led focus, there may be spaces for individuals to join these teams too.
Photo: Zambian sunset
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growing together the CMSI community For CMSI, the focus on growing communities isn’t restricted to the global context, nor indeed to parish life and ministry in Ireland. This vision is also for us as a mission society. We want the CMSI family, our community, to grow together. We want to ensure stability and strength, while also encouraging vitality and growth. For this to happen, we need deep roots. As was evident throughout our 200th Anniversary celebrations in 2014, our organisation has deep and strong historic roots: our past is one of our biggest assets. Who we are today, what we do today, how we work today – these things have all been shaped and sharpened by our past. But if CMSI is to continue helping God’s people to transform lives, if we are to be a relevant, vibrant voice across the Church in Ireland, if we are to have a fruitful future, we also need other kinds of deep roots. We need people: people who are invested in the society and committed to its success. Our people Last November, we launched our CMSI Stars initiative – as we sought to breathe new life into membership of the society and ensure that, as far as possible, our list of members was up-todate and accurate. Thus far, over 130 people have renewed their membership or joined as members for the first time. We hope that this number will grow. This is very deliberately an ‘opt-in’ approach, as we invite people to stand with the society and offer their support through their prayers, their finances, their participation and their presence. The CMSI Stars initiative also comes with a commitment from the staff team to actively invest in our members as a key part of our wider work. Page 12
Whether it’s our CMSI Stars, or other active supporters of the society, we need these people – our people – to grow together and to stay connected to one another. That’s why we’ve been ‘banging the drum’ for CMSI hubs. That’s why we’re so excited about our new annual conference, Ignite. CMSI prayer hubs One of our priorities for the coming year is to see the emergence of CMSI prayer hubs – gatherings that are organised locally and led by our members, with support from the CMSI staff team. We’ve shared this vision before. We make no apologies for doing so again. Of course, this is nothing new. Local Associations and Regional Support Groups have been part of the CMSI story for much of our long history. But as we plan for the future, we recognise that our people and their prayers are crucial. We also want to ensure that there is a vibrant CMSI ‘presence’ throughout the whole of Ireland. These hubs offer a way to help achieve that aim. We just need willing hosts to offer their homes and willing leaders to help facilitate the groups. Could you play your part in this way? If so, we’d love to hear from you.
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CMSI Conference 2016 Saturday 24th September: 10:30am-5:15pm Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, Newry Ignite We shared something about our new annual conference, Ignite, in the Spring edition of inMIssion. We’re excited by the potential of this new venture, as we start a new year together and seek to strengthen the connections within the CMSI community. We’re also delighted that so many people have already booked their places at the event, which is taking place at Dromantine Conference Centre, near Newry during the fourth weekend in September. Over 100 people have signed up for the main day conference on Saturday 24th and half of these are also joining us for Friday Extra, the special programme for residential guests on 23rd. We would love to see our numbers increase even further. With that in mind, we’ve included a booking form with this copy of inMIssion (online booking forms are also available).
Other Contributors Bishop Harold Millar [Dioceses of Down and Dromore] Emma Lynch [Tearfund Ireland] Richard Spratt [Fields of Life] Ian Hannah [Coleraine House of Prayer] Mission Personnel Paul and Tania Baker [on Home Assignment from Uganda] Keith and Lyn Scott [preparing to go to Zambia]
Here are some of the highlights from the programme:
Nigel and Carol Weallans [recently returned from South Sudan]
Global Guests Rev Alice Adakuru [Madi West Nile, Uganda]
Isabelle Prondzynski [still very involved with UDP in Kenya]
Ven Naftale Lemoke [Kajiado, Kenya]
Children’s Programme Saturday 24th
As well as worship, teaching and fellowship, there will be a full and varied seminar programme, including global focus seminars for each of our partner countries, a ‘Big Sing’ and a workshop on how to make mission matter more in your parish. Page 13
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uncomfortable places As Jenny Smyth observes, partnership often requires us to choose the harder path.
Sitting on a small wooden bench with the family, at an army roadblock, surrounded by 20 well-armed soldiers, felt somewhat uncomfortable. This feeling intensified as all our bags were unloaded from our vehicle and searched. Abigail and Caleb had asked if we could spend our 2016 family holiday in Yei, the place they had spent their early years when Billy and I were Mission Partners. Things did not go according to plan. We had arrived two days earlier, so happy to meet friends, visit remembered haunts, see our old home and share Sunday worship in Yei Cathedral. On Monday morning, we were summoned to Bishop Hilary’s office…
“I am very happy that you came to see us all, but am also very sorry to say that it is already time for you to leave. Fighting has Page 14
started in Juba and we do not know what will happen next. Things are very tense. How can you travel out?” It was clear. It was time to leave. The Mission Aviation Fellowship emergency number was called and they gave us one hour to be at the airstrip. Quick pack, into the vehicle and off. The driver, an old friend, took us. Ten minutes from the airstrip we were stopped at the roadblock.
“The road is closed. You have to go back. We are arresting the driver.”
We could hear the plane circling. We were sitting on the bench, uncomfortable. At last the officer in charge gave permission for us to go. As we were leaving one of the soldiers said to my son,
“Young man, do not worry, you can go; you will be OK.” Lovely reassurance, a touch of humanity. I was left wondering if he would be OK; if, as a soldier in the face of civil war, he would survive. Surely he is the one in the uncomfortable place. And what of our driver? Would he be arrested on his return? I asked him about this, but he showed no anxiety, saying, “We have lived with all this for long now. God is there, I will be OK. Take our greetings with you.” In Philippians, Paul teaches about life in uncomfortable places. He is writing from prison. He values support from fellow believers: partnership that helps him through the difficulties and outlasts them; partnership expressed in practical gifts, generous giving, visits and prayers. Over the past year, lots of visits between parishes and their Global Partners have taken place. We love to find out how folks have got on.
“It was a really challenging experience. I was totally out of my comfort zone, but…” But what? But that’s when the learning really begins, when we begin to grasp the reality of life for our Global Partners. That’s when, together, we begin to walk the stony path of insecurity, poverty, injustice and pain – experiences that impact our worldview, challenge our priorities and make us question God. The Result? Faith strengthened, hope brightened and a renewed determination to live a life that counts for the kingdom, a life that reaches out into local communities, bringing wholeness and shalom. A healthy community is an interdependent community, one with deep roots in good soil – soil enriched with kingdom values, nourished by lives lived as disciples of Jesus.
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“Together as the whole family of God, we can be the light that banishes darkness and the salt that purifies our communities.” This can be costly. It is not an easy path to take. There have been several uncomfortable situations over the past few months. A partnership visit to DR Congo had to be postponed twice, as the visa applications were badly delayed: flights rescheduled, leave plans reorganised, programmes curtailed, visit shortened and extra expense incurred. There are never any guarantees and few certainties. A META team visit to Yei scheduled for July had to be called off just one week before the team were due to fly, as South Sudan teetered on the edge of civil war. The team had worked really hard to gather the funds, prepare their input, and complete the training sessions. Massively inconvenient. But what about the folks in Yei? For them, the impact of the political upheaval is literally life threatening. What lessons can we learn from these things? How can partnerships grow and deepen in such circumstances? How can we make them lasting, fruitful and faith strengthening? The challenges are huge, but if we are focused on God’s leading, empowered by His Holy Spirit and living lives modelled by Jesus, we can be disciples who bring transformation. Together as the whole family of God, we can be the light that banishes darkness and the salt that purifies our communities. This will inevitably mean getting our hands dirty, being inconvenienced, taking risks, learning to live with unanswered questions and being challenged out of our comfort zones. But this is the path we choose. This is how we will see growth and change as we partner with those who live by faith in very uncomfortable places. Page 15
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nuturing growth the CMSI children’s resource
The Children’s Resource has been part of CMSI’s work since the early 1980s. Previously known as the Annual Project or the Lenten Project, it has continued to be a popular resource used by over 70 parishes and groups across Ireland. People fondly recall the names of the projects they remember from their own Sunday school days and occasionally, we hear something of the impact that the projects made on people at a young age. The Chair of CMSI’s Board, Rev Adrian Dorrian, often talks of the impact that the resource made on him as a young boy in Sunday school. It was a project in 1987 called On the Nepal Trek that Adrian particularly remembers…
“I was a primary school pupil the first time I encountered an annual project. I was absolutely intrigued by all the things I learned about another culture, but I was also really struck by the realisation that the people whose stories I was hearing, engaged in the same things I did on a Sunday morning. That made me feel part of something much bigger than just a single local congregation...and it still does today.” Adrian’s connection with mission was further encouraged through his parish developing an active link to Nepal with former CMSI Mission Partners Mark and Ali Gill. Regular speaking engagements and local events firmly established Adrian’s early interest in mission. This is our hope for all the children and young people who engage with the Children’s Resource – that they will have a taste of something bigger than their own church community and will see that they have a part to play in God’s big work of mission. It has been wonderful to receive encouraging letters from a few of the participating parishes this year. For example, Judith Mullan, Sunday School Superintendent from Bovevagh Parish was keen to let us know how much her children has enjoyed the 2016 Meeting Place project. Page 16
“The DVD and booklets were very informative, user friendly, packed with resources and ideas pitched at just the right level for our children… “To make the project more inclusive we put what we were doing in to the monthly church magazine and displayed the materials in our Church Hall for the congregation, family and friends to view.” Denise Galbraith, Treasurer from Portstewart Parish, forwarded the money raised by the children in the Sunday School and told us that ‘the children always enjoy watching the DVDs and learning about the work you do.’ The Children’s Resource Pack is specially produced each year for Sunday Schools and youth groups in Ireland. It provides original and creative material for at least four sessions with four different age groups. It’s an ideal resource for churches that want to encourage a greater interest in global mission. As we’ve been getting on with plans for the 2017 resource pack, we are reminded of the significance of teaching children and young people about God and His love for the world. Our hope is that by engaging with the Children’s Resource, these young minds and hearts will be opened and ready to grow in God. Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. (Proverbs 22: 6)
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CMSI Children’s Resource 2017 Launching in January Four sessions of original material for 4-15 year-olds DVD films, activity workbooks, leaders’ guides Bible stories with mission focus Opportunities to support global mission For Details – see CMSI website or contact our offices
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snippets CMSI news in brief
Kiwoko Hospital, in Luwero Diocese, Uganda
On 14th August, RTE’s weekly worship service featured CMSI. The service was led by one of our Trustees, Rev Caroline Casserly-Farrar with Rev Keith Scott giving the sermon. You can view the service via the RTE website (until 3rd September) or via the links from the CMSI website.
Planning for the future The CMSI staff and board recently started work on preparing our strategic plan for 2017-2022. The CMSI Stars and many of our other active supporters were recently invited to share their reflections on the work of the society. If you’d like to offer your own thoughts, please do get in touch.
HDCS Offices in Nepal
The strategic plan will be presented at the Shine event in Dublin on 1st April 2017.
Global Anniversaries 2016 sees two of our Global Partners celebrating 25th anniversaries: Kiwoko Hospital, in Luwero Diocese, Uganda and Human Development Community Services (HDCS) in Nepal. Both organisations have made significant contributions to impoverished, rural communities through health provision and social care. Both have done so as Christian organisations – with local and ex-pat disciples working together to share God’s transforming love and grace. Page 18
For one of our Global Partners, February 2017 marks an even more significant anniversary. Yei Diocese was formed in 1917 as the first Anglican Diocese in Sudan and as one of the earliest expressions of Christian community and witness in that part of the world. A very ‘happy birthday’ to all three of these partners and friends.
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Mission Personnel Update The Bakers Paul, Tania and Lana recently returned to Ireland for a period of Home Assignment and a holiday. As well as catching up with friends and family and spending time with CMSI staff, the Bakers will be connecting with link parishes and supporters through a series of speaking engagements. We’d encourage you to get along to one of their presentations over the next few months. Contact the office for details of their programme. The Scotts Keith and Lyn’s departure for Zambia has been re-scheduled to mid-January. They have been busy carrying out CMSI speaking engagements and working with the staff team to recruit link parishes and supporters. In November, Keith and Lyn will finish up parish ministry in Askeaton, Limerick. We’re still seeking financial support for the Scotts. Do please consider whether you could give a little bit each month to help them to equip church leaders in Zambia. (Details on the CMSI website, or from the staff team).
for the hospital for the coming years. Much of Denise’s current focus is on building up the small-group leaders and managing the student Bible studies and discipleship groups. Gideon is enjoying spending time with Conor, his new teaching assistant. Conor Adams (Short-Term Experience Placement) At the end of August, Conor travelled to Luwero Diocese in Uganda to begin an eight-month STEP at Kiwoko Hospital. Conor will be supporting the Wilson family by working as a teaching assistant for Gideon’s P3 year. The Zimmermans Mark, Deirdre, Zachary and Benjamin recently returned to Kathmandu after a long period of Home Assignment in USA and Ireland. As the boys return to school at Katmandu International Study Centre, Deirdre will be continuing her adviser role work with nutrition organisation NPCS, while Mark takes up a new role at Patan Hospital as Senior Clinician with input to training.
The Briggs Ronnie and Maggie are enjoying having their family together in Kenya – their three children and their son-in-law are currently visiting. Ronnie recently assumed responsibility for the management of the Masaai Rural Training Centre in Isinya, a four to five-hour drive away from Oltiasika, where he and Maggie are based. They will divide their time between the two bases until they return to Ireland on Home Assignment in March.
Isabelle recently retired from her role with the EU in Brussels. She hopes to resume a more active role with the Urban Development Programme in Kenya and as a CMSI Mission Associate. Isabelle was in Nairobi recently and, among other things, she met with the UDP leaders to discuss CMSI’s Children’s Resource for 2017, which focuses on Kenya and the UDP.
The Wilsons Rory, Denise and Gideon continue with their varied work and ministry at Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda. For family reasons, this is to be their last term as Mission Partners at Kiwoko – they are due to return to Ireland in Spring 2018. As such, Rory will be working with the hospital board to identify suitable leaders
Alison and Paul Guinness Alison and Paul are continuing their studies at All Nations – and deadlines are looming large. Alison hopes to submit her MA thesis by 9th September; Paul has a little bit longer. They are expecting a new arrival to their family in mid-October and are staring to make plans for a return to Burundi early in 2017.
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Church Mission Society Ireland is registered in Dublin, Ireland - Reg No. 26905 - as a Company Limited by Guarantee, with permission to omit the word â€˜Limitedâ€™. Registered Charity Number (CRA No.): 20001476. Recognised in the UK as a Charity by the Inland Revenue - Ref No. XN 48809. CMS Ireland is a registered business name - Registered Office: Dublin Office, as above.