M A L AW I :
Hope For The N AT I O N S
Issue 26 | July - Sept 12
The Official Elim International Missions Magazine
THE WORLD THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES
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Editorial by Chris Jones
As we celebrated Fatherâ€™s Day recently, I was interested to observe the various reactions and responses to this. This led me to thinking about how different cultures and communities put different values on items and also on people. For example, to one culture something might seem of immense value and to another of no value or worth, even being disposable.
are valued highly and have incredible importance, whereas in others a child is seen as a means to an end, maybe as an income stream, perhaps sold if a purpose is served and even something to be got rid of if not needed.
In this edition of Outreach we are thinking about children and I am challenged by the different value and worth that children have in the various communities we serve and work in. In fact I am amazed at how much the attitude towards children varies so greatly. In some communities children
Attitudes in our own nation vary greatly where we can see children who are indulged and pampered beyond belief, whilst yet others are forced to live in difficult environments that they shouldnâ€™t have to endure. Iâ€™m not even sure that we in the Church have the balance right. I believe that if we are not careful we are in danger of placing our children on the altar of evangelical worship and to bestowing upon them a worship and position that is actually harmful and not in the rightful order of things. These are controversial thoughts maybe, but ones we need to allow ourselves to be challenged by. God bless.
International Missions Director
PAUL HUDSON WRITES | As a child I often played a game of ‘soldiers’ with my friends in the neighbourhood. We would make two armies and disappear to make plans to kill the opposition.... Read more on page 04
CHILD SOLDIERS | 04 TILL THEY ALL HAVE HOMES: INDIA | 06
COVER STORY: THE WORLD THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES | 08 MOVING ON... THE MCDONOUGHS | 18 MALAWI: HOPE FOR THE NATIONS | 20 LIFELINK: EDUCATION | 22
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THE WORLD THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES Everyone has value and is precious in the eyes of God, from the oldest to the very youngest. That includes the street boy sleeping in an underground drain; the girl used and abused by evil men; the unwanted baby dumped in a latrine. In this edition we share how God is using Elim Missions to help children across the world. OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
Ch ons al ation Intern
CHILDSOLDIERS SOMEWORDSSHOULDNOTGOTOGETHER. by Paul Hudson As a child I often played a game of ‘soldiers’ with my friends in the neighbourhood. We would make two armies and disappear to make plans to kill the opposition. I would pick up my stick and by making machine noises and seeing the enemies before they saw me, i would kill all in sight. If the enemy could roll on the floor or jump and shout ‘you didn’t get me’ then by and large i hadn’t ‘got them’. This is the kind of thing that is supposed to happen. It is childhood. It is normal. But I am writing today when not only is this kind of game becoming extinct as most children are inside playing it on the big screen, but actually there are still 300,000 children in the world where this is not a game, it is real and it is a nightmare. A child soldier is this: A child associated with an armed force or armed group refers to any person below 18 years of age who is or who has been recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, spies or for sexual purposes. It does not only refer to a child who is taking or has taken a direct part in hostilities. (The Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups (Paris Principles), February 2007) On 26th April 2012 the Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) found former Liberian President, Charles Ghankay Taylor, guilty of a range of crimes under international law, including recruiting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities. There is now a rise of support for the DRCs Bosco Ntaganda to be transferred to the International Criminal Court and also for the arrest of Joseph Kony. 04
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
The number of child soldiers around the world is increasing each year. Currently it is approximately 300,000. Although some are enlisted voluntarily, the majority see no alternative and either volunteer or are taken after seeing family members tortured or killed by government forces or armed groups. Others join up because of poverty and lack of work or educational opportunities. Recently, on a visit to Sierra Leone, I was privileged to meet Hassan, an ex-child soldier who told me his story to camera. Hassan was 15 years old when during the civil war, on returning from school he saw his parents gunned down by the rebels outside his home. Afraid of being killed himself he walked past his parents’ bodies and handed himself to the rebels along with 600 other children. They were taken to a camp in the jungle and drugged through their food and drink. Through brain-washing techniques they were trained as freedom fighters. They were then sent out into the city and towns and villages in order to kill, rape and abuse the innocents. For Hassan this went on every day for 3 years 6 months and 21 days. One governmental official told me how he remembers seeing children as young as 10 years old dragging their Kalashnikovs through the streets of Freetown because they were too heavy to carry. Today advancements in weapon technology allow increasingly younger children to handle AK-47s, M-16s and grenades with ease.
“One governmental official told me how he remembers seeing children as young as 10 years old dragging their Kalashnikovs through the streets of Freetown because they were too heavy to carry.”
Child soldiers are used because they are cheap assistance and less likely to escape during conflicts. If they die they are easier to replace, they are not as valuable.
“300,000 children have been taken. They have lost their identity, childhood, family and future.” The initiations are evil involving cannibalism, rape and the killing of their own family members. A baptism of oil as a welcome ceremony is used within the camp. “They give you a gun and you have to kill the best friend you have. They do it to see if they can trust you. If you don’t kill him, your friend will be ordered to kill you. I had to do it because otherwise I would have been killed. That’s why I got out. I couldn’t stand it any longer.” (17-year-old Columbian boy who joined a paramilitary group aged 7, when a street child.) “When they came to my village, they asked my older brother whether he was ready to join the militia. He was just 17 and he said no; they shot him in the head. Then they asked me if I was ready to sign, so what could I do - I didn’t want to die.” A testimony from a former child soldier in the DRC, taken when he was 13 years old. “I feel pain from the rape, as if I have wounds inside, and I am afraid I have a disease. I would like to get tested but there is no one to help me. I was tested in the reception centre in Gulu, but I was never told the result. The doctor said that it is better not to know the result.” Girl aged 17, abducted by the LRA in eastern Uganda. “I would like you to give a message. Please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children. So that other children don’t have to pass through this violence.” This 15-year-old Ugandan girl was made to kill a boy who tried to escape. She witnessed another boy being hacked to death, she was herself beaten when she dropped a water container.
These are not accounts from some film or novel. This is first-hand true accounts that can be repeated around the world right now. 300,000 children have been taken. They have lost their identity, childhood, family and future. They have been made to commit horrendous, evil acts. They were not born for this. This was not their destiny. When these children do get released then they come from the camps destroyed. It is only the redemptive miracle of Christ that can do anything to help them. Returned to their previous communities, places where they have killed, they carry a deep stigma. Unemployable and unapproachable they commence a life fending for themselves. They also spend a lifetime trying to blot out the images of cruelty from their minds. They seek to forgive but mainly to be forgiven.
WHEREISGODINALLOFTHIS? I have become absolutely convinced over recent years that God is where we least expect Him to be. Hassan told me in his interview how every day he would leave the camp to commit crimes carrying a gun and a New Testament in his back pocket. When he returned each night he would open his New Testament and God would speak words of peace to him. Let us not worry where God is. Where are we? Elim Missions is partnering with our own churches and other organisations around the world in developing the redemptive work in the lives of ex-child soldiers. You and your church can stand with us by praying for the nameless and voiceless sons and daughters held within the camps today. It may never have been mentioned in a prayer meeting or a church service before. But today can be a new day for you as we seek to bring a new day to those who are hoping to be remembered.
This is no longer a game.
Paul Hudson Elim Missions Development Director and Senior Pastor at Elim Dewsbury.
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
TILL THEY ALL HAVE HOMES...
BY RACHEL STUDLEY
LONG AGO I USED TO PUT CONDITIONS ON GOD: IF YOU SAVE MY MOTHER AND BROTHER, I WILL GO OUT TO PREACH... IF YOU HEAL MY DEPRESSION, I WILL GO TO INDIA... IF YOU SAVE MY CHILDREN, I WILL SAVE OTHER CHILDREN... NOT ANYMORE!
I have learnt to do what I am called to do and leave God to do his job. I can’t discredit God; he has healed me on the mission field to do the running around that I need to do. I am praying for my healing every day and for my family’s salvation every day. Nothing has changed, but that does not stop me praying and believing. When we first moved as a family to Punjab, India in 2008 to set up the Frishta children’s village, we didn’t know the full extent of the problems we were going to face. Had we known we may have thought twice about taking the challenge! Even though beforehand my husband and I had travelled to India each year to research our project and build up a network of contacts, we found living here much tougher than we anticipated. It was easy to get a fuzzy warm feeling about wanting to help abandoned children that we encountered on our visits, but much harder to push through the obstacles and mindsets that stand in the way of actually giving that help. The problems which made us want to give up and run back to the UK are the same things that held our hearts and made us determined to stay. Now that we have been in India for more than four years, we don’t want to do anything else but
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stay. It sounds ridiculous, but it is amazing what God can do with ordinary people like us and maybe you too! I am addicted to loving children! I can’t resist praying when I read in the newspaper about abandoned new-born babies, often just because they are girls or the mothers are harassed and depressed. Boy babies are economically and culturally preferred in Punjab - if a mother has a boy, there are celebrations and gifts, but a girl is greeted with disappointment and even death. Female foetuses are aborted and baby girls killed in such large numbers that the sex ratio is permanently skewed. In one area of Punjab it was reported that there are just 3 girls to every 10 boys. Girls that survive often get an incomplete education or miss out on schooling altogether and can be forced into early marriages. It is to these children that we believe we are called. To help and restore the many, many children who are socially excluded and discriminated against, to see them gain an education, life and work skills that will lift them out of childlabour and the ‘poverty cycle’. Our Mission Statement is, ‘Giving children a home, an education, a hope and a future’ (based on Jeremiah 29:11). I’m sure we all believe God’s promises of a hope and a future, we believe it also applies to street children in India. To operate effectively in India it has helped us tremendously to know the law. I have just completed a three year LLB degree course - 30 exams and practical training in the Courts - and it was worth it. I can’t tell you how in detail as it may endanger somebody’s life or ministry, so I will keep to generalities. With my legal training and knowledge I have been able to help girls above the age of 18 to fight for their fundamental freedoms by informing them of their rights; help rescue girls below 18
from forced marriage who can’t fight for their rights yet; help missionaries from being deported; save my family from illegal harassment and get rights for our charitable organisation. It took us two years to find our way around how things are done here. We want to keep our work pure, but that does not come easy in India where everything moves with a bribe, from electricity connections to licences and approvals. Our motto is to believe God and prayerfully get things done without paying a bribe to anyone. Even local Christians have told us not to take such tension on ourselves and to pay bribes instead. You can achieve in one month with a bribe what takes 6+ months to achieve without. They believe in following what everyone else does and making things easy for themselves and it is a major and constant test for us to not participate in the bribery system. Government Officers ‘lose’ our file if we don’t pay them any ‘tea money’. We have to keep going to the same office day after day, often giving another copy of the same documents until they realise that they are not going to get any money from us and we are not going to give up. Sometimes they get annoyed with our persistence and don’t give the permission or the stamp we need. Then we start all over again by going to a higher
authority and sometimes it pays off when they rebuke the lower authority for not doing their job. For example we spent 14 months lobbying the Punjab Department of Housing and Urban Development to change the law about the charging of planning fees to social work projects – our fees were 5.1 million rupees / £70,000! We even drafted the new policy and eventually it was approved by the Punjab Government. Frishta was the first NGO to be granted planning approval free of charge. Two purpose-built Frishta family homes are now finished. We are adding more homes soon and later learning, recreation and medical facilities too. We are privileged and blessed to care for the Frishta children. Through love and prayer from us and our children’s sponsors, we have seen these children’s lives being changed, for good. Now, that is worth all the hassle! For more information about the work of Rachel and Nigel visit: www.frishta.org.uk OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
THE WORLD THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES
“A child needs both to be hugged and unhugged. The hug lets her know she is valuable. The unhug lets her know that she is viable. If you’re always shoving your child away, they will cling to you for love. If you’re always holding them closer, they will cling to you for fear.” Billy Graham 08
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
Everyone has value and is precious in the eyes of God, from the oldest to the very youngest. That includes the street boy sleeping in an underground drain; the girl used and abused by evil men; the unwanted baby dumped in a latrine. In this edition we share how God is using Elim Missions to help children across the world.
_____________________________ TANZANIA - SHAUN GRAHAM WRITES:
‘Watoto wengi’ or ‘many children’ for those not well versed in Kiswahili. God is doing something good amongst the children of the Salasala community here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Since September 2011, 365 different children have visited our project, Klabu ya Watoto wa Salasala (The Children’s Club of Salasala). Weekly we are ministering to over 250 children. Many of these kids are very poor, living in poor housing without running water, electricity and basic sanitation. Some of them live with their families in a disused quarry where local people continue to quarry rock illegally, even using explosives! It is not an unusual sight to see some of the children breaking up rocks alongside their family, in order to sell them on to the large lorry owners who will in turn sell them on to the building trade. It takes eight families one week to fill a lorry load for which they will get 80,000 Tanzanian
shillings to split eight ways; £4.50 each for a week’s work. Since April 2008 we have sought to provide a place of recreation for these children and to mentor them through sports, creative arts and the word of God. Currently we use the local facilities of HOPAC school but
number of our children are from Islamic families. Yet their families are more than happy for them to attend, knowing full well we will speak with their children about Yesu (Jesus). In this we take a long view, continuing to faithfully and sensitively share God’s word with this community.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
long term our goal is to build our own Sports & Creative Arts Community Centre in the midst of this community. Our intent is to have the best facilities available in this part of Dar Es Salaam for some of the city’s poorest inhabitants. For God has told us that, “He raises the poor from the dust, the needy from the ash heap and he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honour” (1 Samuel 2:8). Just like King David did for crippled Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9. Our mandate is to raise up a generation for Jesus, equipping them for life and preparing them for eternity. One of the most exciting factors of this project is that a good
One such child is Zulfa, who along with her sister Sauda, is a regular visitor to the Kids Club. Their father is absent and late last year their mother tragically died. Zulfa had been unable to attend school for two years due to lack of funds to purchase uniform, books, etc. In January we sponsored her return to school. Though 12 years of age, she is in the equivalent of Year 3 in the UK. Her teacher reports that she is making good enough progress to possibly leap frog Year 4 and enter Year 5 next academic year.
“One of the most exciting factors of this project is that a good number of our children are from Islamic families.” OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
Life is a pretty rough start for the children of Sierra Leone. This maternity ward has ceilings falling down, no partition for privacy and no funding since 2010. Life is very different for children across the world. In Europe, per 1000 live births, 7 children will die. In Africa that number is 109.
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
“Over the last few years we have seen changes in many of our children. At first hesitant to attend and slow to give trust, to now being right at home at the Club, their Club.”
Over the last few years we have seen changes in many of our children. At first hesitant to attend and slow to give trust, to now being right at home at the Club, their Club. For me the greatest example of this is Samsoni. Samsoni is an Albino, a condition that is very common in Tanzania. Often they are treated as outcasts due to the difference in their physical appearance. Sadly over the past few years there have been incidents of Albinos being murdered and their body parts sold as ‘medicine’ for the witchdoctors to use as ‘good luck’ potions for their clients. Thankfully Dar es Salaam is a safer place for sufferers of Albinism like Samsoni. He thoroughly enjoys the Club and the children are very accepting of him. When he first came he would not talk, now you can’t get him to stop! In March of this year we held an event called ‘Becoming a
Champion’. Over four days the children came and participated in this Olympic themed event. One of the components of this event was track and field. Some of our kids showed real potential in track running, no more so than Hadija. Hadija attends our Monday Club and she also escorts her younger sisters Swaumu & Mwatumu to our Tuesday Club. Since the start of April we invited Hadija to come and train with our daughter Megan and her friends, twice a week at HOPAC School. A long-term goal is to add more girls to this group, forming a Sports Academy program. Three times a week they will come to use the facilities at the school and be coached in track and swimming. We will provide tuition to strengthen their academic progress, they will be taught computers and each session will close with them eating a healthy snack and discussing God’s word together. On top of all
this we will liaise with their schools and families to ensure they are attending school and are on target to graduate. One of our greatest joys is seeing siblings attend together. Often we can have up to five children from one family attending our project. Quite common is the sight of big sister arriving at Club with little sister or brother on her back, tied to her securely by a kanga. We are constantly amazed by the endurance and patience of these girls, even as young as eight years of age, as they walk with and attend to their younger siblings. They truly are little ‘mamas’. At the end of last year Hadija Christoph began to attend with her little sister Lovu. Every week Lovu would cry and cry refusing to be comforted to the point of the whole Club coming to a standstill. We prayed. Now you wouldn’t recognize this child as the same child, happily attending each week, even greeting us with a smile and a “Shikamoo Shauni” to which I reply “Marahaba” (Shikamoo is a term that communicates respect to an elder and Shauni is the name the kids call me!). We know it’s his peace that comforts and welcomes them, enabling them to feel at home. The presence of God is often tangible with us at Club, not just when we are sharing God’s word but even when we are pushing a child on a swing, playing football, sharing a juice OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
and mandazi together, or simply walking to the exit holding hands. Jesus is with these children and is at work amongst them. One of the words for prayer in Kiswahili is ‘sala’. Some local friends of ours have told us that in view of this the place name ‘Salasala’ can be translated as ‘Pray Pray’. That’s exactly what we ask of you; join us as we ‘Pray and Pray’ for the work of God’s kingdom amongst the kids of the Salasala Children’s Club here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania For more infomation about Shaun Graham and their families work in Tanzania: www.fatherheart.co.uk _____________________________ THE PHILIPPINES - LYNETTE ORANGE WRITES:
“The culture of poverty is not only an adaptation to a set of conditions of the larger society. Once it comes into existence it tends to perpetuate itself from generation to generation because of its effect on the children. By the time slum children are age six or seven they have usually absorbed basic values and attitudes of their subcultures and are not psychologically geared to take full advantage of changing conditions or increased opportunities which occur in their lifetime.” Oscar Lewis American Anthropologist
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I start with this quote which has had a huge impact on my life and the philosophy behind what has led me to do and be where I am right now! It highlights the great importance and urgency we need to have in order to change the lives and opportunities of those in poverty. It is hard to think that by the age of seven many children will have almost given up on any dreams or aspirations and will lack the desire to change their circumstances. But thankfully it doesn’t have to be like that and we have the opportunity to change this cycle of poverty and make a difference to multiple generations! Having been a teacher in the UK for almost six years, I joined the team at City Gates Academy in Manila in April 2011 under the direction and leadership of Pastor Glenn Isaguirre. City Gates Academy was started in 2005 through the vision of Pastor Stephen Derbyshire (City Gates, Ilford) and Pastor Glenn Isaguirre to educate many of those living in the most deprived and disadvantaged conditions in Manila and give them a hope for the future. Over one third of the children in
Manila will fail to complete their primary school education. With large class sizes and limited resources, many children are forced to drop out of school as they are unable to keep up academically or financially. Despite tuition being ‘free’ in public schools it still costs an estimated P15,000 (£220) per year to send a child to school. It is estimated that around 87% of all families in the Philippines, representing 75.7 million people, are living on an average of less than P5,000 (£70) per month per person. It is no surprise then to understand why so many children fail to complete their education. Education is the only way to help lift them from the poverty trap and ensure a better future for them and their families. A year on as I reflect on everything we achieved last year I am so grateful for the many doors and opportunities that God has opened for us enabling us to expand our territory and have a wider impact on the community. My main role at City Gates Academy this year has been to co-ordinate and develop the curriculum to build and improve on the already high standards being achieved
Schooling in Burkina Faso looks more like something you would see in a Museum in the UK. Typically girls spend 16 years in education in developed nations, but only 9 years on average in Africa and 11 years in Asia.
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
“...many times children’s dreams and hopes are dashed at an early age as society will dictate that their circumstances will determine their future.”
at the academy. I have had the privilege of training and developing four relatively new teachers to the profession. It has been a great year as they have taken on and implemented new ideas that have made a real impact and difference to the way they teach and as a result they have seen huge progress in the achievements and attainment of the children. We are currently in training again before the start of a new school year and it is so exciting to see how far these teachers have come and how we are now moving forward and pushing our standards even higher! In addition, God also gave me a real opportunity to get more involved with the local community. Building on the already strong links with the local barangay (council) I have been spending time visiting local pre-schools in the area and providing training and support for eight pre-school teachers who between them handle 13 pre-schools. Having 14
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been trained in traditional methods of teaching eg rote learning, memorisation and passive repetition, they are so eager to learn new ideas and methods of teaching that have had an immediate impact on the standard of their lessons. It has been an absolute joy to be with them and to know that our influence is spreading and impacting numbers of children totalling nearly 400. They have specifically requested training for phonics, behaviour management, classroom organisation and numeracy. I look forward to the start of the new school year and a continuation of this partnership with training sessions already being scheduled! Exciting times! One of my proudest moments of the year was during graduation. The theme for our event was “Reach for the stars”. The concept being that Our God is a Great Big God and therefore we can dream big, have aspirations and desires and reach for the stars and make a difference! So
many times children’s dreams and hopes are dashed at an early age as society will dictate that their circumstances will determine their future. Thankfully though the work and what we do at City Gates Academy we are able to teach them and tell them that there is a God who loves and cares for them and through Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)! As our children performed I could not help but be moved as there standing on a big stage in the middle of a shopping mall were our children confidently singing, dancing and performing and showing to the world that they have the potential to do anything. When preparing to leave the UK for the Philippines I often felt inadequate and unqualified for the calling God had placed in my life but I held on, and still do daily, tightly to this quote, ‘God doesn’t call the equipped, rather he equips those He calls.’ God has been so faithful to His promises and it has been incredible to look back and see the amazing achievements I have been involved in this year. It just proves an awesome testimony to God’s amazing provision and I am so grateful for the many opportunities He has given me to grow and develop and make a difference for His kingdom. For more infomation about Lynette Orange and the work she is involved in the Philippines: www.elimmissions. co.uk/lynetteorange
40% of Indiaâ€™s population is below the age of 18 years which at 400 million is the worldâ€™s largest child population and that is despite 70 in every 1000 children born in India, not seeing their first birthday. OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 3,000 children are estimated to live on the streets and are severely marginalized by the population. Not infrequently, they are the target of vigilante groups.
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s we have come to the end of our time in Honduras, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the many lessons learnt during this period. One came courtesy of a remarkable young girl, 10 years old called Marelyn. Marelyn attended the Elim nursery and school from the age of 3 and had really enjoyed getting to know the missionaries and short term teams that came through. This gave her a fascination with English so whenever we received anyone from the UK she would always take the opportunity to practice and was never shy about approaching people. She attends every church service and turns up on time and well prepared with her Bible and note book. To look at this intelligent and well turned out girl, you wouldn’t imagine she was living in a small room, which was really the entrance/corridor to her grandmother’s house, with her parents and four brothers. Marelyn had to strive to do her homework amongst all the noise and bedlam going on in that small space, which acted as bedroom, kitchen, and living room. She would often come to church desperate for the Sunday School snack as all she had for tea that night was a watered down cup-a-soup. One day she asked us to pray for her family, specifically for a house so that she could have space to do her homework. A while back her dad had begun building in the back garden and had got as far as putting in the foundations for a two roomed house. But money had dried up in the construction work he did and they were living hand to mouth on the jobs he could get. So we hesitantly agreed to pray for them, even saying to her that it would take a miracle from God to make this happen, to which she answered us, “Well that’s why we’re praying”. Amazingly (or maybe not so amazingly in Marelyn’s eyes, more what 18
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she expected of her heavenly father) through a donation, Marelyn’s dad, brothers and uncles were able to finish the build and they now have two large rooms, four times the size of their original living space. What blew us away the most about this project wasn’t everyone coming together to help with the build, but that we both know we hadn’t really imagined how anything could possibly be done. Yet one child’s faith in her heavenly father and her own faithfulness to Him no matter what her circumstances reminded us that everything really is in God’s hands, not ours. Working as missionaries, we are often called to have a lot of faith in many areas of our lives, which we may not have thought about as much when we lived in the UK; trusting in God to look after our families and friends back home, when we are so far away, for our daily bread and for his physical protection in dangerous circumstances. Yet when things
John and Rachel have been working in Honduras, doing an amazing job, for the past 2 and a bit years. Having learnt lots of lessons and been involved in many exciting things it is now time for them to move on.... do happen, why are we so often surprised at the mighty power of our Lord, for whom nothing is impossible? Yet children like Marelyn remind us to have that childlike faith that knows no limits. Project Joseph in Honduras has shown us time and time again, that it is not the circumstances in which we find ourselves that cause us to praise Jesus, it’s actually how mighty our God is in spite of the circumstances, which causes us to celebrate His name. And Project Joseph continues now, in Honduras, making a difference in children’s lives. Looking at this lesson feels very relevant, as we begin to prepare to return to Paraguay. We are stepping out of our comfort zones and trusting God for the means to complete the work we feel He has called us to do. We will be returning to work alongside the children’s homes, such as Che Roga, which we established links with when we lived there previously.
We hope to be able to provide training and monthly children and youth work to teach them about Jesus, who overcomes all circumstances. We will also be learning Guaraní at a mission language and culture training school. We have begun discussing the possibility of establishing a similar work to Project Joseph in Paraguay, as a way of bringing the gospel to those children who don’t just need to hear about the love of Jesus, but to feel and receive it in a very practical way. One experience which really spoke to our hearts took place at a bus station in the north of Paraguay, where some indigenous people had settled down and built some make-shift accommodation out of sticks and bin bags. The children were running around begging and we heard a lady getting off the bus in front of us and refer to the children as vermin and that she didn’t know why the government didn’t do more to remove them. It was horrible to hear of God’s wonderful creation being
referred to as rats that needed exterminating. Yet what was even more disheartening was realising it is often a common held opinion in the area. We know everyone is valued in God’s eyes and part of our aim is to work at enabling these young street children to hear this for themselves, so that they can then turn an understanding of their worth and value in God’s eyes into a practical change in their own lives to become men and women of God who could change their society for the better. Through social outreach projects we aim to meet practical needs whilst also showing the importance of knowing God and giving the opportunity to learn about Him and grow a relationship with Him like Marelyn has, where they can trust God as He has everything in His hands. For more info about John and Rachel and the work they do in Central America please visit: www.johnandrachel.biz
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HOPE FORTHE NATIONS BY PAUL GILL
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It was 11pm Sunday 20th May 2012 and all was quiet, until we heard a cry from our daughterâ€™s bedroom. Chloe was experiencing terrible stomach pains and was shaking from head to toe. Without the facility of being able to call out a doctor or an ambulance we made the decision to put her in the car and rush to a hospital. The local one 10 minutes away was not an option, with paint peeling off the walls, lack of equipment, limited medication and a sense of despair hanging over the place, so we drove one hour to a hospital in the centre of Blantyre. After some tests, including a scan and a hefty bill, we were told that Chloe had a bacterial infection, handed some tablets and home we went.
After two days of being unable to walk, eat or drink without pain we knew that it was no mere infection and so we again made the trip to Blantyre after sending out a prayer request on facebook. A fellow missionary who had seen the prayer request told us of a friend who was a surgeon and happened to be in the country for a month helping out at a rural mission hospital. So we gave him a call and within a couple of minutes of speaking to him we knew beyond a doubt he was an answer to prayer. So we put Chloe in the car drove another hour, with our friends leading the way over bumpy roads, to the mission hospital surround by tea plantations. After speaking to Chloe and examining her, the conclusion was that she had appendicitis and the surgeon said she needed an operation and he would personally perform it that very night. The operation was a success and the appendix now sits in a small jar at our home for the curious to see. The surgeon told us it had started to show signs of gangrene and could have caused major problems. For us and Chloe it was quite an ordeal but looking back now we see God’s hand at work and all those little coincidences were answers to all the prayer being offered up. We were so blessed to have help. But it did make me think about the people who live in the villages around us. What would they do in a similar situation? How many of their children have died from something that would seem so trivial and easy to solve for us in the West? Here there is such a need for not only medical assistance but also the love and care we experienced over that time, people willing to stand shoulder to shoulder in prayer and go the extra mile for someone in need. Sometimes
it can be emotionally upsetting when we see people suffering so needlessly and much of the work we do is about sharing the love of Jesus, not only in words but practically and with love. Here are just a few stories of people we have come across here at Hope Village. We visited Joe in a home in the local village and found him lying on the floor. At two years old he still wasn’t walking and the hospital had told his parents he was just slow at developing so they were still waiting for him to walk. When we looked at him he was covered in cuts as he sleeps on the floor and was thrashing around at night unable to control his movements. We believe he has cerebral palsy and have given him a wheel chair so he can see more than just the inside of his small home. His mother had been carrying him around on her back! We also built a special bed with a mattress to help him sleep. In the future we hope to have a centre where Joe and other children like him can visit for interactive play, teaching and most importantly to experience God’s love and get to know Jesus. Fred whose mother died giving birth under a tree as she couldn’t make it to the hospital, which happens often here. His agogo (grandmother) looked after him for a month trying to feed him from a cup and when she came to Hope Village she even took out her breast to show that she had no milk to offer, which was unexpected! We help many babies who have lost mothers in child birth or where the mother is HIV positive and can no longer breast feed. This ministry literally saves lives and so far over 30 babies have been helped. Fred is two years old now and doing well.
How many of their children have died from something that would seem so trivial and easy to solve for us in the West? The Luka boys whose father died when they were young and who were abandoned by their mother after she remarried. They live in a home not far from Hope Village and we have helped them for many years now. When Shadreck fell out of the back of a moving car he broke his leg and it was put in traction by the local hospital. He was released after three weeks with a deformed leg and no hope of walking properly. Thankfully we were able to raise funds and get him an operation at an excellent orthopaedic hospital which was able to correct the problem and now he runs and plays football just like any other kid. The oldest brother Chiyembekeso, which means ‘Hope’, is working at Hope Village and will in the near future be trained to work at a bakery close by. Last week I gave Chiyembekezo some old Elim magazines to read and he thanked me later saying that the stories were so encouraging to him in his faith. There are hundreds more stories like these of people we have come across, people we have been able to help practically, spiritually and hopefully show that in God’s eyes they are loved and though family and others may have left or abandoned them, God never will. For more info about Paul, Tracy and the Gill Family and their work in Malawi please visit: www.gillsinmalawi.com
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Educa ‘The world possesses the resources and knowledge to ensure that even the poorest countries, and others held back by disease, geographic isolation or civil strife, can be empowered to achieve the millennium development goals’ (mdgs).
Sources http://www.mdgmonitor.org/goal2.cfm http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/ http://www.cgdev.org/files/2844_file_EDUCATON1.pdf 22
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Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development. This was the declaration of all 189 United Nations member States as they signed up to reach them by 2015. With the second of the eight goals in achieving universal primary education, they admit the pace of progress is insufficient to ensure that, by 2015, all girls and boys will complete a full course of primary schooling. Investing in education is the right thing to do. The Global Centre for Development states that education gives people the skills they need to help themselves out of poverty and into prosperity. It has the ability to improve health, increase wages and economic growth and it enables people to learn about their rights and how to exercise them, thus encouraging democracy that supports political stability. So as it is said, ‘knowledge is power’.
http://www .endpoverty2015.org/goals http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/11_MDG%20Report_EN.pdf http://www.unicef.org/mdg/education.html
ation It is both important and necessary to recognise and applaud the in-roads made so far. This includes the work of UNICEF who have engaged in outreach and advocacy and have promoted early child-care and development to ensure a ‘right start’ to education. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report (2011) indicates that some of the poorest countries made the greatest strides in education, Burundi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo and the United Republic of Tanzania have achieved or are nearing the goal of universal primary education, though they denote that in more recent years progress has actually slowed. Whilst 28 million more children are able to attend school since 1999, 75 million still miss out on education – 34 million boys and 41 million girls (MDG Monitor), and 52 out of 155 developing countries have achieved universal primary completion (Oxfam). In a BBC news report back in September 2010 Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary General, urged world leaders meeting in New York to stick to the task of meeting the MDGs despite the global downturn, insisting they could be
achieved by 2015, but articulated that the global economic downturn is putting pressure on aid budgets in rich countries and slowing growth in poorer ones. This is echoed by the ‘End Poverty’ organisation that suggests that we not only have the financial resources to end extreme poverty once and for all, but we have the technology and know-how to realise the goals and it is only the political will to achieve the goals that is in question. Perhaps this is the crux of the matter. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, ‘You will always have the poor among you’? (Mark 14:7). Not because Jesus wanted to crush the spirits of those who acted with integrity to help the poor or if indeed everyone took it upon themselves to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8) that poverty could be eradicated in one fell swoop, but he knew the conflicts of men corrupted in mind and who are destitute of the truth (1 Timothy 6:5). Surely then as Christians we are best placed to take on the mantle of Christ himself being anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the captives and releasing the oppressed (Luke 4:18). By Lisa Lenton, Lifelink Team Member
Elim International Missions Charity 251549 | SC037754
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
Mt. Everest Base Camp Expedition 2013 Cost: £1,900 - £2,000 TBC Minimum Sponsorship: £2,200 per person Dates: 4-22 Mar 2013
This unique experience of walking through the world’s highest mountains will remain with you always. However, your visit is not just one of mere ‘personal fulfilment’. No, this sponsored trek offers an exceptional opportunity to be involved in something that will transform remote and unreached communities all across the Himalayas. In 2013 Elim in Nepal will be focusing its ministry on three specific areas of training: Raising up Church Planters; Equipping New Disciples; Intensive Leadership Programmes throughout Nepal. Elim’s network of 100 Nepali Pastors and Leaders each have a passion to see the Himalayas, “filled with the Glory of the Lord”. The sponsor money will go towards raising up a generation equipped for the task.
We look forward to welcoming you. Steve & the Elim Team in Nepal. FOR THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY Contact: Elim Missions Department for a full and comprehensive brochure email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 01684 588 940
Sign up deadline: Nov 15th 2012 24
OUTREACH | July - Sept 2012
Outreach is Elim International Missions official magazine. Produced quarterly, Outreach is full of relevant information and articles. This i...