Dispatch NEWS & REPORTS
Pages 5 - 11 Burkina Faso Focus
Pages 12 - 16 Bassaland developments
What a joy it is to serve our God! In the everyday concerns and worries over funding and visas – and a million other things – it is easy to forget how wonderful it is to be in the service of Christ the King. As we prepared this edition of Dispatch, I was struck at the diversity of what God is doing today in the world, and how our mission is a microcosm of the Kingdom. We work with a huge variety of tribes and tongues; preaching, teaching, healing and loving the poor and marginalised. In this edition we focus on Burkina Faso, and the evangelism and Bible translation work there; the exciting possibilities of restoring our work in Bassa; the challenges of reconciliation in Jos; and a look at a cross section of the people and personnel, both long and short term, who make up our mission. As we contemplate what God is using the Mission to do, it gives us confidence that, despite all the daily hurdles, He will give us all the strength and resources that we need to accomplish His purposes.
Our thanks to the many people who have commented positively upon the new format of Dispatch. The new format saves us a considerable amount of money and also gives us more column inches to inform you of developments. Please use Dispatch as an aid to prayer – and pass it on to a friend when you are finished with it! We need more praying friends as we labour on in the service of God. Yours in His Service, Paul Bailie
FINANCE May - August 2010 General Funds £71,388.98 Restricted Funds £85,374.82 Legacies £4347.67
News & Travel Illness Rufus Ogbonna has a serious medical condition that requires our urgent prayers. Please pray for him as he undergoes treatment. Iris Ogbonna has been able to return to Nigeria. We thank God her broken collarbone mended quickly and that she was not too long delayed in getting back to WWTC. Jean Garland has been seriously ill in recent weeks. We thank God for staff at the Belfast City Hospital, who were able to help her on the road to recovery during her two week stay. Jean is currently recuperating at home. Sid delayed his trip to Nigeria during her illness, but was able to go following Jeanâ€™s release from hospital. The Garland family would like you to celebrate with them the birth of Owen, son to Peter and Karen Garland, and the upcoming wedding of Anna Garland to Sam McBride in early October.
Studies Jayne McCurdy has suspended her service with Mission Africa in order to take up a course at Belfast Bible College in Youth & Community Work.
The Beattie family is home on furlough and study leave for Charles for the next year. During this time Ruth will be taking meetings, so if anyone is interested in having her to speak please contact Jane at the office. Gail Ekanem has also been accepted for a PhD course at Queenâ€™s University/ Union College. She will be looking at the impact of war and changes in governance on the work of the Mission. This means she and Godwin will be staying in Ireland for about another year. Remember Godwin too as he completes his QUB Masters thesis at Belfast Bible College.
Additions to the Mission Africa Family Billy and Linda Abwa are celebrating that two little ones have joined their family: Nathaniel (Gift of God) and his twin sister, Niah (Glorious purpose and lustrous). Pray for them all as they adjust as a family and also that the legal paperwork will swiftly be completed.
Visas The Mortensens, Fitzsimmons and Hartlands are due to depart for Nigeria to begin their work; however at the time of print only the Mortensens have visas. They will be spending some time with Iris Ogbonna before travelling to PACT to start their work at the College. Pray that the Fitzsimmons family will soon receive news of when they can travel to Jos, along with Peter and Doreen Hartland who are returning to TCNN and JETS for a semester. The new GAP participants departed for Nigeria in early September. They will be introduced later in this issue. Continue to remember Clare Monks working in Chad alongside Roy and Jane Jones, and Lynda Bell and Claire Kendrew–Jones, shortly finishing their time at Holley Memorial Hospital. Give thanks for promising applicants being given orientation in October for short term service in Nigeria.
Books to Buy
Copies of Roy Jones children’s book ‘Harry’s Narrow Escape’ are available from the Belfast Office, or from www.amazon.co.uk at a price of £7.50. Copies of Ruth Beatties book ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ are also available at a price of £5
All our travellers from the summer have returned safely. Pray for any who may be experiencing illness, that God would heal and restore their bodies. Debrief for all the teams will take place at the end of October. The autumn will be busy with more short term teams. One of our Council members Eleanor Ingram and her husband Alan plan to travel to Kogi State to join the celebration for the Ochaja 50 year anniversary. A team from Radio Cracker (Ballymena) and a Fulani Outreach Team are also scheduled. We also thank God for a great response to the Hospital Team (Ochadamu) in January 2011. Jeremy Nash will be heading to Burkina to distribute the correspondence courses in schools and two other Council Members, Simon Hamilton and Simon Johnston, will be travelling to Chad for the opening of the Cutting Edges Foundation Hospital.
Ogugu, Circle of Hope Calendar for 2011. Copies will be available from the Belfast Office by post and also at MA Events before the New Year at a cost of £6.50
Burkina Faso The Psalmist says in Ps 92:2 it is good ‘to proclaim your love in the morning, your faithfulness at night’. Looking at the new day, he expresses faith by being confident of God’s love, but in the evening he can recount the experiences of God’s faithfulness. Well, our ‘day’ in Burkina is over and we can, like the psalmist, recount God’s faithfulness to us during our time there. Our time in Burkina was never dull; in fact, it is hard to sum up just quite how rewarding, challenging, fulfilling, testing and simply full of amazing experiences we would never have had, had we remained in the UK. When I first went to Burkina on a student placement from Bible College it was with the conviction that, although I wanted to work in that country, it shouldn’t be with WEC, with whom the placement had been arranged. I was surprised, confused even, but whilst there I read about the new proposed outreach to the Dagari for which WEC were asking Mission Africa to send a missionary. I immediately knew this was what God had been speaking to me about. The very Sunday I went to Legmoin was the Sunday that Pastor Zougbile was being introduced to the church for the first time. So we were together in the work from the start, although it was 3 more years until I returned to Burkina. We worked together
until Zougbile was moved to another church just 2 months before we left. God was at work, bringing things together so that the work could advance. There was Gospel Recordings International, whose only office in West Africa was in the capital, Ouagadougou, and who had made recordings in Dagara! Then there was the commencing of the New Testament translation into Dagara that started about this time. Literacy classes were started in our area and many have learnt to read and write, some becoming literacy teachers themselves, able to benefit from Mark and Acts, which are already in print. The Jesus film was translated into Dagara just in perfect time so I was able to use it widely in evangelism. Later, a Dioula (trade language) version of the Jesus film was produced and so I started going further afield. I came across Source of Light correspondence courses which were enthusiastically received as I introduced them in primary schools, secondary schools, several youth groups and with pastors and preachers. With the growth of new groups of believers I got involved in helping finance and organise the building of a number of churches and some pastorsâ€™ houses. Other pastors joined until there were 5 pastors and myself in the Dagari work. God called Jean-Paul and his wife Marthe, and later Urban, who are now qualified and serving as pastors, although not among the Dagari. This year, Bonmaal and his wife are going to the French Bible School having just completed three years of primary education as adults. It is a great joy to have seen them, and so many other young men and women who really have a heart for the LORD, grow and develop.
The physical needs were great and our compassionate ministry to those around us grew. We helped with prescription expenses and operations. Then I became more and more involved in helping with school fees for secondary students until we were helping over 50 each year and some with university expenses. We helped with secondary student accommodation for those who lived too far away from Legmoin, building a student dorm that accommodates 45 students. I also helped with development: a womenâ€™s group so they had money to do self-sustaining projects; loans for oxen and ploughs for the men and also fertilizer. Then we started helping with wells. From time to time we helped with food distribution in famine years, although there was regular help for the widows and orphans. I had great joy in being able to help all these people in various ways, but my greatest joy was always to be sharing the amazingly good news of Jesusâ€™ death, resurrection and offer of forgiveness to all who turn to him in repentance and faith, especially in those villages where God was unknown. Jeremy Nash
Ana Van Brakel The translation and literacy campaigns are progressing steadily. The results from our literacy campaign this year were very good: nearly all the centres had a 100% pass rate. One or two did have a low attendance for the exam though, but generally it's been very satisfactory. The partnership with SIL (Wycliffe Bible Translators) has progressed well. I have been able to arrange a consultation between SIL and the church, and a draft memorandum of understanding has been put together; this will need to be ratified by the SIL board and the Church National Executive. No doubt there will be many questions asked. The CNE won't be meeting till September. Please pray that this goes well and that all parties â€“ CNE, SIL and our translation team will all be happy, and God honoured. Life can be hectic and traumatic. Last weekend can serve as an example. At Legmoin itself, we had four deaths due to a house collapsing; unfortunately, this is a regular occurence here. Then there
was a funeral for an elderly man, followed by a wedding. After this we got the news of 2 people who had drowned. That brought the total to 7 people passing away in just one weekend. At the church things seem to be progressing or at least continuing well. There are various prayer meetings, women's meetings, youth meetings (well, you could say 'youth' â€“ some of them are well beyond being youths!), etc. The pastor is settling in really well. His girls have finished school at their old place and have joined the family. They're nice girls, hard workers and a bit shy. At the moment, the officers in charge are busy preparing for the re-opening of the school dormitory which the church runs. A draft set of house rules has been set up, which the pupils will need to sign. Let's hope that it will help regulating life in the dorm.
I've started visiting the surrounding sister churches. I'm not very good at finding my way around and the villages in the bush aren't very well indicated anyway, so I'm a bit reluctant to leave on my own until I'm sure I know the way. I recently cycled to the village of Dazuba. It was a good visit, but made difficult by heat, stoney paths and broken bicycle chains! One week last month was spent in Ouagadougou, picking up a new longterm missionary: Emily Hilary. She's from New Zealand, and about my age. She arrived safely and is settling down in Gaoua for the first 6 months of
orientation. The trip back was a bit of 'baptism of fire' for Emily - we had a flat tyre at Boromo. Fortunately, it didn't deflate completely till we got to a restaurant, so we were comfortably seated whilst somebody from the restaurant sorted out our wheel. Then, we had lots of rain, totally obscuring the view. We didn't arrive at Gaoua till well after dark! My thanks for your continuing support in prayer. Pray that God will continue to use us here in Legmoin and Burkina Faso.
WEC’s Role WEC International began working among the Lobi and Birifor people in 1936 when Jack Robetson joined Stanley Benington of Mission Africa. They worked together for a year before Benington left Upper Volta, as Burkina Faso was then known. The ministry among these resistant people groups continues until today, although after much sowing, a breakthrough finally began in the nineties. Today the church is established among the Lobi, Birifor, Kaan, and Dagari tribes.
Falling on our knees to see a sanctified Church. Rising to the challenge of our Muslim neighbours. Standing together with the Church to see well trained leaders. Helping to see the development of EPE Churches in Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso and Banfora.
As the Church grew stronger, we as a team felt the Lord directing us to change our strategy. This has meant handing over all ministries to the Church, and the Mission Team phasing out of our former work and beginning to minister alongside the Church among the, as yet, unreached people groups in the south west of Burkina Faso, particularly the Fulanis and Komono. However, his does not mean that we do not help the Church wherever necessary in such ministries as teaching block courses in the Bible School, the radio etc.
By praying for and promoting prayer for a fresh move of God’s Spirit in the EPE Church. Reinforcing the Church’s vision for Muslim outreach. Establishing a viable team to reach the Fulanis of the southwest. Recruiting an expatriate missionary unit to help national missionaries reach the Komono people in the region of Mangodara. Helping with and strengthening leadership training as needed. Collaborating with the EPE Church to plant churches in Ouagadougou, Bobo
Our team vision is :
How are we doing this?
Various methods are being used to achieve our goals. At present, we have Learning Centres in Batié and Mangodara. These centres draw in primary and secondary school students as they contain books and text books which can help the students with their studies. Most students can’t afford to buy personal books here and school classes are very large. Suitable material is also provided for functionaries. Christian material is available for all age groups, and appropriate DVDs are shown. The Lord is also using education to reach the Fulanis. This year, we had four literacy centres and the opportunity was taken to present the Gospel through Fulani Christians. We hope to be able to open more centres early next year. Please pray with us for the workers and resources needed to finish the task. Eileen Summerville, WEC Field Leader, Burkina Faso
Serve in Burkina With Jeremy and Rachel Nash moving on from the work in Burkina Faso to be based in the UK, it leaves a massive role in Legmoin that needs to be filled. You can go and serve from 6 months to 2 years on our GAP programme, or commit to more by serving long term. Some Bible college training and good French language skills are required.
If you have a heart to share the gospel and see the global church strengthened, we’re looking for people who can: - Share the gospel in a simple way to those who have never heard before. - Teach the basic doctrines and principles of the Bible to Pastors. - Help the poor and hungry in local communities. - Share Jesus’ love with children.
Recent statistics indicate that most of the as yet unreached people are to be found in that area which is the least developed part of the country and receives only 5% of all aid coming in the country.
The Needs of the EPE
Burkina Faso is a country in the heart of West Africa. It covers a surface area of 274 300 square km (just slightly bigger than the whole UK) and is made up of almost 16 million people living in 13 regions. Approximately 6% of the population are evangelical Christians, a little more than 38% are Muslims, and more than 25% are Christians from Roman Catholic and Orthodox backgrounds. Animism is significant in all the ethnic groups.
The EPE churches are the fruit of the evangelistic effort begun by Qua Iboe Mission (Mission Africa) in 1931. This work was continued by WEC from 1937. The missionary - initiated churches came together in July 1978 into a nationally recognised church. the Evangelical Protestant Church of Burkina Faso [EPE (BF)]. EPE church is well established among the Lobi and Birifor and has seen growth among the Dagara and Gan and other tribes in the last 10 years. However, there are still many villages which have not been reached by the Gospel and there are even entirely unreached tribes in the areas where EPE and WEC work.
Church Leaders: pray for Spiritual renewal, especially that God will raise up pastors with a real love and zeal for the Lord and sacrificially prepared to work by faith. Pray that pastors would have a greater respect and understanding of spiritual authority. At times it seems like in the book of Judges “everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes” especially when pastors are asked to move to different churches. Pray that the material needs of the church would be met: 10 motorbikes and a second hand car are needed for pastors and missionaries. Evangelism: pray for the Church to increasingly own the vision God has given through the leaders in planting new churches and by sending new missionaries out. In the Mission fields of the Banfora and Mangodara areas, we need committed and trained missionaries. In our City ministries, we ask you to pray for improved finances and trained workers to build up the churches in Ouagadougou, Bobo, Diébougou, Banfora. Other pressing needs include: - Primary and secondary schools projects. - Bible translation work. - Jesus Film translation. - Radio ministry: starting new stations. - Bible schools. - Women, Youth and childrens ministry. - Development ministry: staff & finance. Revd Daniel Narcisse Kombou, President of the EPE
Bassaland Long term supporters of the Mission will be aware that we began work in Bassaland a great many years ago, and that the jewel in the crown of that work was the mission station at Kanyehu. Kanyehu boasted two mission houses and a medium sized rural clinic, as well as numerous ancilliary buildings. During the mid 1990s, the people of Bassa were subject to fierce attacks by well armed raiders, who occupied their land and generally despoiled the entire area. In particular, dwellings were razed to the ground and churches reduced to rubble, as the raiders sought to make the area uninhabitable for the people of Bassa. During the course of these depredations, the Bassa Mission Station was evacuated and left to the mercies of the raiders. The mission buildings suffered considerable damage, and were rendered unusable. By 2005, the Nigerian authorities had taken things in hand and had restored the people of Bassa to their rightful
lands. In terms of Christian life, churches began to be reconstructed and normality began to re-emerge. The Qua Iboe Church (UEC) noted, however, that the Kanyehu station was in need of restoration. In 2009, the Church made a formal approach to the Mission when the Chief Executive was visiting Nigeria, and requested that the clinic be restored. Revd Dr N.S. Issah, National Chairman of the QIC (UEC), spoke at length concerning the importance of reestablishing the work at Kanyehu. In May 2010, this request to restore Kanyehu was repeated when the Chief Executive met with QIC (UEC) leadership at Ankpa and the Council decided to accept and have agreed to restore the clinic, as money allows. It should be emphasised that this decision has not been taken lightly or for sentimental reasons. We do seek to respond to the requests of our partners in QIC (UEC), and they have identified a real need for a clinic at Kanyehu. In an area where infrastructure is minimal and
health facilities very poor, the clinic will be a great blessing to many. Furthermore, although planning is at a yet embryonic stage, it is hoped that a revived mission centre at Kanyehu can be used as a centre for HIV / AIDS outreach â€“ possibly by Advance (Still Waters); our joint Mission Africa / UEC HIV ministry. It is also the case that Kanyehu lies in an area that is inhabited not only by Bassa, but several other groups, including the Fulani, and there is a good possibility that we will be able to use the centre as a means of reaching the Fulani. As supporters of the mission are aware, the evangelisation of the Fulani remains a major priority for Mission Africa. There are many factors that are in our favour in this project. First, the buildings at Kanyehu are still in sufficiently good condition that they can be restored to use rather than demolished and rebuilt from scratch. As can be seen from the accompanying photographs, the buildings will need new roofs, windows, doors and fixtures and fittings. This will be expensive, without doubt, but much less so than building from the ground up. It appears that the walls and floors are still fundamentally sound. Second, we
already have the promise of clinic staff from Holley Memorial Hospital. Whilst, without question, we will be happy to deploy expatriate missionary staff at Kanyehu once again, it is most encouraging to see the UEC so willing to assist in this project. Holley Memorial has a vigorous programme of community outreach, and the clinic would fit in very well with their strategic plans. Third, we may have a suitable Fulani evangelist available to be deployed at or near the revived station, and so our Fulani work may soon be established there. We wish to entrust this matter to your prayers and humbly request that you support this project. We are also keen to recruit a team, possibly from a church, to assist in the restoration of the clinic. The Belfast Office is actively considering setting up a special team of suitably qualified builders, plumbers and electricians to work upon the finishing of the buildings. We will be very happy indeed to hear from anyone who would be prepared to be involved in such a team. Top Left: Newly completed church at Toto Top Right: Old mission house at Kanyehu
The Clinic at Kanyehu
QIC (UEC) Church leaders at Toto, Bassa
Revd Jacob Moses, QIC (UEC) superintendent at Toto.
Bassa Bible School It is no secret that Mission Africa regards theological education as one of the most strategically important ministries in which we are engaged. Our long - standing support for colleges in Nigeria, such as PACT , WWTC, TCNN and JETS is well known, and we also support , in a more limited way, colleges in Burkina Faso and Chad. It gives us pleasure to be able to add another college to the list of those who enjoy our support â€“ the QIC (UEC) Bassa Bible School. Elsewhere in this edition of Dispatch, we have spoken of the revival in church life that has paralleled the revival of community life in Bassa. Whereas even only five years ago the churches were constructed of timber and thatch, stone built sanctuaries now stand. A wholly new development, and one to be warmly welcomed, is the establishment of a Bible School especially for the Bassa People.
The college is very obviously in the first phases of its development. The staff is yet small, and the library facilities are basic. However, from small acorns mighty oaks grow, and we hope to do much to help this young college. For some time now we have been training some Bassa pastors at PACT, and we have expressed our hope to the QIC (UEC) that they would be deployed to BBS to expand the staff. It is always best practice to ensure that the brightest and best trained pastors should be used to train up new church leaders in the colleges. In addition to this, it is the firm hope of the Belfast Office to bring out a small team of well respected Northern Irish ministers to offer a short but very intensive period of theological instruction at BBS in February or March of 2011. Please pray for the planning for this team, that all would be smooth and successful, to the glory of God. Every year, Mission Africa selects a few projects that merit special attention, and in parallel to the appeal for support for the Kanyehu Clinic, we are appealing for support for the BBS library. As the picture shows, the number of volumes available is tiny. Even a very modest sum will go a long way to expanding the library â€“ and this project will also be a help to ACTS, whom we will ask to supply the new library books. We commend this library project to your prayerful consideration.
Ekpene Obom In August 2010 we were pleased to meet with Dr Etop Antia, Medical Officer in Charge of Ekpene Obom Hospital. He was able to give us an update on the situation at the hospital, and this has helped us to clarify how we as a Mission should seek to support the hospital. The Hospital is facing some very serious challenges indeed. Although still loosely associated with the Qua Iboe Church [NB not QIC (UEC)] the church does not support in the hospital, and the hospital has been relying upon help and support from organisations such as the Leprosy Mission. Due to financial constraints, the Leprosy Mission has withdrawn support from Ekpene Obom, a loss to the hospital of around ÂŁ13,000 per annum. This will have a significantly deleterious effect upon the operations of the hospital, especially in some of its compassionate work, such as its feeding programme. Meanwhile, the security situation in the south of Nigeria continues to be poor. This was recently illustrated when the Chief Executive of Mission Africa was precluded from visiting the hospital due
to the risk of attack or kidnapping. This inevitably means that the Mission cannot send teams to assist at the hospital. It would appear that, in the light of the above, it would be best if Friends of Ekpene Obom could be re-constituted as soon as possible, and concentrate upon fundraising for the hospital for the time being. When the security situation in southern Nigeria improves, serious thought can be given to sending personnel to help the hospital. A previous call in Dispatch for volunteers to join Friends of Ekpene Obom has produced some small response, but we again appeal to Mission Africa supporters to give very serious consideration to joining this group, and we would also encourage all Dispatch readers to uphold the hospital in their prayers. Dr Antia has many serious problems with which to contend as he leads the hospital, and so let us pray that God will be everything unto this wise and dedicated servant of Christ. Let us further pray that God will raise up friends in Mission Africa to help Dr Antia and his staff.
Changing Roles Nothing stands still in Africa – there is constant vibrant change and development, a vitality that makes the whole continent so exciting and fascinating. Likewise, in Mission Africa, we are not stuck in a rut, and some of our well known personnel have made changes to their mode of ministry. These changes reflect a desire on the part of the Mission to retain highly skilled and experienced personnel, even when their personal circumstances no longer allow them to serve in Africa. Revd Dr Sid and Mrs Jean Garland Sid and Jean came back from Nigeria some months ago, after 23 years on the field; following their period of deputation as missionaries on furlough, they have how taken on new roles within the mission. Council have invited Sid and Jean to take on the task of engaging in deputation in Ireland. Whilst it is the case that, within
the context of the UK and Ireland, our profile in Northern Ireland is stronger than anywhere else, it is evident that our profile could be further strengthened in many areas. The Chief Executive still finds many churches who have never heard of the Mission and assume that Qua Iboe Mission / Fellowship closed long ago! Thus Sid and Jean have a big task ahead of them, as they make our mission known across NI and the RoI. Please do all you can to encourage Sid and Jean by inviting them to YOUR church – speak to your church leaders and arrange an invitation, especially if the Mission has not been visiting your church. We need new church partnerships, and Sid and Jean will need your help to build up these new contacts. If you can help in this way, contact the office. Sid will continue to direct ACTS within the wider context of promoting and developing literature in, through and for the Mission. This new departure is to be known as Mission Africa Literature. Sid also hopes to look into ways of developing the new electronic media in Africa. Mission Africa Literature is very much in its developmental stage, and we look forward with eager expectation to see what God has in store through it. Directing ACTS will also mean that Sid has to travel to Jos periodically. He has a trip planned for September 2010, so by the time that you read this he should be safely back. Please pray for Sid as he continues to bear the considerable burden of administering ACTS. Jean has also been invited by the Council to use her wonderful writing talents to advance the cause of Christ through the Mission. We are immensely grateful to God that Jean’s book on AIDS has been a
blessing to so many across Africa. Again, we await with expectation how God will next use her communication skills to His glory. Expect to see more articles from Jean in Dispatch!
Mission in the urban jungle! However, we are very glad to say that Jeremy is not wholly severing his links with Burkina Faso, as he has been given Council approval to make periodic visits to Burkina in order to engage in evangelism and church planting. Please encourage and help Jeremy by getting him an invitation to your church, and advise him where he may be able to gain new contacts for the mission. If you want to book Jeremy, please contact him directly at the email below. Please pray for the entire Nash family as they settle into life in the UK.
Mr Jeremy Nash After a period where the Mission had no representatives in England, we have been blessed by the sterling work of Dr Barry and Mrs Judy Lakeman over the last few years. It is with pleasure that we can announce that Jeremy Nash will be joining the England team, on a part time basis from October 2010. After many years living in southern England, Barry and Judy have relocated to their beloved Yorkshire. They will be continuing to head our England team, but Jeremy will take responsibility for the most of our work in the south east of England. This is a big challenge in itself, as, demographically speaking, the majority of evangelical churches are to be found in London and the south east. This will be an exciting new adventure for Jeremy as he transitions from showing the Jesus film in remote bush clearings to giving powerpoint presentations on the
Book a speaker If you want to book, Jeremy, Sid and / or Jean, contact Mission Africa at email@example.com If you want to contact Sid and Jean or Jeremy to encourage them or discuss anything with them than call then on: Sid: 07785952028 Jeremy: 07810728140
My Brother’s Keeper Eighteenth century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke is reputed to have said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. In the last two years Jos has seen evil rampant through two major crises as well as the numerous small scale local crises that have followed in their wake. Living so close to the suffering and fear it creates, we cannot avoid facing questions like: What can good men possibly do to change this situation? What can we do in response to the overwhelming presence of evil? The feelings of powerlessness and helplessness that rise when the scale of the problem is surveyed have led many people living in Jos to the understandable conclusion that the situation is hopeless. That indeed was my own experience after the 2008 crises. That was until I heard about a Muslim family who had committed their lives to Christ shortly after the conflict, because they had been so touched at the love shown to them by their Christian neighbours. It was a relief
to hear that something positive and lifegiving had come from the crisis, after having being saturated for days with stories of evil and hatred. In the weeks that followed, I heard many 'Good Samaritan' stories, where people had crossed religious and ethnic divides to come to the aid of their neighbours. Because of the hope these stories inspired in me, I decided to write a short book entitled 'My Brother's Keeper', compiling these acts of love and sacrifice, with the purpose of bringing hope and encouragement to Nigerians living in Jos. As the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland have some similarities to the conflict in Jos, I have shared some of my own experience of living in Northern Ireland during the 'troubles', and the challenge it presents as believers to “love our neighbours as ourselves” ( Matthew 22:37-40), even when that means loving our enemies. As I began working on the book, God gave me a fresh perspective on the verses, “Do not grow weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:10), and “overcome
evil with goodâ€? (Romans 12:17). I realised that the power to evoke change comes partly from doing good to others. Good not merely matches evil, it overcomes it; it has power over it. The Kingdom of Satan, operated by the mechanism of evil, has been overcome and defeated by the kingdom of God, operated by the principles of goodness and love. When we choose to do good through God's infinite power, we are overcoming evil. As believers, this is one way of bringing about positive change in our world. Even small acts of goodness have the power to bring about significant change and God has promised that our good actions will bring forth a harvest if we don't give up.
As we look at our world today, we should not be surprised at the prevalence of evil all around us, because that is how it has been and how it will be until Christ returns. But each of us as individuals and as part of the body of Christ, should be living our lives for God's glory and taking every opportunity to do good to others. As my Nigerian friend and peacemaker Pastor Luka rightly said, â€œwe can each in our own small corner do somethingâ€? to bring about peace and stem the tide of evil in this world. Ruth Beattie
Nigeria at 50 Mission Africa extends its compliments and congratulations to all our Nigerian readers as Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence on October 1st 2010. We urge all our readers to keep the great nation of Nigeria in their prayers, asking God to grant peace and prosperity to The Giant of Africa. Pray especially that the gospel would continue to advance in Nigeria. Our next issue of Dispatch will focus primarily on Nigeria.
Gift Cards If you struggle to know what to buy your friends or family for birthdays, Christmas or other special occasions, we have a solution to your problems! For just £10, you can purchase a Mission Africa gift card which will show that you have made a donation on their behalf. You can choose from 5 options, perhaps according to your friends’ interests, and we’ll provide the relevant Gift certificate. Alternatively, you can decide to donate to the General Fund of the Mission and the money will then be used where it is needed most; * Medical Work * Education * Children’s Work * Aid and Relief Work * Evangelism To Purchase Gift Cards, please send this form with the appropriate amount to the Mission Africa office and we will send you out your cards. Your Name:
Name on Card: ____________________________________________ Amount you want to gift: _______ Area you want to the gift to go towards (see list above) __________
that Nigeria is like another world compared to the UK and I can too quickly feel disconnected from my adopted country. Thankfully, modern communication allows me to stay connected to Nigeria. Currently there are about 100 children in Gyero; please keep praying for the house parents and the children. Surprisingly, there are now more girls than boys!
Mun Gode Allah This title means “We thank God,” a very common phrase among the Christians in Nigeria. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to return to Nigeria this year. This year was unique, as I had the amazing privilege to introduce play therapy to some of the precious boys I have worked with. This was exceptionally rewarding and interesting and definitely a highlight of my 3-4 years in Nigeria. Leaving Nigeria was not easy, but I was certain that God was calling me home, and I just held on to that. My sister, her husband and my brother came out to visit for my last two weeks and it was a special time. Naomi especially was a great help with the packing and was a shoulder to cry on! With transition looming, I had many different conflicting emotions. I don’t tend to be affected by re-entry stress as I have been back and forward a couple of times. What I find hardest is
During the 1st week in September I started my 3 year course at Belfast Bible College, a BA Honours Degree in Youth & Community Work and Practical Theology. It is a very practical course and we have a church placement throughout the three years. I will be working in Portstewart Baptist Church and focusing on the teenagers. I am excited about this new chapter in my life. God has been completely faithful. Please pray as I learn to manage my time between classes, work and assignments and to squeeze a little social life in there! I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Mission Africa for their prayers, and support during my time away and at home. Without your prayers my work would have been impossible. Jayne McCurdy
Volunteers Needed Mission Africa continues to be grateful for all the volunteers who assist us. We are especially thankful for those who have recently helped in the Belfast Office which was short staffed over the summer due to illness. Several opportunities exist so that YOU too can join us in working for Christ, and be part of what He is doing in Africa today â€“ without even needing to get on a plane! The Belfast office has opportunities to help with basic admin tasks - especially mailings at the end of September, January and May when this magazine is published. We currently have some regular volunteers to help weekly in the office, or sporadically as the need arises and the office wouldnâ€™t run without them, but we are always looking for more! . We are also looking to strengthen some
special interest groups. Friends of Ochadamu and Friends of Ekpene Obom have been in operation for some time, and a Fulani group has recently begun. All need new members, especially those based in N Ireland. However, we would strongly welcome the formation of groups in England and Scotland. The role is likely to involve 3 or 4 committee meetings a year, and some time and energy in between developing relationships with partners overseas. Would you be willing to join any of these groups, or to register your interest and assist them in practical ways or by prayer? Perhaps you are passionate about another area of our work? Please let us know! We are also looking for help for our conferences and residentials throughout the UK. Anyone willing to help organise these, think of new ideas and / or assist with the catering would be a great asset. If you think you could help us with any of the above opportunities just ring or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your name and phone number or email. Training and direction will be given, so no previous experience is necessary.
alongside Jonny Beggs from the Belfast office to facilitate placements for those going on Short term mission, which includes the STEP teams and those on the GAP program. I will look after the Pastoral and practical aspects of these programmes, give orientation and help with the transition of leaving the comforts of home to live and work in Africa.
Lynsey Bell I am not a new face to Mission Africa, but I have been asked to re-introduce myself and tell you what I will be doing from January 2011: I have always had a heart for overseas mission. I recently graduated from Belfast Bible College, where I completed a 1 year certificate in Biblical Studies and Christian Service. Before I started Bible College, I volunteered in Open Doors Special Education Centre in Jos, Nigeria, through the Mission Africa GAP programme where I worked for 6 months. In the past, I have also served on two STEP teams and, more recently, a 6 week Bible College placement to West Nigeria, through Wycliffe Bible Translators. As soon as I return, I always get asked, “Lynsey, when is your next trip to Nigeria?” My answer is, whenever God sends me.
I expect to be doing quite a bit of travelling to other areas of Nigeria, as Gap placements and teams are now placed in a number of different projects across the country, but mainly in Jos and Ogugu. This is a two year post, so over the two years I hope to find other projects to involve short-termers, while also maintaining the relationships with current partner projects. In addition to this, I will have administration responsibilities such as taking care of immigration applications and finances. I also hope to help with the Special Needs Ministry at Open Doors, as time allows. My role will actually begin in midSeptember at the Mission Africa office in Belfast, where I will prepare and receive some training before I go. This is a much needed role and a great responsibility and I am excited to be part of helping ministries grow and develop and seeing individuals grow in their faith while serving God in Nigeria. I would really appreciate your prayers for the months ahead as I prepare to go. Lynsey Bell
I half expected to be going back to Bible College next year, but that was not God’s plan. Instead, I am going back to Nigeria as the ‘Short Term Facilitator’ for Mission Africa. This means that I will work
New Gappers Abigail Ainscough is from Winterley in Cheshire and applied to continue her work with special needs children but in a very different context. Abi will be serving at Open Doors in Jos and using her previous experience to contribute to the life of the school. Roddy and Paula Cameron, a couple living in Edinburgh where Paula has been Youth Worker at Holy Trinity, are going to serve at Ogugu with Advance. Roddy is very practically minded and intends to use his joinery and practical skills doing maintenance and small construction projects, as well as getting involved in other areas of the work. Paula has experience of youth and children’s work, as well as nursing training and has a passion for women’s ministry as well. Sharon Steele, who has previously been out on a Step team, is returning for a GAP placement in Ogugu. Sharon comes from Templepatrick, NI, and has just graduated from Queen’s University with a BSc in Psychology. Sharon hopes to be continuing the children’s and schools
work in the village and to develop relationships within the community and learn more about Nigerian culture. Melanie Mack is from York and is currently studying medicine – as a break from her studies and to explore her interest in international health care with a view to thinking about long term service, Melanie is going to Ogugu to work with Still Waters – Advance. Wherever they are working and however they are contributing to the community, pray that they will be shining lights for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also want to thank God for all the ways he used those just returned from Africa this summer: Calum Donald(N), Emily Stevenson (N), Emma-Louise Maclay (N), Hannah Ledbury (Chad), Louise McCammond (BF). Pray they will find ways to serve him as they move forward into different realms of life. Pray that Africa and the people they met will remain in their hearts.
Louise McCammond For some time I had wanted to go to Africa for my Gap year and having studied French at A Level I was keen to use this during my year out. Finding that Mission Africa sent people to Burkina Faso seemed perfect for me. I left for Burkina Faso in January 2010, not knowing exactly what to expect, but I was excited to find what was in store. The Nash family welcomed me and made me feel like part of their family. Jeremy had been running correspondence courses in primary schools for many years and I was able to get involved with running the courses. I ran the correspondence courses in Zinka and Legmoin Primary School: some of the children were Christian, some animists and some Muslim, but they were all enthusiastic to take part in the courses, which was an encouragement to me. I also got to know the young people from the foyer and church. I found it a challenge getting to know the girls from the foyer but over time I got to know many of the girls and built up close relationships with them. I began running
correspondence courses for the students in the foyer and there was a good response with many of them wanting to do one of the courses. As I got to know the students better I started a weekly entertainments night, which proved to be very popular. As well as working with the children and young people, I had some truly African experiences that I never thought I would have, such as killing a goat. I not only had the chance to work with the young people and help them learn more about God, but I also was able to grow in my own faith and I learnt a lot from the people there. It was a joy to see the commitment that many of the Christians had to the growth of the church, with some of the elders attending numerous prayer meetings in other neighbouring villages throughout the week to help encourage the Christians there. The six months I spent in Burkina Faso were definitely a positive experience, with memories to last a lifetime.
The new 3 cities team. From the 2nd to the 27th of July seven of us from various parts of the UK and Ireland went to Nigeria on the 3 Cities Team. While our team leader, Charis, had lived in Jos for two years, and Sam was returning after being part of a team last summer, for the rest of us it was not only our first time in Nigeria but our first time in Africa. Our first stop was at the Gidan Bege in Kaduna where there were nineteen children. During our time there, we held a childrenâ€™s programme in the afternoon and, when the children were at school, we did some painting, as well as going with Pastor John on a city outreach. Living in the orphanage for the week meant we really got an insight into what life is like for the children and house parents there, and five in a bed provided the perfect circumstances for team bonding! We then moved on to Jos, which was a slightly less intense week as we stayed in the Baptist hostel, travelling in to the Gidan Bege for teaching in the mornings and a childrenâ€™s programme in the afternoon. The following weekend we joined other missionaries on a village outreach, which consisted of basic medical care, prayer,
playing with the children and showing a Christian film in the evening. From there, we went on to the Gidan Bege in Lafia where we spent one night and saw the dedication of a new borehole. Our final destination was the Gidan Bege in Makurdi where we spent our last week. As the children were off school, we spent the mornings playing sports and games and then held a childrenâ€™s programme in the afternoon. I can confidently say that everyone on the team was both challenged and encouraged during our time in Nigeria. While the growth of the church has been rapid in Nigeria, for me the times I felt most encouraged were not in the charismatic services but in the less obvious places such as witnessing the daily efforts of the house parents in the Gidan Beges, or when receiving generous hospitality from someone with so much less than I. My time in Nigeria has fundamentally challenged and strengthened my own faith. I would recommend the 3 Cities Team to anyone who wants an insight into the work of city ministries and to see Christianity in a new light. Lauren Shaw
B Bang Th The h Bang Drum for Mission AAfrica! Teams
If you enjoyed your experience serving God with Mission Africa, then please tell your Church, friends, family, Christian Union..... We need more people for Teams and Gap, so if you know someone who wants to serve God in Africa please point them in our direction. The project and missionaries you were working with need funds to help their work continue and grow, maybe you could help them by raising awareness and funds.
Response Do you want to help Mission Africa by praying, giving or serving? Please complete the relevant sections below and return them to the Mission Africa Office. Name:
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Standing Order Please complete the form below and return it to Mission Africa. Once we have received the completed form, we will keep a photocopy and send the original standing order form to your bank so that they can process payments. Your bank: To:.........................................................(Bank/Building Society) Bank's address: ....................................................................... Your account name:................................................................. Account no: ............................... Sort code: ........................... Please make the undernoted payments and debit our/my account with the amount, it being understood that in no event shall the Bank be responsible or under any liability for any loss or damage occasioned by any omission to make the said payments. Please pay to Ulster Bank Limited, Belfast City Branch, 11-16 Donegall Square East, Northern Ireland, BT1 5HD for the account of Qua Iboe Fellowship, (No. 1 Account 58486010) (Sort-code 98 00 60) £10 - Ten pounds £20 - Twenty Pounds Other Amount £.................................. (figure and words) on the ................day of.....................(month).................(year) and a like sum each month until further notice.
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The Africa Conference - Scotland Saturday 13th November 2010 9.30am - 5.30pm Faith Mission, Edinburgh. Speaker: Jeremy Nash, Sid and Jean Garland, Ruth Beattie, Paul Bailie The cost for the conference (including lunch) is £20 per person For more information contact Michael Cook.
Mission Africa Prayer Day - Northern Ireland 20th November 2010, 10.00 am – 4.00pm, Belfast Bible College, Dunmurry. Speakers will be sharing points for prayer throughout the day but feel free to pop in and out if you can’t stay for the whole time. Remember to bring your own lunch if you are staying for the whole time. Tea and coffee will be provided. For more information contact Jane Robertson.
Mission Africa Houseparties Something to look forward to early 2011 whether you are in N.Ireland, Scotland or England/Wales. There is a houseparty for you! A time to catch up with friends and share about your Africa experience, or even just to find out more about this amazing continent. N. Ireland Houseparty: 4th - 6th February - Moyallon Centre (Portadown). Scotland Houseparty: 25th – 27th February - Craggan; on the shores of Loch Tay. England /Wales Houseparty: To be confirmed.
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Contact Us Chief Executive - Revd Dr Paul Bailie e: email@example.com Head Office 14 Glencregagh Court, Belfast BT6 0PA t: 02890 402850 f: 02890 799190 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Executive for Scotland Michael Cook 10 Blackthorn Grove, Menstrie Clackmannan FK11 7DX t: 01259 769039 e: email@example.com England & Wales Representatives Barry & Judy Lakeman 6, Broadfield Park, Holmfirth HD9 2JQ t: 01484 680650 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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