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Plus much more besides, all showing Links in Action - God at Work!

in Malawi

RESCUING LIVES RESTORING COMMUNITIES

Margaret Mills

IN MEMORY OF...

Open Hands and Broken Hearts

JOE GISBEY

CHANGING LIVES, TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES 2015 Issue 1


EDITORIAL LINKS INTERNATIONAL ‘LINKS’ WITH PARTNERS IN THE WEST AND IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO INSPIRE, EDUCATE, EMPOWER AND RESOURCE INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES TO BREAK FREE FROM POVERTY AND DISEASE. LINKSINTERNATIONAL.ORG.UK 03 04 06 08 09 10 11 15 16 18 20 21 22 23 24

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EDITORIAL TEAM Andy Read // Lynda Hubbard // Holly Bollinger

Dear Partners Joe on Mission Uganda Healthcare Marriage Ministry Ghana Memorial Links Gifts Malawi Floods Fundraising USA Act4You Enabling Education Kingdom Resources Contact Water Filter Kits

DESIGN Sam Hubbard Design

At Links International we are constantly seeking to adapt in response to changing circumstances and the new things we believe God opens up for us. As our founder Norman Barnes has often been heard to say, “Constant change is here to stay!” There are some changes in this issue of our magazine, and also some news which looks back to the birth of Links. Firstly, as you will see over the page, we have welcomed a ‘new’ member onto the staff team – Joe Gisbey. Of course, those of you who have been supporting Links for a while will know that Joe was part of the team for some time, before he and his wife and family went to Colombia to plant a church. It is great to have Joe back with us, and he is dividing his time between Links and a leadership role at Arun Community Church. Secondly, we have made a decision to reduce the number of magazines we produce this year. This is due to a number of factors. Steeply rising costs of postage have made us look at the stewardship of our money in this area. This is in a context where many more people now access regular monthly reports about our work through our e:Link email newsletter. (If you do not receive this and would like to please contact us). However, we also appreciate that many of you may not be able to receive electronic updates, or prefer printed media. For that reason we will still be producing two magazines this year – and will monitor your feedback for guidance in 2016. Looking back, at the end of February hundreds gathered to celebrate the life of Margaret Mills who, with her husband, was involved in the birth of Links at the end of the 1970s. It was wonderful to hear the testimonies that day and feel the continuity through to the present day. I hope you will be encouraged as you read more about all that is being accomplished today in so many places – all of it with your help and support. Constant change – but the same motivation. “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.”


JOE ON MISSION

JOE ON MISSION

OPEN HANDS AND BROKEN HEARTS It is with great joy that I introduce the writer of our lead article for this issue! Joe Gisbey has a long history with Links International, and was part of the staff team from 2004 until 2010. Those of you with long memories may remember the regular ‘Joe’s Jottings’ feature in this magazine! Joe relocated to Colombia with his wife Carolina and family, in order to plant a church there. They returned a couple of years ago, and Joe has taken up a leadership role with Arun Community Church. However, Joe still has a heart for the world and, after very supportive conversations with ACC leader Becca Jupp and the rest of the team there, it was agreed that Joe could split his time between ACC and Links. We are so pleased to have him back with us! He is already making an impact and we look forward to the future together.

Andy Read CEO

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“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9) I was 17 and had just embarked on the amazing opportunity to travel to Mexico during the first year of my A-levels to visit a Youth With A Mission base, rescuing street children and seeing Christians engage with the very real needs around them. I travelled out with my Dad, who had gone to lead through seminars on worship. Up to this point in my life I had never left Europe. Nothing had prepared me for what I was about to witness. We stepped out of the airport in the middle of the night and every sense was assaulted. The hot air, like a hairdryer on full blast, blew smog into our faces and the music and scent of Mexican food filled the atmosphere. It was exhilarating. We stopped to get some food and, whilst waiting in the queue, I felt a tug on my t-shirt. I turned to look down and gasped as my eyes met with the beautiful eyes

of a little 8-year-old Mexican girl, begging for anything that these strange-looking visitors could offer. Her face had been terribly burnt, her hair was matted and tangled, she was dressed in rags… yet it was impossible not to see Jesus in those eyes. Our hosts quickly informed us that it was very likely that the burns had been inflicted by guardians, to cause people to act with greater compassion. My heart broke at the thought that we could live in a world where such pain and brokenness could exist. We bought that beautiful little girl some food and talked with her and hoped that for a brief moment she could enjoy simply being a child. I never saw her again and she may never know that she changed my life forever. That night I wrestled with myself, my faith and my future and ultimately decided that I wanted to spend my days seeing the broken set free and God’s Kingdom come, impacting every area of people’s lives. Jesus says the Kingdom is here—right here, right now—and we can begin living it. I sensed the voice of God

asking me to give what I had in my hands and breaking my heart with the things that break his. The Church is Jesus’ plan for saving the world—which includes redeeming its broken social structures. All that has caused God’s beautiful children to be deformed can and must be turned around. Both the individual and the Church must play their role for the Body of Christ to have the impact Scripture intended—an impact we’re capable of but tragically still nowhere near. Scripture commands us to love the poor and oppressed, but what that looks like practically today is largely debated and so often ignored. The world has become more globalized and information more accessible. We are more aware than ever before as images from the latest news floods our TV sets or social media and as such our responsibility has grown. The greatest danger is our misconception that we have nothing to offer in the face of such need. I am convinced that the little boy who gave Jesus his loaves and fish, was not in actual fact the only

person there with something to offer, he was however, the only one willing and therein lies the miracle of what happens when we make ourselves available and give to God what we have in our hands. (See John 6:5-15) Famous writer and theologian Frederick Buechner said about availability and calling: ‘You have to ask yourself, “Where do my greatest gifts intersect with the world’s greatest need?”’ Jesus always seemed to reach out and touch people’s actual physical needs alongside the spiritual. People are both spiritual and material beings; addressing only half the problem only gives you half of the solution.

and fishes for him to bless and multiply? What would happen if we all really gave ourselves with reckless abandon, serving with a posture of gratitude and humility, and acknowledging our own brokenness before the cross? Let’s offer our all, stand up as Jesus’ body on the Earth, lifting up the broken, reaching out to see God heal people everywhere they hurt and bringing wholeness to all that is broken.

Joe Gisbey

Community Development and Partnership Manager

That night in Mexico City as I wrestled with myself, my apathy and my dreadful selfishness, and as Christ arrested my heart, I came to the realisation that I had contributed to the pain and suffering and decay in the world. What would happen if I decided to get involved with the one who is making all things new? What would happen if we all offered our loaves

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LINKS TRIPS

LINKS TRIPS Wellspring Uganda Links International CEO Andy Read writes: In December, I once more had the privilege of taking part in the Wellspring International Africa Partners’ Conference in Bweyogerere, Uganda. I was there with Links USA CEO, Jason Bollinger, and Wellspring founders Mike and Beryl Godward. It was a fantastic time as church leaders from across Uganda and other African nations gathered for learning and encouragement. At the end of the week, Wellspring held a community day where we had the great joy and encouragement of hearing about the work Wellspring has been doing in reaching out to the ‘Lost City’. This is how the areas of Kirinya and Kito are officially described because of the apparent hopelessness of the situation there. However, Wellspring has been bringing hope! It was particularly encouraging for us at Links to hear how the various ways we have been able to help and facilitate this work have borne fruit. For example, several of the ladies from the communities there spoke about how literacy classes have transformed their

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lives - something which has stemmed from the English as a Second Language training carried out by Links volunteers. Others spoke about how they had been equipped with hairdressing skills, which they were now using to earn money or exchange for other goods. Once again, Links had been able to help resource the start of this business-forming initiative. We look forward to continuing partnership with Wellspring in their great work.

Wellspring Director Dr. Eve Kanyenya explains more: Hairdressing began as a result of community demand for hands-on skills. The course is in high demand given the growing trend of urbanization and the desire for beautification by the young adults who didn’t complete their studies and other members of the community who are unemployed. The training delivered in the different communities is proving to have some significant longer term outcomes. Our operations are in Kito B (Oasis of Love) with a number of 30 ladies and Kirinya Community (Kirinya Fellowship Church) with 40 ladies. We wanted these ladies to be able to bless the community with the skills in hairdressing and beautification, to be able to improve on hair care marketing strategies, to produce good quality services to the clients, build a good reputation in their community and to train them to become employers not employees. Women can now do quality work in the area of hairdressing.

They can get clients on their own and make some good money out of plaiting hair. Some good businesses have been started in hairdressing. At Wellspring our main aim is to grow a people, develop a community and transform a nation - therefore we feel we are achieving community transformation by training these women in business.

Links USA CEO, Jason Bollinger adds: It is always inspiring to return to Wellspring to see the multiplication of the work they do. They affect many different areas of community transformation and that transformation is contagious. The work in the ‘Lost City’ is an example. Last year when we were there, this work was not being done. In the time we were gone, this program was conceived, implemented, and executed. We watched in tears as women testified about the difference this training had made in their lives. We watched these beautiful people walk into the dignity of employment and business development before our eyes. We listened with our ears as they testified with joy the difference this opportunity had given them. The seeds that are planted at Wellspring take root, grow deeply and bear substantial fruit. The return on our investment there is beyond good. It’s incredible.

In the next year, multiplication of the Wellspring work will include taking the Partner’s conference to a remote area, as well as expanding the vocational training programme to other areas like ‘Lost City.’ I can’t help but emphasize the significance of those who were ‘lost’ being ‘found’ by the Wellspring team and being given a chance to experience a life with greater meaning and fullness.

If you are interested in helping to transform the lives of more people from the Lost City, please mark your donation ‘Wellspring LC’.

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HEALTHCARE

MARRIAGE MINISTRY

Healthcare in India and Uganda Ann Edmunds writes:

India

The invitation for this Community Healthcare visit came from Janaki Menni, the president of Faith in Action Ministries (FIAM). We visited two local communities, near Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh), both significantly impacted by the effects of poverty. This was the first Links visit, following an initial introduction last year and an unusually brief one as we were there for just one week. The team consisted of myself together with Val Foster and Jane Walker, who are both midwives. We were made very welcome and had a fruitful time exploring the local healthcare issues and challenges. We spent two days with each community – one a more rural location, and the other a more urban setting. The issues accompanying low birth weight babies pose challenges for both communities and so the training relating to antenatal care, the development of a baby, nutrition and so on was especially pertinent. We did stay in India for a second week,

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flying to Mumbai and working together with Mother Teresa’s Roses – a convent of nuns based in the area and reaching out to the homeless and destitute on the streets of Mumbai. A profound experience!

Uganda

It was an exciting moment when, as a team of three, we boarded the plane at Heathrow to travel to Wellspring, Uganda. Our purpose was to pilot a schools health roadshow, ‘Fit For Life’, at the Wellspring Primary School. Both the concept and the material needed a test run. Would it be possible to run a flexible health teaching package, for children in the school setting, with interactive learning at its core? The UK team consisted of myself,

Rwanda January/February Ann Edmunds (Links CHC manager), along with Holly Vanstone, who has spent many dedicated hours helping to write the programme and also, Faith Bailey another highly experienced teacher with tremendous creative gifts. As always we were made to feel very welcome and at home at Wellspring and we can’t thank everyone enough for all they did to make it such a wonderful experience. From the start we had to be very flexible and rethink part of the content, but that was all part of the trial. Over the four days we had contact with every child in the school other than the top class (P7) who had already started their long school holidays post-exams. The finale was the usual Wellspring Parents’ Afternoon on the Sunday where there was an opportunity for everyone to take part in ‘Fit Fun’!

After arriving at Rwanda, Kigali Airport, we were greeted by our friends Rukundo and Ericka and the whole family. We went to bed very tired after the whole day travelling. The next day was spent planning and in the evening visiting a couple that had been on our first Encounter in Rwanda. They had been on the verge of a divorce. They are now very happy with two more children. A real success for our Father! The first Encounter was with 12 couples. A Bishop said, ‘These teachings are gold to us’, and one lady said that her marriage was already changed and she knew God was doing something special. On the Sunday we both spoke at a local church. A German national married to a Rwandese lady came for counselling. Tuesday saw us travelling to Gisenye on a boat across Lake Kivu for eight and half hours.

Wednesday to Friday was the second Encounter with 17 couples, 12 from the Congo. As we have always said, communication, money and sexual relationship are the big problem areas; this was confirmed again at this Encounter. We then travelled back by road to Kigali to rest. Saturday was swimming and pizza. We took 11 adults in the house out to a Pizza restaurant (some had never had a pizza). This was a thank you to all for their hard work in

looking after us over many visits. This also helped us to fulfil the request that many people in our Church had made: ‘Enjoy yourselves’. Thank you for all your prayers.

Graham and Ruth Swaffield

Pastor: We discovered marriage is not a joke, it is serious. I have been blessed, we start a new page. Wife of the above: I was asked by my husband to lead the women’s work, but I didn’t know what to do. My husband said I was useless. Now I have some good teachings to give. Lady: I am really changed. I was the same as the other lady, a small quarrel and I would run to my parents.

Graham and Ruth are always on the lookout for married couples who could be trained to work with them in this area of ministry. Could that be you? Please contact us at the Links office to explore further.

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GHANA MEMORIAL

LINKS GIFTS

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MARGARET MILLS On Saturday, February 28th, I was privileged to take part in a memorial and thanksgiving service for Margaret Mills. Margaret and her husband David were missionaries in Ghana for part of their lives and played an important role in the birth of Links International. It was a great honour to be asked to say a few words on behalf of Links. Despite the cold English weather outside, in the hall we were transported to Africa as a large number of visitors from the Church of Pentecost in Ghana graced the occasion with their worship, dancing and testimonies. This included the Chairman of the whole movement worldwide, who cancelled several things in his diary to be there and take part.

Andy Read

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It was a privilege for Grace and I to be invited guests to the memorial service held in honour of Margaret Mills. I met Margaret and her late husband David when I first went to Ghana in 1979 where, after our meeting, we became firm friends. It was out of that initial visit, sitting around

their extended family table, that the vision of Links International was born. As we sought to care for this missionary family, we had no idea of what would emerge from this meeting. David was the Bible School principal for the Church of Pentecost and today there are a number of key people who David taught who are major players in the growth of the church there in Ghana and abroad. Margaret raised a family of five but had a vision to reach the children who were often marginalised in church services. Her famous quote was, “The children are the church of today not tomorrow”, and she, with others, began to develop a syllabus for what was to be known as The Children’s Movement. She also promoted children’s camps and oversaw the translation of songs sung in the church

into the local language. The records show that by the end of December 2014, the movement had a membership of 762,648 children and many of the new leaders today came up through this movement. Margaret was a humble and unassuming character - one full of faith and fun but stands in the hall of fame as someone who was ‘small in size but a giant of faith’. We can only say “Well done good and faithful servant”. We owe you much and pray as you so often prayed, “Let your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is already done in heaven”.

Norman Barnes

LINKS GIFTS We know that the needs of the less privileged nations of the world seem enormous, and it is easy to feel we are powerless to make any difference. But at Links International we have decades of experience that tells us that we CAN make a difference together! Even seemingly small things can help to change lives, and when we all do the things that we can do, the effect can be amazing. That’s where Links Gifts come in. They provide opportunities to provide targeted financial support across a range of prices and areas of our work. Use them as gifts for others – birthdays, Christmas, other celebrations. Or perhaps they provide a helpful focus for fundraising for youth groups, staff teams, coffee mornings, men’s groups and so on. Please use Links Gifts to help us Change Lives and Transform Communities.

Thank you!

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LINKS GIFTS Training course places - Worldwide

Moringa Trees - Worldwide

Mosquito Nets (Africa)

Solar Lamps

Our trips usually provide training in healthcare, micro-enterprise and education. Attendees are keen, so we’d like to accommodate more.

This amazing tree grows at a rate of 5 feet per year, is super-nutritious and anti-bacterial. We’d like all our partners worldwide to have some!

Malaria kills more people around the world than the AIDS virus and a mosquito net can protect a whole family.

For school children to study in the evening, for families, and to generate income from mobile phone charging.

One place at a training course: £20

Five trees: £10

One net: £7

Large: £40 Small: £10

Clean Water - Worldwide

Lifewater Filter Kits kill 99.99% of harmful bacteria, producing ten litres of clean water per hour for a year.

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LINKS GIFTS

One kit (including spare candle) provides clean water for more than two years: £45

Micro-Enterprise Investment

Setting up a family in a sustainable business helps them work their way out of poverty. Loans are repaid over 6 months, so the investment helps two families each and every year!

One initial investment: £100-£250

Links Air Miles

Contribution to Trust Fund

We have calculated that, on average, it costs Links £7.50 per 100 miles to send a central team member to monitor progress at one of our communities.

Our Trust fund pays for the central costs of all that we do and, whilst we aim to be good stewards, core funding is often a challenge.

100 Links Air Miles: £7.50

Sample contribution: £5

These are just some of the gifts that are available. Please have a look at www.linksinternational.org.uk/shop to see the full range of ways in which you can bless others. Thank you for your support.

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E: FORENAME:

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Malawi Flood Report

EMAIL:

DATE:

PRICE TOTAL

some of them to live and survive if you could not help them. The funds came at the right time. I have never experienced such a misery in life where eight families are crammed in one classroom, with all their belongings. The Relief Team went around to the communities asking victims for three immediate needs. The team visited 600 households within two days and shortlisted 300 households. The greatest needs in the community were: food, plastic sheets to cover the top of the houses, blankets, buckets to collect water, plates and cups, mosquito nets and water filters. Because of the relief Links was able to send, we have a lot

POSTCODE:

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please cut along the dotted line

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Just after Christmas severe storms hit Southern Malawi and caused devastating floods. Links heard about the floods and contacted our partners in Malawi (John and Patrick) to find out if they or their communities were affected. We heard back quickly from John – who was affected himself, along with his village – and we then sent around £650 as a first step. That initial £650 was well received and used well. I then heard from Patrick that things were very bad in some of his communities so we sent the same amount again, this time to him. He said that the situation had worsened. We then sent out a few appeals for relief to send to Southern and Central Malawi. Some funds and supplies were donated and we were able to send more relief aid. Here is a little more about the flood and how those funds have been used over the past several months: ‘Greetings on behalf of the Malawians who have benefitted from relief items. To the truth it would have been difficult for

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CLARATION

PLEASE TICK IF GIFT VOUCHERS ARE REQUIRED

r and want Links International to reclaim tax on all my donations from the date below onwards. must pay sufficient tax to cover the amount reclaimed. I become a non tax-payer or if I change my name or address.

LINKS GIFTS ORDER FORM

Malawi Flood Report

of testimonies and touching stories from recipients. One family of old people lost their house and were hiding in the tree, we identified them and gave them items, today they are rejoicing. They could not believe that people from far could bring aid before the government and civil leaders, Links International you are truly people of God. We appreciate what you have done. You have gone an extra mile. You have done more than UN and foreign donors. The situation is still not okay, but we have done more than any big international aids. This time it was “Links International: Rescuing Lives, Restoring Communities”’.

John Chirwa

In total, Links was able to provide £7,960 toward the relief, as well as providing 200 mosquito nets. There is still more to be done to help them repair and rebuild from the flood devastation. Can you give a mosquito net or a water filter to send to Malawi to help rescue lives and restore communities?

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FUNDRAISING

FUNDRAISING

Swim For Safe Water In September 2015, Alistair Beattie will be swimming the English Channel solo. His aim, other than swimming through 21 miles of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world in ‘skins’, in sea at an average temperature of 15-17ºC, is to raise money in support of Links International and their projects to get safe water to communities across the world. Every day you and I, and most of our friends and family, have the ability to simply turn a tap to get fresh, clean water. There are some people in the world who are not able to do that - and many of them are dying as a result. Here’s the thing - we can make a REAL difference - there IS the technology and ability to STOP this and give communities access to clean water. Alistair has chosen to do this by swimming and advocating for Links.

LONDON MARATHON Can you help? Every £1 will make a BIG difference. Go to virginmoneygiving.com/ swimforsafewater to support Alistair and to join the #swimforsafewater team and help give safe water to those who need it.

By the time you read this, our marathon runners will have already run or will be about to run the Virgin London Marathon. Our thanks goes to all of them for the commitment they have shown to Links. This year we have 5 runners: Paul Bedford, Samantha Hunter, Mandy Ord and James Clarry from the UK and joining us from the USA is Becky Miller and she has an incredible story to share: ‘My running career did not begin until 2010. That year I got up the nerve to enter a 5K. I did well, placing first in my age division which inspired me to keep running. In October of 2010, I ran my first half marathon in support of Links USA CEO Jason and Holly Bollinger’s adoption of their two beautiful Ukrainian daughters. After that I was hooked, and half marathons became my race of choice.

In 2011, my running career came to a screeching halt when the car I was riding in was rear-ended by a semi-truck. I was airlifted to a trauma center in another town where I was diagnosed with a broken neck, broken clavicle, broken scapula, multiple broken ribs and a lacerated liver. My neck was broken in three places, a hang man’s break, the kind that normally kills you or leaves you paralyzed. I spent three long months with a 15 pound titanium halo bolted to my skull in four places. After hearing the extent of my injuries the first thing I said was, “When can I run again?” About two weeks after the halo was removed I walked one of the half marathons I’d scheduled. I was not physically ready to run, but I was not going to miss out! Prior to the accident I’d planned to meet some friends in Ohio for the Air Force Half. I registered for the

race while I was still in the halo. Just ten short months after the accident I ran that race! In January of this year, I broke my best half marathon time. London will actually be my first full marathon. Running with purpose is kind of my mantra. I’ve run three races in support of adoptive families and many of my races are chosen for the cause they support. When Jason asked me if I wanted to be part of the Links Team for London I was ecstatic. A full marathon was not really on my bucket list, but London and an opportunity to support missions by running, how could I say no? It has taken three years to get back to where I was athletically, before the accident, but I did it. To God be the glory!’ To read more about Becky and her story, go to: www.beckyjmiller.com

If you would like to support Alistair or any of our marathon runners by donating to Links, please email us at: office@linksinternational.org.uk.

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LINKS USA

LINKS USA Across the Pond once more… Links CEO Andy Read writes: In January, I had the privilege of travelling to Texas with my wife Lina (a Links International Board member) to spend time with long-time partners of Links and newer connections there. It was great to spend time with Paul and Perrianne Brownback, and their church in Azle. There we spoke at two church meetings about Mission and the work of Links. We also met with missionaries about to return to Nicaragua, to talk about our approach to micro-enterprise, and also spoke to the local ministers’ alliance. It was also good to have some fun with these great friends of Links and us personally! I recently read an article in an old copy of the Links Magazine from 2006, which recounted a visit to Paul and Perrianne and their church made by Norman and Grace Barnes, Rich Hubbard and Joe Gisbey. Continuity and heritage in relationship is important to us, and we believe those things are close to the heart of God, and are hallmarks of His Kingdom. The same article also talked about a visit made to a church led by Jason and

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Holly Bollinger. Jason is now the CEO of Links USA and together with Holly is doing a great job at taking this work on. They are committed to doing this in close relationship with us here in the UK, and it is an honour to work with them.

healthier view of our place in this world and our calling to make disciples. We praise the Lord for Norman and Grace and Links International, and we look forward to their influence increasing in our country.’

A key event in the trip was a meeting of the Board of Links USA, which now contains some new members working alongside the more established members. They are of a younger generation, which bodes well for the future as well as the present. It was hugely encouraging to hear the plans and pick up on the enthusiasm and vitality that was apparent.

It is wonderful to be part of the fulfilment of that desire, expressed several years ago.

In another old copy of the Links Magazine, I found this quote from Jason, speaking about the impact of Norman, Grace and Links. ‘As long as Links is around, we will continue to invite them to America. The lessons they’ve learned, and the wisdom they’ve attained have proven to be invaluable to our church and our staff. Because of them, we have a much

Other long-time friends of ours – and Links – are Duane and Kris White, church leaders with a huge heart for Mission, both in their locality and across the world. Speaking on this subject at The Bridge, their church in Denton, was another great privilege.

We look forward to these relationships ‘across the pond’ continuing to grow and strengthen as we work together both there, in the UK and in other nations. There are already firm plans this year that will definitely have us partnering in Uganda, and possibly in at least one other nation. USA Office Report from CEO, Jason Bollinger: It is such an honour to be able to lead the USA office of Links. In the past several months we have gained some momentum as an organization, and are moving full steam ahead. In some areas we are partnering closely with work out of the UK office, and in other areas we are starting to extend the reach of Links even further. Following our trip to Uganda in December, I had the privilege of visiting Nicaragua. We spent time with four different organizations who are all doing great work there. We are now working on how we can best partner together in the

future, and it looks like Nicaragua will be a consistent focus moving forward. I think the greatest strength of Links is the depth of the relationships we have with the people we work with. That means that not only do we travel around the world to see and serve people, but they also come and spend time with us. It was a great joy earlier this year to have Andy and Lina in the States for our first board meeting of the year. Additionally, we hosted Herbert and Eve from Uganda. This time together makes our partnerships so much more productive. We were able to dream, plan, and pray together about the coming months, and the work of missions that will result will be a further testimony of the strength of relationships. We covet your prayers as we talk with churches, business men and women, and other missions organizations. Our network is growing and the opportunities to bring Good News to the poor are prevalent. Our reach through Act4You

accounts is increasing every month, and more and more connections are looking to be fruitful for mission. For those of you in the US, we would love to connect with you if we haven’t already. You can use the enclosed flyer to send us your information or to find us on Facebook, Twitter and the Web. We would love to talk more about how you can engage with us on mission, and we would also like to talk about how we can serve you. We are visiting churches, small groups, community groups, businesses and families every week talking missions and partnership. We have been tremendously blessed by our Links family. Your support and investment have never been more important.

Please pray for Jason, Holly and their team as they continue to take the work of Links USA forward.

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Enabling Education

ACT4YOU IPHIKO is the Zulu word for ‘wings’… refuge under the shadow of His wings. Iphiko began in 2012 out of God’s heart of compassion for traumatised people, especially women and children. In South Africa and Zambia, Iphiko provides personal trauma counselling through qualified counsellors, as well as teaching pastors and other key people basic counselling skills. Although delegates attend seminars to learn counselling skills, they invariably find their own broken wings healed as the Holy Spirit mightily touches people. The demand for more of these well-attended seminars is growing, with many requests from other African countries. The level of sexual violence in South Africa is among the highest in the world; it also has one of the highest murder rates. An estimated 500,000 rapes take place every year, with many unreported. In 2001, the Police Service stated that children and infants are the victims of 41% of all reported rapes in the country. A significant factor in the escalation of child abuse is the widespread myth in HIV-ravaged South Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. This belief also exists in Zambia. The danger from

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rape and sexual assault is compounded because of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in townships. Everybody has been touched personally by trauma and violence, or knows someone who has. Iphiko believes and communicates that under the shadow of His wings people will find refuge and healing (Psalm 57:1, 17:8, 91:1-4). This is done through trauma counselling, sponsoring vulnerable children, counselling skills seminars, and teaching. Each year Iphiko provides manuals and teaches ‘counselling skills’ to 125 students at BBTC (Back to Bible Training College). The students come from 24 African countries; many already pastor

churches in their countries. Most have no opportunity to learn about counselling in their country. In others, counselling is completely unknown. Iphiko sponsors vulnerable children like Lwandle who is HIV positive, providing specialised weekly food parcels, medicine etc., financing places in a local pastor’s crèche. Lwandle’s mum Jane now teaches in the crèche, where the whole family can learn about Jesus. Working together with local pastors and social workers, Iphiko provided 50 tables and 100 chairs in Pastor Vusi’s new safe house. A number of similar projects exist, others are in embryo.

Margrite Tebboth

Iphiko’s aim – all to the glory of Jesus!

Enabling Education ‘Taomboka’ is the girl child education empowerment project that encourages the girls in the rural areas (Chazunda and Machinjiri) of Malawi to go further with their studies in school. This project was born when FESODEV, through the funding from Links International, discovered that for the past fifteen years none of the girls in these communities have ever reached Secondary School level or Ordinary level. Most were dropping out of school and getting married at an early age and had begun bearing children. Numerous challenges are hindering these girls from furthering their education. Trying to mitigate these challenges has given birth to the Taomboka project. Taomboka is a local name that means ‘We have been rescued’. So far through FESODEV and Links, we have been training the girls in the importance of education and more. Some of the ways FESODEV and Links International are helping the Taomboka project:

1. Bicycles: The girls were travelling long distances to school which was making them get to school tired and getting home tired. A bicycle is shared with two girls. After the completion of their Ordinary level, the bicycle will be handed over to other girls from junior classes. So far six girls have successfully completed their O level and have handed over their bicycles to the next beneficiaries. 2. Solar Lamps: Studying at night is also a challenge so solar lamps were provided to ease their studies. Six girls sat for their O LEVEL, five passed with the availability of these torches.

3. Micro-loans: Both tea and lunch breaks in day schooling in Malawi do not provide something to eat. A small loan of MK5,000 to each girl was given to sell some small items at school to help them buy something to eat at tea and lunch breaks. We gave them a term to use the profit for their needs before they repay back the money in the next term. We as your partners really appreciate what Links International has done in support of this project. The work would have been too much for FESODEV if Links International did not come in with a helping hand. You have put us on a map because of all the support you have been rendering to us as an organisation. We thank you for working very hard, making sure that our requests are granted in the very same moment when we needed them. That’s why we call you a ‘friend in need’. May the good GOD continue to take care of the visions Links International would like to achieve.

Annie Chirwa Project Manager

If you are interested in helping more girls like these go further in their education, please mark your donation ‘Education for girls’ .

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CONTACT US

KINGDOM RESOURCES LINKS INTERNATIONAL PROVIDES ‘SPIRITUAL FAMINE RELIEF’ TO WORKERS AROUND THE WORLD, MANY WITHOUT ACCESS TO CHRISTIAN RESOURCES. WE CURRENTLY SEND 130 PARCELS TO 40 NATIONS THREE TIMES A YEAR. THESE WERE IN THE LAST PARCEL. Spring Harvest Fresh New Songs for the Church (2 Discs)

£45 blesses someone with three parcels a year. The parcels remind missionaries and workers that they are loved and thought of. Here are some of the many ‘thank you’ emails we recently received: I would just like to let you know that your last parcel has arrived. I am listening to the CD, enjoying the songs. Thank you for this regular sign of love and refreshment for us! God bless you. - Pakistan

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Book Download The Father I Never Had by Joel Engle

Teaching CD: Rachel Hickson: ‘Consider Jesus’

We are so grateful to you all at Links for the regular package that is stuffed with useful resources for us missionaries. We read and listen to everything. Bless you for this ministry. - Tanzania

for the Church’ CDs, and Rachel Hickson’s teaching CD. Thank you too for the Links magazine. Thank you too for the blessing and encouragement your parcels give. France

We received the parcel this month containing CDs and magazine. Thank you so much for your continuous support for us here. More power and may the Lord bless all the Links Team. - Philippines

Dear Friends, your precious gift of 2 CDs has arrived safely...thank you for blessing us with this material. - India

Thank you so much for the last parcel, once again much appreciated. I enjoyed, and am still enjoying, the ‘Fresh New Songs

Just like to let you know that your last parcel has arrived. I am listening to the CD, enjoying the songs. Thank you for this regular sign of love and refreshment for us! - India

TRUSTEES

Matt Bell (Chairperson) // Sim Dendy // Leigh Hills // Phil Moore // Lina Read

LINKS OFFICES

DIRECTOR

UNITED KINGDOM (HEAD OFFICE) PO Box 198 Littlehampton West Sussex BN16 3UQ +44(0)1903 778515 office@linksinternational.org.uk

BANKERS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PO Box 1223 San Marcos, TX 78667 + 1 512 765 4657 linksusaoffice@gmail.com linksinternationalusa.com

COUNCIL OF REFERENCE

Andy Read CEO Lloyds TSB Bank plc North Middlesex Group, Business Centre, PO Box 2135, Marlow, SL7 3HG

AUDITORS

Hewitt Warin Ltd Harlow Enterprise Hub, Edinburgh Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2NQ Norman and Grace Barnes, Founders of Links International // Fran Beckett, Charity Consultant // Stuart Bell, Team Leader, Ground Level // Dr Steve Brady, Principal of Moorlands College // Rev Steve Chalke, Founding Director Oasis Trust // Gerald Coates, Pioneer // Dr Patrick Dixon, Global Change // Dr Rowland Evans, Nations // Mrs Faith Forster, Ichthus Christian Fellowship // Dale Gentry, Prayer Breakout Network // Floyd McClung, Formerly International Director YWAM // Micha Jazz, Peaceworks // John Noble, Spiritconnect

ASSOCIATE MINISTRIES

Links International works in association with the following ministries to present the challenge of world mission to the Church.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Links Magazine is sent free of charge to our partners and on request. All gifts to Links International are acknowledged and used as directed and designated; if the designated project has already been fully funded, discontinued, or cannot be completed for reasons beyond the control of Links International, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to use the funds for other similar projects, where most needed. Undesignated gifts are used for the general purposes of the Trust under the direction of the Trustees. Our accounts are audited annually. A copy of our report and accounts is available upon request. As a registered charity, Links operates its own Gift Aid scheme. Further details are available on request. All cheques should be made payable to Links International. Registered charity number 327000

Links International is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and Global Connections.

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Safe drinking water is still the biggest health issue around the world. • The water crisis is the number 1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation) • Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water • Every minute at least 1 child dies from a water-related illness • Diarrhoea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day. (Statistics found at water.org)

A solution to the water crisis that is still effective is the provision of LifeWater filters. They literally save lives! These filters kill 99.99% of harmful bacteria without chemicals. Each filter provides 10 litres of clean water per hour for a year, but we supply a second filter to double the kit’s life. We’ve sent out thousands of LifeWater filters over the years, but many more are still needed. £45 will pay for a water filter kit and a replacement filter. This will provide clean drinking water for 2 years. Can you help stop the water crisis?

Links Magazine 2015 Issue 1  
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