Plus much more besides, all showing Links in Action - God at Work!
SIX WEEKS AT WELLSPRING
What Do We Do
CHANGING LIVES, TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES 2016 Issue 1
DEAR PARTNERS 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
Enactus in Malawi, Page 16
EDITORIAL TEAM Andy Read // Lynda Hubbard // Holly Bollinger
03 04 06 08 09 10 11 15 16 18 20 21 22 23 24
Dear Partners What Do We Do Six Weeks At Wellspring Uganda India Marriage Ministry Links Gifts Fundraising Enactus in Malawi Links USA ACT4YOU Zebstrong Footballs Kingdom Resources Contact Transformational Investment
DESIGN Sam Hubbard Design
As we often say, ‘good news to the poor’ can have many forms and many dimensions. This edition of the Links Magazine possibly illustrates that as well as any other. Let’s consider the list: DIY/renovation work at a ministry centre; footballs given out to children/youth; pastors training in Uganda; students providing income generating fishponds, combined with a safe water supply in Malawi; marriage enrichment; a youth conference in India; awards to people from areas of very poor living conditions, showing success in vocational and literacy training; raising mission awareness in USA churches; missionaries establishing education programmes for children with special needs; people running and swimming over 20 miles to raise money for projects and core support... The list is diverse and wide ranging, but is still only a snapshot of the works of Links with our international partners over the last few months. Several of the Links team in the UK have recently returned from team trips to different parts of Malawi. There we have seen more examples of how our partners are taking the training and project support we have supplied forward in amazing ways. More about all of that in our next magazine! Recently I have been studying various passages from the Bible that show just how much God cares for those who are in need in our world. His heart is clearly shown to be turned towards them in a special way. You only have to read passages such as this, to be both challenged and encouraged to respond: ‘He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows.’ (Psalm 146:7- 9 NLT) That’s why we do what we do. Thank you for your partnership in the good news!
WHAT DO WE DO? It’s now been almost two years since I made the transition from full-time church leader to CEO of a mission charity. I love the work of Links more than ever, but I sometimes find it hard to explain what we do. What makes us different? Why do we continue working so hard to generate resource to travel and take teams all around the world? What sets us apart? We are grateful to be a part of a global movement of people and organizations bringing GOOD NEWS to the poor and, in that movement, there are some things that are uniquely Links. When I introduce myself as the CEO of the USA office of Links International, sometimes people ask if we’re an organization for golfers. While we do love both golfers and golf, I have the privilege of explaining that we’re a different kind of Links. As I work to expand both our work and network in the US, I spend a lot of time defining the uniqueness of Links. Whether you are new to the Links family or have been around a long time, I think
it’s helpful to talk again about the heart behind all of the amazing things we get to be a part of. Here’s a question that I get a lot...
A shorter response is like this...We are Links. We are like the orange link in this chain. We bring things together.
We help people engage with their missional destiny. People sent to the ends of the earth with GOOD NEWS for the poor is the Gospel model for mission. That is one end of the chain. The other end are those trapped in extreme poverty...those suffering...those without hope...those who experience bad news every single day. We are the link between those two realities.
“I KNOW YOU WORK IN THE AREA OF MISSION, BUT WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO?” This question is difficult to answer because we honestly do so much. We provide water filter systems and mosquito nets. We educate in community healthcare. We empower business. We support agriculture. We train leaders. We work with churches and businesses who want to incorporate healthy mission strategy into their DNA. We support missionaries by managing financial accounts. We consult with missionaries or those thinking about becoming missionaries. We speak at events. We send Bibles to unreached people groups. We develop new initiatives based on need and opportunity. We connect organizations with each other to work more efficiently. We even do more than that. Like I said, we do a lot.
we write or projects we fund. The best connections are when we connect people with people.
We connect things that would otherwise not be connected. We make Missional Kingdom Connections. It’s what we do. The heart of this connecting is to join together KINGDOM RESOURCES with MISSION OPPORTUNITY/NEED. We believe that everyone can serve on mission as GOOD NEWS to the poor. We believe we can provide solutions for poverty’s horrendous realities. We believe that relationships provide the best opportunity for this connection. The best connections aren’t just cheques
The only way to be effective at facilitating connections is through building healthy relationships. While we can easily and gladly put large sums of money immediately to work in the nations, big projects are not our first priority. People are our first priority. It is important to us to make sure that the projects we invest in are investing in people. The only hope for breaking poverty’s generational cycles is through lives being changed. Those relationships also allow us to know exactly where your investment is going. We have teams travelling year round to
visit those who have been participants in Links’ initiatives. We know their communities. We know their leaders. We know their stories. We shake their hands and hug their necks. They are the reason we do what we do. We live in an amazing time where the entire world exists in a global neighbourhood. When we travel to facilitate all of the amazing things we do, we are working to be faithful to the second greatest commandment… to love our neighbours. We are not helping ‘those people.’ We are helping our friends. We also believe that part of serving our neighbours at home is connecting them with their global neighbours. There’s no greater joy than seeing our Links Family come alive in building relationships with those in extreme poverty. Those relationships provide the foundation for community transformation through the reality of lives being changed.
for you to know the joy of being a vessel for GOOD NEWS. We are here to serve you. We are here to serve our neighbours around the world. If you’re ready to get connected, and ready to change the world, we’re ready to connect you. We are Links.
Jason Bollinger CEO Links USA
If you are ready to be linked, we would love to connect you with a mission reality that you’re interested in. We would love
UGANDA SIX WEEKS AT WELLSPRING Having just returned from six weeks with the family of Wellspring on the outskirts of Kampala in a place called Bweyogerere, just off the Jinja road, I thought I would write this small insight into my time there. I say ‘family’ because that is what it truly is. Wellspring is now celebrating 24 years and is now successfully administered by both Herbert and Eve. So why was I there and what was I doing? Well, as the years have passed since its establishment, Africa has taken its toll on the infrastructure and now Wellspring (that has given so much TLC to others) is in need of some TLC. Rainwater is a major requirement and is gathered and used as we would the water in our taps - for washing, cleaning, drinking and bathing - things we take for granted. As such it was the primary task for this visit of myself and the team from River Church. The first initiative was to improve the quality of the water catchment - guttering to me and you; living water to Wellspring. Before we could begin there was the small matter of ladders. Whilst readily available in Kampala, we did not have a
budget that would support us buying a set of ladders so we took the lower cost option of making ladders, from eucalyptus trees. As with many aid projects, when you are seeking money for repairs to infrastructure, it is hard. There are better things to raise money for but what can be more important than maintaining clean water? Thanks again to River Church for the funds they raised and to the team of three - Chris, Ian and Liz - for the time they spent with us. Cutting a long story short, the first stage was complete and as it was the rainy season we soon had water in abundance. There is much much more I could say as this short insight does not touch on the people and love both given and received in Wellspring.
This was a DIY mission trip to Uganda. Not DIY in that it wasn’t Links-organised, but DIY because that’s why we went. Four of us in total: Ian, Liz and Chris from River Church went out for one week whilst Keith (‘the bossman’) spent six weeks there and project managed everything too. The jobs we undertook included getting running water back to the kitchen, making safe the electrics in the showers, sealing and painting the brickwork on the new bio-toilets so they could be commissioned, but
above all installing a new ‘rainwater capture system’. This turned out to mean replacing a large section of the dilapidated guttering so that any rainfall is captured into large tanks, especially during the dry season when water is at its most precious. Our trip in November was during the rainy season, so the guttering was well and truly tested. Special mention must go to the fantastic people out there: Herbert (‘the big man’) and Eve (‘the First Lady’) who welcomed us warmly, Raymond (part-time handyman) who worked like a Trojan and all of the girls who fed us and generally kept us laughing - they were fantastic. In fact everyone there did their best to welcome us and help us in any way they could - and always with the biggest smile possible. Key memory: the Ugandan smile!
Chris Greenslade On our heart is the desire to raise money over the next two years for three more renovation projects: 1) Repainting and renovation of the walls inside and out - early 2016 2) Rewiring of the electrical circuits is also badly needed - late 2016 3) Renovation of the school playground - 2017
INDIA IN DECEMBER, JOE GISBEY AND JOHN YATES TRAVELLED TO INDIA TO TEACH AT THE SAMARPAN YOUTH CAMP AND TO HELP COMMISSION CHURCH PLANTERS TRAINED THROUGH THE SAMARPAN BIBLE SCHOOL.
UGANDA TRIP DECEMBER 2015
Joe Gisbey writes: It is always a great joy to return to our friends at Wellspring, Uganda. This is one of the longest standing partnerships that we have at Links International, and now the partnership has expanded to include Links USA as well. I travelled for part of the journey with Jason Bollinger, CEO of Links USA, and when we arrived we met up with Mike and Beryl Godward – who founded Wellspring in the 1990s. At the heart of this trip was our participation in Wellspring’s annual partners’ conference. This draws together church leaders who count themselves as part of the Wellspring family from different parts of Uganda and other nations, along with leaders from the local area. It was a great privilege to be speaking and providing input to leaders of networks of churches, for example, Valentine from Western Uganda who oversees 48 churches – some with hundreds of members. They are all Kingdom-minded people who see the role of the church in the community in a very holistic way.
We taught on faith, character, leadership skills and more. This year we added workshops to give the leaders a more intimate setting to ask questions relevant to their areas of leadership. At the end of the week we also had the opportunity of taking part in the Wellspring Community Day. This included a ‘graduation’ ceremony for women and men who have been reached through Wellspring’s programme of literacy, hairdressing, jewellery design, dressmaking and dance training. It was fantastic to see the sense of achievement and hope written on the faces of the graduates. They had all processed together from their homes, with banners and a marching band!
The theme of the Youth Camp was ‘Remain Steadfast In Your Calling’. John Yates, who accompanied me, and I, taught mainly about the call and life of Abraham. God did some great things with people being healed of various issues. There were some of the newer believers who experienced quite dramatic deliverance and there was a real openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit each evening. One of the evenings we held a long ceremony to honour, pray for, anoint and send out the recently trained church planters of which there were six - five of whom were men and one lady. They were all going into difficult and hostile areas of India and it was very humbling to see their willingness to lay everything down for the cause of the Kingdom.
“WE HAD A WONDERFUL TRAINING AT GHAZIABAD FROM 3RD TO 6TH OF DECEMBER AND WERE HONOURED TO HAVE JOE GISBEY AND JOHN YATES (BOTH FROM UK) WITH US. THE LORD USED THEM MIGHTILY.”
IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER OF 2015, GRAHAM AND RUTH SWAFFIELD TRAVELLED TO UGANDA TO FACILITATE SEVERAL MARRIAGE MINISTRY SEMINARS IN AND AROUND KAMPALA. This mission was the dream that we had had for many years and that was to bring together the African couples that we work with in their own countries. Our idea was to get them to meet each other and see how we could take the Marriage Ministry forward in Africa as a whole.
lived by eating rubbish and refused to see people as they were dirty. Sexual and physical abuse was also present. Everyone in the room was moved to tears and a plea came that ‘no matter what happens’ think of the children as they are the ones that suffer.
We had been praying and fasting that God would take over and He would have His way. The first morning, a lady came and said she believed that a network should be formed. Within an hour another person came and said the same. He also chaired three sessions on the way forward and a co-ordinator and a secretary were chosen.
After the first weekend, we were back in the church to have a cross between an Encounter and Seminar on marriage. About 25 couples attended and about 20 people without their partners. We then travelled to Wellspring for an evening meeting. This meeting was for pastors and their wives. Just over 50 people attended and by the thanks and nods and smiles at the end, it was obviously a great time.
Apart from fellowship, we had various presentations on subjects such as money, forgiveness, no divorce and communication. One lady told her story of being left by her father and then her mother left her along with four siblings, when she was only five years old. They
The next evening saw us speaking with the youth that had been called from local churches. We split the group into small groups of 6-7 people and gave them some discussion points which we then
took up with their answers. Again many thanked us for our input. A great problem is that young ladies are being coerced into have sex outside of marriage; this issue we addressed strongly from Scripture. We wait with great expectation to see what God is going to do in Uganda. Thank you again for upholding us in prayer. God is good!
Graham and Ruth Swaffield
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.
LINKS GIFTS Training course places - Worldwide
Moringa Trees - Worldwide
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 five 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.
One kit (including spare candle) provides clean water for more than two years: £45
Setting up a family in a sustainable business helps them work their way out of poverty. Loans are repaid over six 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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SWIM FOR SAFE WATER LONDON MARATHON
Howard Williams 4:52:12 Paul Kemshell 4:59:41 Claire Alden 5:00:50 Hazel Webb 5:03:22
“I loved the experience and also the support from the people at Links and the other Links’ runners. Running for a smaller charity made my effort feel all the more important! I definitely didn’t run far enough in training and had an injury for the three weeks leading into the marathon which meant no running. This definitely didn’t help me and the last 10k were awful but, looking back now, the sense of achievement is huge!”
Ben Lowe 3:46:41
“After really bad weather back in September 2015 my channel swim was postponed indefinitely! In January 2016 I received notice that my NEW CHANNEL WINDOW would be between 27th-31st July 2016...so training is well underway. Here’s the thing - you and I can make a REAL difference - there IS the technology and ability to STOP this and give communities access to clean water. I’m doing my bit by swimming. Please join our #swimforsafewater team and consider sponsoring me - every £1 will transform someone’s life! Thank you!”
In April, Links had a team of five runners who undertook an incredible 26.2 mile run in the London Marathon to raise funds that will help us continue our work of changing lives and transforming communities around the world. By running five people, along with their donors and supporters have helped to raise a little over £7000 so far for Links.
DATE: please cut along the dotted line
Last September Alistair Beattie was set to swim 21 miles across the English Channel last September in what he has named ‘Swim For Safe Water’ to raise funds and awareness for clean water for communities in need. His swim was cancelled due to weather conditions that were beyond his control. He has continued his training and will now swim this year.
Thank you again runners! Your HUGE gift of running the Marathon for Links will make a HUGE impact in the Kingdom! WE APPLAUD YOU!
If you know someone who would be interested in running the London Marathon for Links in 2017, please have them contact our office at: email@example.com. Places go fast! 15
ENACTUS IN MALAWI
ENACTUS IN MALAWI
JUAMAJI REPORT â€“ MALAWI TRIP 2016 Andy Read writes: In March 2015 I met Josh Hasdell, who was then the leader of a student group from the University of Southampton, called Enactus. Enactus is actually a worldwide movement engaging students in creative and original development work. I could see an immediate connection. Roll the clock forward twelve months and a team from Enactus Southampton travelled to work with one of our partners in Malawi. They went to install an innovative solution to providing safe water - combined with a fish pond. They call this a JuaMaji - Swahili for Sun-Water. Working with Links International towards goals which we are mutually passionate about, such as improving access to clean water and reducing poverty, really helped us develop as a team to learn from them and make our project work. In Malawi we were lucky to have such a great team at VIBITAC who were all so enthusiastic and open to new ideas, so we are definitely confident that the project is in great hands! It was not just us bringing
over education packs to build our project, we learnt a lot from VIBITAC and the community on adapting to new conditions. By actively building one JuaMaji in Kande, Malawi, we have already empowered the community with up to 250 litres of water a day. Along with providing an income for the people that build and manage this, it will also provide clean water for the community, where a lot of the water they use comes from the lake. Some of the collected water will be used to sanitise tools in the nearby clinic reducing the risk of infections and disease. Overfishing on Lake Malawi has been a continuous problem, which we are alleviating by educating some fishermen on how to use the JuaMaji to farm fish. This will also benefit the supply
of fish in the lake helping lake fishermen with their income. As with many rural communities in developing countries, ideas and information are mostly communicated through word of mouth. A working JuaMaji within the area will inspire and educate the community on the importance of clean water, sanitation and food security, as well as improve their income and business acumen. The ideas and information resulting from this first step will hopefully become popular in nearby communities that want to also engage themselves in innovation that serves for the benefit of their community. Upon our arrival in VIBITAC on Tuesday, many of the materials we needed had already been delivered, and the ponds were excavated and ready to be worked on. Having met the team of seven
salaried builders and four carpenters we concluded with their help, that a foundation and some bricklaying would be necessary to contain the water in the ponds, as the soil was unexpectedly sandy. Having spent the first few days of work building the partitions around the first pond and laying the foundation with the team of builders, the process of installing the wooden structure over the fish pond could be started. Working with the carpenters, we set about sawing the wooden beams and nailing them together above the first pond to create the first JuaMaji frame structure. Having installed the wooden frame, the PVC pipes that Sydney had ordered were cut so they could be used as gutters to collect and direct the distilled water into the containers, and nailed to the JuaMaji.
for providing me with the opportunity to do just this. All of us in the Enactus team had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Malawi and I know for a fact that the experience, although primarily aimed at empowering others, taught us a great deal and allowed us to explore our own skills and interests.
On the last day of the trip, the final but most crucial component was added to the JuaMaji: the polyethylene sheeting on which the clean water would condense and be collected. We left VIBITAC with the first segment of plastic sheeting installed and functional, with the rest of the sheeting having since been added, and the JuaMaji completed. It has always seemed obvious to me that our role in life is to help others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves. I am eternally grateful to Links International and to the University of Southampton
Personally, the trip consolidated my decision to work within the field of international development. To work with these people has been a true blessing, with not only the wonderful people we have had the pleasure of meeting out in Malawi but also the time and contributions from the Links International team. With contributions to sustainable development at the core of Enactus Southamptonâ€™s and JuaMaji Vision it was an honour to work with people with similar ideals. We hope that in the future this will be a continuing relationship and are very excited for what the future holds for a Links International/JuaMaji collaboration. As for the friends we have made, we are excited for our continuing friendship and continuing updates on the progress of the project.
LINKS USA ON THEIR MOST RECENT TRIP TO THE USA, CEO ANDY READ AND HIS WIFE LINA A BOARD MEMBER - VISITED VARIOUS CHURCHES WHERE THEY TALKED ABOUT THE WORK OF LINKS IN THE CONTEXT OF A WIDER LOOK AT THE SUBJECT OF MISSION AND ALSO MET WITH THE BOARD OF LINKS USA.
One of those churches was a new connection for Links in Oklahoma City, - Destiny Christian Centre, which is pastored by Lawrence Neisent. Lina and I were able to speak both to the church’s high school students, and then also to the two Sunday morning congregations. One aspect that was particularly of interest there was the way in which we seek to empower our partners and work towards sustainable solutions.
We were also able to spend time in Texas with Jason and Holly Bollinger who run Links USA (and celebrate my lovely wife’s birthday all together), as well as attend the Links USA Board meeting. We enjoyed hearing more about how their Trustees and Staff are growing and also how they are investing more of their time into Central America. We are excited for how God is opening more doors into Latin America.
We had a great time in OKC, were hosted incredibly well and look forward to returning before too long!
We were also hosted brilliantly by our friends at The Abbey Church and were able to spend some fantastic time with Paul and Perrianne Brownback, our longtime friends and leaders at The Abbey. I had the privilege of speaking at one of their Sunday meetings and to their Leadership team as well which is always a wonderful time for us. As always, I have been impacted by the warmth and generosity of the people we have met while in the States. We cannot wait for the next opportunity to return.
(Andy also clearly had time for some fun with one of Pastor Neisent’s guitars!)
STRONG RELATIONSHIPS IN NICARAGUA ARE BECOMING LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS AND MISSION OPPORTUNITIES ARE BECOMING STRATEGIC INITIATIVES TO BRING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. I made my first trip to Nicaragua in early 2015 with Cliff Weaver (who is now our new Country Director for Nicaragua). We were able to visit with three partners to plot a course for future work in this beautiful country. We had a short but incredibly productive trip. Fast forward one year. We recently returned from Nicaragua to not only follow up with those three partners from last year, but we met with f ive new potential partners. The bottom line is this...God has focused our attention on Nicaragua. From our office in Texas, we can be in Nicaragua in three hours. We have a growing number of church and business leaders jumping on board to move forward in Links initiatives that will
include Micro-Enterprise Development Vocational Training, Community Healthcare Education, Next Generation Empowerment, Leadership Development, and probably much more. We have already been able to fund a small sewing cooperative that is providing income for women to leave a life of prostitution, repair a well in a small village and provide some water filters for trial. We are already at work planning to take teams to facilitate GOOD NEWS to our new friends in Nicaragua. If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in Central America, we would love to talk about taking you with us. Or, if you would like to make a financial investment for the work in Nicaragua, that would be most helpful as these are new initiatives without previous funding. Finally, we appreciate your prayers over our partners and team members as we travel back and forth.
ACT4YOU HARPERS ALL IN - UGANDA/SOUTH SUDAN In 2010, we met a wonderful couple from West Texas in Ukraine. We were in the process of adopting our girls, and they were in the process of adopting their two youngest boys. A couple of years later, we connected again as they were feeling called to missions. The Harpers are a great example of how God can interrupt ‘normal’ life with an opportunity to take GOOD NEWS to the ends of the earth. Thanks for letting me introduce you to my friends.
Jason Bollinger CEO, Links USA
Wendy and Sid Harper, along with seven of their nine children, live in Northern Uganda where they serve under Youth With A Mission (YWAM). They staff
Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Arua, Uganda and Outreach Ministry locally and in South Sudan. They have spent the past year adjusting to the culture, learning the language, and staffing the DTS at YWAM Arua. They want to continue to minister to the Ugandan, South Sudanese and Congolese people that live in this diverse area, continuing to equip more indigenous Christians to go and spread the gospel. Currently Sid is focused on equipping indigenous staff in administration, budgeting and financial counselling. He also oversees much of the building that is currently going on around the YWAM base. Wendy has joined the hospital ministry and is helping to pioneer a mobile ministry that will include follow-up care in the villages for malnourished infants and children that have been discharged from the government hospital along with educating caretakers on malnutrition prevention and bringing storytelling through the Bible to those same villages. As a family they are working with a local school to help establish a sustainable special education program for children
ZEBSTRONG FOOTBALLS with special needs. The Harpers have committed to another 2-4 years in Northern Uganda and they covet your prayers as they continue to serve there. ‘We are also in the process of adopting two sweet little Ugandans. Our life is amazing, messy, crazy, joy-filled and full of the love of Christ. We have been blessed by saying YES to God and it has changed our lives. Our family will never be the same! Please continue to pray for us as we continue to Love Big right where God has us.’
If you would like more information on the Harper family, you can follow their blog at: http://harper9.blogspot.com/.
On a recent trip to Texas, Andy and Lina Read met a couple through mutual friends there. They heard the story of how, in 2015, their grandson Zeb Montgomery, had passed away due to leukemia. Prior to his illness, Zeb had been a fine athlete, particularly keen on football (soccer). He had a vision for footballs to be given away in many nations, to gather children and young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to use a proper ball. The Montgomerys wanted to honour Zeb’s memory and his vision, and so they have set up Zebstrong - a fund that invites people to donate footballs to go out across the world. Andy and Lina requested some of these for the work of Links International and, on their most recent trip to Malawi, they were able to distribute some in villages both in the central and southern regions. To say they were popular would be an understatement! They form a part of our partners’ work into local communities – showing the love of God in many ways.
Cliff Weaver, Nicaragua Country Director, Links USA writes: ‘We handed out some soccer balls to the kids at Tres M in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, this morning for Zeb Montgomery. I told them his story and how Zeb wants them to know that God loves them. You could tell that they felt very honoured to get one of Zeb’s footballs. As we were about to leave we looked up and saw a boy walking by. He was wearing his soccer jersey with the number 7 on the back. He even told us he longs to play professional football one day. It was a humbling experience to give this young man a soccer ball and tell
him of another boy close to his age (Zeb) that also wore number 7 on his jersey. This boy was very grateful for the new ball to practise with. Zeb is changing lives by showing the love of his Father one ball at a time.You can never measure one’s impact.’ So far, Zeb’s footballs have not only been given out in Malawi and Nicaragua, they have also been given in Czech Republic, Uganda and other parts of Africa with many more to come. Follow Zebstrong on Facebook (facebook.com/zebmontgomerybenefit) or #zebstrong on Twitter
These Zebstrong footballs were also given out as part of the Nicaragua trip from Links USA in February.
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. Miriam Swaffield A Call to Courage
£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: Just want to say a big thank you for the parcel I received with the reading and audio tape material.Very much appreciated and never taken for granted. We are doing well, lots going on from mission teams to
Book, Matt Summerfield: Don’t Make History, Change the Future
evangelistic campaigns - God is good! Bless you my friends. - Colombia Thankyou to Links for another excellent parcel. I really appreciate them. I found the teaching CD and the book particularly practical and relevant, and loved the worship CD. They’re usually a long term blessing as I continue to listen to them, and learn the songs.Thankyou for your faithfulness in sending the parcels, and for the encouragement they bring. May the Lord richly bless you throughout 2016. - France
Worship CDs: Chris Bowater and Rob Newey
This is to say thank you for the materials and that we received them. And we will pass them onto our Director. He gets them and gives them to missionaries to use and they have been very good encouragement. Many thanks. - Papua New Guinea Thanks for the package of materials. THIS IS A GREAT BLESSING FOR US. - The Philippines
Matt Bell (Chairperson) // Sim Dendy // Leigh Hills // Phil Moore // Lina Read
LINKS OFFICES UNITED KINGDOM (HEAD OFFICE) PO Box 198 Littlehampton West Sussex BN16 3UQ +44(0)1903 778515 firstname.lastname@example.org linksinternational.org.uk Facebook: Linksintl Twitter: Linksintl UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 503 FM 359, Suite 130-116 Richmond, TX 77406 + 1 512 765 4657 email@example.com linksintlusa.org Facebook: LinksintlUSA Twitter: LinksintlUSA
Andy Read CEO
Lloyds TSB Bank plc North Middlesex Group, Business Centre, PO Box 2135, Marlow, SL7 3HG
Hewitt Warin Ltd Harlow Enterprise Hub, Edinburgh Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2NQ
COUNCIL OF REFERENCE
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
Links International works in association with the following ministries to present the challenge of world mission to the Church.
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.
£8 X 12 MONTHS = TRANSFORMATIONAL INVESTMENT At Links International we are always grateful for any financial gifts we receive to support our work. Whether the monetary value is high or low we realise that each and every one represents an expression of commitment, love and care for the people around the world who benefit. Of course, when donors are able to make a regular commitment that is hugely helpful. Regular giving allows us to plan, to make longer term commitments to projects and partners. In short, they help us with the sort of sustainability that we encourage in our work overseas. So, would you consider making a regular standing order to our work? Just £8 per month can make a real difference. And 100 such donations would give us nearly £10,000 to help change lives and transform communities around the world!
Please use the enclosed form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org