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Jesus loves bikers in Peru India: a friendly, vibrant and colourful culture East Africans say, ‘Send me!’
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Is God calling you? Use your gifts to reach others for Christ. www.sim.co.uk
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From the editor Last night at the cinema I enjoyed some ‘Honey and Chilli’ peanuts. Sounds strange, but they were good. I started thinking about the popularity of ‘sweet & salty popcorn’ and other snacks that put together these contrasting tastes. There’s something very appealing about them. Although we don’t publicise a need for ‘sweet & salty’ missionaries, those who exhibit such qualities have a similar appeal. Serving in Mission’s personnel need to be ‘sweet’ in terms of loving kindness and the compassion Jesus shows. But they also need to be salty – not compromising when it comes to the gospel, and strong and gritty enough to continue to stand when the going gets tough. In our new-look magazine you will read about Ethiopian missionaries who minister to hurting Sudanese refugees (p. 6); workers in Peru who get their football boots muddy for the sake of the gospel (back cover); and others who feel the full force of the spiritual battle in Asia (p. 12). The kindness of Jesus; the strength of Jesus. We hope you enjoyed our summer issue, but we’d like to apologise for a mailing mix-up that resulted in some readers receiving multiple copies. Thanks very much to those who managed to pass on any extra magazines received. We appreciate it and trust things are back to normal now.
Contents 4 Go, be, do by Keith Walker 6 Send me! by Ruby Mikulencak 9 Dikem’s dream by Rebecca Miller 12 Serving... in a warm, vibrant, colourful culture by Giles Knight 14 Bibles for bikers by Suzanne Green 16 Editor’s picks 18 Opportunities 20 Sports Friends kicks off in South America by Neil Cantrall Cover photo: James Briggs Editor: Suzanne Green Design: IE Design Consultancy Ltd ©2013. Autumn 2013 Printed by blp ISSN 2052-8701 SIM International Director: Joshua Bogunjoko UK/Europe Headquarters Serving in Mission, Wetheringsett Manor, Wetheringsett, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 5QX t: 01449 766464 | e: email@example.com w: www.sim.co.uk Director: Keith Walker. Mobilisation Director: Ann Christian. Finance Director: Paul Gilbert. Director of Missionary Development and Care: Dorothy Haile For further Information, contact the Serving in Mission office, or your nearest regional representative. Northern Ireland: Mike Ewan t: 028 90 451451 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Together’ is an official publication of Serving in Mission, the UK branch of SIM. SIM is an interdenominational, evangelical, Protestant mission agency founded in 1893. Serving in Mission is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and Global Connections and is a charity, registered in the name of SIM International (UK). Registered Charity No. 219763. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC040432. Company Limited by Guarantee No. 611250.
Scotland: Peter Matheson t: 01449 766464 | e: email@example.com UK Central: Mary Crawford t: 01449 766464 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org UK North: Giles Knight t: 07890 580174 | e: email@example.com
Permission to reprint material must be obtained from: Serving in Mission, Wetheringsett Manor, Wetheringsett, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 5QX Tel: 01449 766464. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cambridgeshire: Rachel MacInnes t: 01449 766464 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Go, be, do by Keith Walker, UK Director
We serve in mission – whether at home in the ministry of mobilisation or working overseas. The on-the-surface challenges of mission have changed dramatically since SIM began 120 years ago. Yet Serving in Mission still needs gutsy people willing to do vital work in the Lord’s service. SIM’s first missionaries carried the Good News to mission’s frontiers. Today we continue to serve in some of the world’s most challenging places. Risks from malaria and other lifethreatening tropical diseases have become more controlled; but other risks – car crashes, criminality and hostage taking – are high on the agenda. Essentially our mission remains unchanged. We are in the Potter’s hands ready to be shaped so that we can carry the glorious gospel of Jesus to those without Him. The innate needs of men, women and children remain constant. This is my last contribution to our magazine as Director of Serving in Mission. As I think back over nearly 10 years’ worth of issues, I recall many stories of missionaries receiving a warm welcome, even when they’ve gone into predominantly Muslim communities. Two 18-year-olds playing games and sharing Bible stories with Wolof children in a Senegal village. A project in Bangladesh training young men from Muslim backgrounds in electrics and motor mechanics. A feeding programme for children in a shantytown outside Lima, Peru.
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These stories have made it clear that the quality of the missionary’s own life is essential to mission. We must live as Christians. And we’ll continue to call into service those willing to work out what it means be a Christian Go: Visit our website to in another culture. Those with a track record. Young people who have stood against the tide explore what place you might of secularism and materialism. Early retirees have in Serving in Mission: with experience of life who still have energy to www.sim.co.uk/go give. Families willing to be transplanted, and to demonstrate what it means to be a Christian Do: Contact a mobiliser near husband, wife and family.
you (see page 3).
There is much to do in mission, whatever your skill. Throughout this magazine you will find many examples of identified needs. In the frontier work of evangelism and church planting many skills can be shaped to offer points of access into local communities. Are you willing to go, to be, to do?
(Below) Playing games and sharing Bible stories with Wolof children opens door for the gospel in Senegal. Photo by Corey Garrett
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Send me! by Ruby Mikulencak
An East Africa Office has been set up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to serve the churches of East Africa in intercultural global mission. Our task is to launch East African missionaries in the international arena. The East Africa Office helps to equip, train and send those called to serve in gospel ministry. The Sending East African Missionaries project (ZZ 99685) addresses the cost of the office and some one-time expenses of the missionaries.
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World mission? Ethiopia used to be only on the receiving end. Christians from other cultures went there to preach the gospel, but the traffic was one way. However, in recent years God has been working powerfully in Ethiopia and other East African countries. Today many churches in this part of the world are involved in mobilising and sending out their own missionaries. Late in 2012 SIM Sudan missionaries sent out a call for Ethiopian evangelists who could come and preach in the refugee camps. The Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) sent out a team of short-term missionaries, who worked in the South Sudan refugee camps from 14 November to 19 December. And it was SIM’s newest mobilising office, the East Africa Office, that made the international connections and helped to make it happen. Each day the team went out in pairs and ministered to the refugees. God used them greatly, as they shared the gospel with hurting people. They met many eager listeners, who wondered if the stories they told were really in ‘the Book’, and asked other questions. The team gave out Bible portions and literature to read, consider and discuss. And they reached more than 5,000 people, with about 2,400 making decisions to follow Christ.
(Previous page) More than 5,000 refugees heard the gospel through the efforts of the Ethiopian shortterm team. Nearly half of them made decisions for Christ. Photo by James Briggs (Above) Worku Hailemariam, Director of new East Africa Office.
An SIM missionary based in Doro, South Sudan wrote about his experience with the Ethiopian team one evening: ‘Alemberhan was with Sebsibe, Belay and Salamu when we met briefly at the compound gate tonight. It was dark as they headed to their nearby compound; I was on my way to check on a patient at the clinic. We watched the night fires in ‘ One hundred and seven nearby villages, listened to distant people trusted Christ today! ’ singing from the refugee camp and talked about the day. What they exclaimed. an encouragement these men are to our hearts with their quick smiles, and ready praise! “One hundred and seven people trusted Christ today!” they exclaimed.’
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(Right) The 2012 Ethiopian team to South Sudan. (Tibarek is fourth from left and her husband, Getachew, is behind her.)
One member of the EKHC team was not new to Sudan. Tibarek’s first husband died in Sudan, the first Ethiopian missionary to lay down his life on foreign soil. At his funeral, Tibarek spoke to the thousands gathered and told them that one day, by God’s grace, she would return to Sudan. She remarried, and she and her new husband were part of the 2012 team to South Sudan. As soon as they have raised enough support, they will return again, a shining example of amazing commitment to serving God and His plan for global mission. God is using His people and His church from the majority world to be part of the mission force reaching the nations. Worku Hailemariam, Director of the new East Do: Pray for the Ethiopians Africa Office, comments, ‘The time has come for eastern Africa to send missionaries to the responding to God’s call to ends of the earth. Isaiah 6:8 says: “Whom shall serve in Sudan, and for the I send? And who will go for us?”
growing passion and vision for mission in East Africa.
‘This is the time for Ethiopians, as well as other East Africans, to take part. We have been receiving missionaries from the West for more than 100 years. Now is the time for us to be mobilising and sending out as well. We need to focus on areas where other religions are dominant, in order that everyone will have the opportunity to hear the Good News. We need to say, “Here am I. Send me”.’
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Dikem’s dream by Rebecca Miller
Dikem will never forget the first letter he ever received: his acceptance to Sudan Interior Church Secondary School. ‘It was wonderful,’ he recalls. Never mind the tough, eight-hour hike from his home near Challi through the Blue Nile State to Yabus. The school was his only option to continue his education in Sudan – its importance only magnified by a transient life moving back and forth from Ethiopia over the years. So when Yabus was bombed in September 2011 and the school had to relocate to Doro in the Upper Nile State, Dikem followed. His family joined Uduk refugees moving south to escape the bombing, eventually landing at the Doro camp.
(Above) Dikem represents the promise of what education can mean to the people of South Sudan. Photo by James Briggs
Dikem has plans for his future. The head boy at the secondary school and assistant at the SIM Nutrition Village for malnourished and undernourished children and mothers, he dreams of becoming a farmer one day, and turning the rich earth of his Blue Nile home into an agricultural enterprise. ‘Our land is plenty’, he says, ‘but we don’t have experience in planting different things and raising animals.’ The school, established by SIM in 2008, admits students from any church denomination, as well as Muslims and non-religious people. Its goal is to raise a generation who know the Lord, and are able Do: Learn more and support to contribute to the development of their others like Dikem at: country through quality education, leadership www. sim.co.uk/sicschool development and vocational skills training. Dikem represents the future and the promise of what education can mean to the people of South Sudan.
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In India there are 400 million children under the age of 15. Some 40% are born into poverty. Only 30% have functional literacy and only 15% will reach high school. Over half have been sexually abused. Who will tell these vulnerable children that, with Jesus, there is nothing to fear? Opportunities to serve include teaching and sports ministries.
Photo by Jo Ellen Alfano
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Serving… in a warm, vibrant, colourful culture by Giles Knight
(Right) The vibrancy, colour and energy of the Indian culture make a great impact on visitors. Photo by Jo Ellen Alfano
One of the challenges of my job as a mobiliser for Serving in Mission is to speak with knowledge about the 40+ countries where the Mission works. I have personal experience as a missionary in West Africa, but a recent trip to India certainly opened my eyes to the continent of Asia.
‘I have personal experience as a missionary in West Africa, but a recent trip to India certainly opened my eyes to the continent of Asia.’
Travelling in the north, my wife and I visited various ministries and met many faithful expatriate workers. But it was the friendliness of the Indian people and the vibrancy, colour and energy of the culture that
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made an impact on us. With my passion for cricket, it was not difficult for me to find something to talk about with strangers. Indeed many young people were only too willing to offer me a chance to join their game. Whether we were on city streets or in villages, on trains or in rickshaws, the warmth of the people was evident.
(Below) With his passion for cricket, Serving in Missionâ€™s Mobiliser Giles Knight had no trouble making friends!
India has vast human resources, as well as desperate human need. We had an unforgettable meeting with those helping trafficked teenage girls. This life-changing ministry, now firmly established in one major city, invests a great deal of time, energy and expert help in every victim to bring healing and wholeness. Indeed all of the work we saw, including medical, theological education, and church-planting ministries, requires people willing to make long-term investment in relationships and language and culture learning. Serving in Mission sends medical personnel to Duncan Hospital, situated in the poorest state in India. A large community of dedicated Indian believers provides vital medical services, and runs a school, leprosarium and wide variety of development projects in the area. Thereâ€™s still a place for those who are willing to work in humble partnership with local people, with great respect for their customs and culture. Our visits to some of Hinduismâ€™s holy cities impressed upon us the intensity of the spiritual battle in India. Workers going to such places need to be ready for battle, trusting God to help them face opposition, hostility and needs far beyond their own resources. But for those who are called, there are tremendous opportunities to engage with friendly, spiritually open people.
Go: Visit our website to learn more about the current opportunities in India: www.sim.co.uk/go Do: Pray that God will call more people willing to serve in this vibrant nation.
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Bibles for bikers by Suzanne Green
Starting a conversation with a stranger is often difficult – unless we have something obvious in common. For Percy Valiente, who serves with SIM in Peru, owning a motorcycle is that ‘something’. ‘Having a motorcycle links you right away with another biker, especially if you have a bike that is admired by others,’ says Percy, who enjoys riding his Harley. The first member of the Peru chapter of the international Christian Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA), he seeks to lead others to Christ through natural friendships that spring from a common interest. The goal of the CMA is to reach out to bikers, many of whom lead troubled lives and are tackling life’s ‘uphill struggles’. Percy and the other members make themselves available to counsel those with spiritual, emotional or marital problems. ‘I have discovered that as many as 70% of the motorcyclist community here have marital problems,’ says Percy. ‘Most people are divorced or separated.’ He hopes that in the near future the CMA will be able to offer a marriage conference to all of Peru’s motorcycle clubs, free of charge. ‘Since we are relatively new within the motorcyclist community,’ Percy explains, ‘my primary and immediate
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(Previous page) The first member of Peru’s Christian Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA), Percy Valiente (second from left) seeks to lead others to Christ through natural friendships that spring from a common interest. Photo by Percy Valiente (Left) There are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles in Lima, and in many cities motorcycles are the primary means of transport.
objective is to make friends with the presidents of Peruvian motorcycle clubs, and to make it clear that CMA Peru is not just another club. Rather, we are here to help their members in any way we can. Ultimately, of course, we would like to lead them to a relationship with Christ.’ In December 2012 the CMA took part in Peru’s ‘Motorcycle Day’ event. Many bikers visited their stand, and nearly 100 left their name and e-mail address. One man asked Percy to speak to participants from the Bible. Percy did this, and also prayed, asking God to bless the organisers and all the bikers present with a Do: Pray that this new ministry saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. will be used by the Lord to The CMA began in the United States in the bring salvation to many. 1970s as an outreach to bikers. It was widely accepted and extended to other countries in Europe, South Africa, Oceania and Latin America. In South America it exists in Argentina, Paraguay and, since 2012, in Peru. There are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles in Lima, and in many cities motorcycles are the primary means of transport. This opens the door to countless opportunities to share Christ.
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B&B in South Sudan
When it was time to turn in for the evening, we were taken to a small cluster of mud tukuls... two of the men pulled two string beds out of the tukuls and then headed off into the bush. They returned with two more beds. Not only had they sacrificed their own beds for us, they had taken their neighbours’ beds too! … I could not get over how willing these people are to sacrifice their best for others… It was so humbling to see the gratitude they had for us coming to spend time with them. The icing on the cake was when they slaughtered a pig for our lunch... Do: Read more from Paul and Sarah in South Sudan at: http://paulandsarahinsouthsudan.blogspot.co.uk/
New website / online magazine We launched our new Serving in Mission website in June. Visit: www.sim.co.uk for the latest news and to get involved by praying, going or giving to mission. We now produce an electronic version of Together. Go to www.sim.co.uk/ magazine to sign up for future issues.
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Come and say hello! We will be at the Keswick Convention with our Serving in Mission stand 13 July – 2 August. We’d love to talk to you! We’ll also be at the UCCF Forum in September so, students, look out for the Serving in Mission stand there!
What a gift! Last Sunday at church the youth leader said he had a little gift for everyone. He passed round Bible verses on pieces of paper. The response of one of the young people blew me away. She said, ‘This is not a little gift. This is a huge wonderful gift!’ Wow! What a concept! And she is right. But what 15-year-old girl do I know who would respond in such a way? Do: Read the full post from Stevie in Benin at: http://stevieinafrica.wordpresscom/2013/02/27/ what-a-gift/
‘ Prayer is not what we do when there is nothing else that we could do, humanly speaking. Prayer is what we do because it is the only source of power by the Spirit of God working in us. Prayer is an expression of our dependency on God and our recognition that without Him we can do nothing.’ Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International Director
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Opportunities Incredible India! Join a four-month multicultural team that will have an impact on you and the people you minister among. This experience will open your eyes to what God is doing and the possibilities for sharing the love of Christ with people groups in this â€˜Incredible Indiaâ€™. PRF 8477
HIV and AIDS ministry to women and children, South Sudan Do you have a heart focused on reaching out to women and children? Do you want to see them educated in the biblical view of HIV and AIDS? If you are willing to spend time in remote villages learning a new language, building relationships with women and children and speaking to them about Jesus, this opportunity may be for you. PRF 8305
Communication officer, East Africa Office Our new East Africa Office in Ethiopia needs creative help to communicate the work, vision, and ministries of its missionaries. We need you for a two-and-ahalf month internship to produce captivating articles and photos! Come and help us tell the stories of new missionaries going from East Africa to other parts of the world. PRF 8775
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Church planter, Ghana We want to see a healthy church in every Sisaala community in northern Ghana. Come learn the Sisaala language to a level where you can teach and preach, and then work alongside local church leaders in evangelising, discipling, nurturing churches and training leaders. This is a challenging position in a remote location, but a very rewarding ministry. PRF 836
Sports Friends trainer and mentor, Peru Is God calling you to use your passion for sport to serve Him? Sport can have a dynamic impact on a community. A Sports Friends trainer and mentor equips coaches and church planters to use sport as a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship. Our vision is that hundreds of Peruvian sports ministers and coaches will be an influence on young people looking for purpose and hope. PRF 8667
English teachers Let your heart for evangelism loose as you teach English as a second language, building relationships and sharing your faith with your students.
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Sports Friends kicks off in South America by Neil Cantrall
Earlier this year I took part in Sports Friends’ Basic Training in Lima, Peru. This four-day event was a good reminder of just how powerful and effective sports ministry can be in the lives of children, young people and adults.
(Above) Neil Cantrall (back centre) wants to help Peru’s young people come into a relationship with Christ. Football comes second. Photo by Abraham Olivera
Of the nearly 40 participants, I was one of the few foreigners, aside from the teaching staff. The majority of the trainees were sent by their churches to learn how to effectively start a sports ministry. People came from Lima, Pisco, Ica and Arequipa. We played some serious football. But we also studied Scripture together every day, learning how to integrate God’s Word with quality training and competition.
Currently I help run a football ministry in Arequipa with Abraham Olivera. The children and young people who train with us twice a week have very few resources or opportunities to play. But through our programme they are provided with a beautiful grassy field, Go: To see opportunities equipment and Bible teaching.
to serve with Sports Friends visit www.sports-friends.org
Do: Pray that South American Christians will start sports ministry programmes in their communities, and that many young people will come to the Lord through sport.
Our goal is to eventually leave this work in the hands of the local church. We want the church body to lead the program and to see its potential for outreach and local ministry. We focus on the children and young people in the area: football comes second. Our desire is to plant this ‘call to ministry’ in the churches of Arequipa.
The magazine of Serving in Mission, the UK branch of SIM.