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tear Autumn 2013


The road less travelled Paths out of poverty in Cambodia Lost innocence Restoring Syrian childhoods Going viral How hope is spreading in Uganda

Be part of a miracle


Sina’s story


he Bible has a way of penetrating through to my heart, mind and soul even when I least expect it, and I love it. I get a fresh glimpse of how amazing and how faithful God is.

Take a moment to read again this verse from Psalm 139: ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?’ The answer, of course, is ‘nowhere’. No one on earth is beyond God’s reach.

Sharan Kelly, Chief Executive

That’s true of Sina, as you’ll see opposite. She lives right on the margins of her village and of society. Yet, even here, God is reaching out, through the local church, to show Sina that he cares. God’s love reaches orphans and vulnerable children hidden away in institutions in Cambodia as organisations like M’lup Russey work to find them caring families (see page 6). And, even in their darkest despair, Syrian refugees are seeing God’s compassion at work through our partners in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon (see page 10). Sometimes God asks us to go with him to those places that seem ‘beyond reach’ in the world’s eyes. Asks us to go where we fear to tread. Asks us to step in when the situation looks desperate. Asks us to give when we feel we can’t. But even when we’re out of our comfort zone – and perhaps especially then – God makes his presence felt and reminds us that he’s Lord. I know that your prayer and giving to Tearfund are acts of faith. Looking at poverty is painful: it’s easier to look away. By supporting us, you choose to hope, even when things look hopeless. So thank you for your faithfulness and your faith. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone, for daring to hope. Our Walk of Hope in October (see back page) is all about that – so do join us.

Sharan Kelly Chief Executive

Tearfund We are bringing hope and demonstrating love to the most vulnerable and marginalised people – through the local church.

tear Autumn 2013


The road less travelled poverty Paths out of in Cambodia Lost innocence Restoring Syrian childhoods Going viral How hope is spreading in Uganda

miracle Be part of a www.tearfun


Cover photo: With support from Open Arms Church in Newbridge, restavek boys and girls at Bellevue Baptist Church in Haiti, like six–yearold Juliène Saintanier, receive an education, spiritual and psychological support, and a hot meal before class.

GET IN TOUCH WITH US! Tearfund Ireland 2nd Floor, Ulysses House 22–24 Foley St, Dublin 1 Tel: 01 878 3200 © Tearfund Ireland 2013. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for the reproduction of text from this publication for Tearfund Ireland promotional use only. For all other uses, please contact us.

The road less travelled: Sina’s story Sina’s life is like a treadmill and every day she fears she may fall off the edge. But now the local church is offering a path out of poverty, writes Niamh Daly. Sina’s life is at a crossroads – you can choose to help families like hers overcome hunger this harvest. Photo: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund.


ina lives with her husband and three sons in Tonle Batie village, Cambodia. ‘I feel like I have nothing,’ says Sina. And at first glance, this looks to be true. Cambodia’s government gives the poorest people ‘poor cards’ rated one to three – one being allocated to the poorest of the poor. Sina’s card is a number one. Sina’s family can’t afford to buy a ‘proper’ house or land, so they live in a one-room shack built with their own hands using scrap materials. There’s no electricity, no running water, apart from the dirty tributary outside the house, and no sanitation – Sina and her neighbours use a nearby field as a toilet.

Next to nothing This tiny home sits precariously on the edge of the village. Because it’s built on governmentowned land, Sina wakes up each morning wondering if today is the day her family will be moved on.

Bora, Sina’s husband, is poorly educated, so his employment options are scant, low paid and unstable. At times, he must work away for weeks at a time, leaving Sina and the children alone. Sina strives to provide healthy food for her growing boys, but she can’t afford much. On the good days, they’re able to catch some fish or snails in the dirty river. Sina often goes without much food so there’s more for her children – and it shows. Her youngest son, Den, was born just fiveand-a-half months ago, but this 28-year-old breastfeeding mother is as slight as a school girl.

Something special Despite her material poverty, you only need to spend a little time with Sina to realise that she has more than nothing. In fact she has something special.

Tearfund Ireland. Registered Charity No. CHY 8600

autumn 2013 teartimes

autumn 2013 teartimes


Sina’s story Sina has strength and determination. And for the sake of her children, she holds on to the hope that the future can be better than the present. She’s powerfully motivated by the desire to build a safe and secure life for her children, and she has some ideas for how this might be achieved.

‘If I had some land, where I could grow vegetables to sell and feed to my children, and maybe raise some chickens to sell at market, I would be so happy.’ But even these simple things are beyond Sina’s reach at the moment. Although she knows the way to improve things, she feels powerless to take this path.

A better path Down the road, with Tearfund’s support, the local church has started an exciting new project to help villagers to work as a group to identify some of the reasons they are poor and think of fresh ways to start tackling their poverty. Then, group members start learning new skills, as well as sharing the time and resources they already have, to turn these ideas into reality. People are already benefiting. For example, villagers with no land have managed to borrow spare plots to start growing vegetables together – a new way of doing things in Tonle Batie. Others have started a chicken-breeding project, helping more and more people as eggs are hatched and shared with others. Like Sina, those involved used to think they had nothing, but now they are starting to see that they have more than they thought.

Sina struggles to provide for her family, including her young son Den – but her local church is starting income-generating programmes in her community. Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund.

The church is piloting the project with 21 families who are already part of the congregation, so they can show the wider village and its leaders that this way of beating poverty really works. After that, in the next year, their plan is to roll out the project to the rest of the village. But, to be able to expand the project successfully, they need long-term committed support – both prayers and finances.

There’s no electricity, no running water, apart from the dirty tributary outside the house, and no sanitation.

The choice is yours By pledging your support, you will enable more churches across the world to reach out with confidence to whole communities – right to the very edges, to people like Sina. If this happens, Sina will be given the opportunity to take part. Thanks to you, a new


autumn 2013 teartimes

autumn 2013 teartimes

world could be opened to her, in which she has the choice to take her family down a different path. Right now, Sina has no choice. Right now, the choice is yours. Please share Sina’s story with your church by using our 2013 autumn church resource pack and help us raise vital prayer and financial support to help her and others like her.

Order your autumn church pack and arrange to have a Tearfund speaker come to your church now. Call the office on 01 878 3200 and speak to Emma Lynch or email her on


Another way

Another way – Placing the lonely in families in Cambodia Cambodia is finally shaking off the spectre of its violent past. But the country’s orphanages remain a painful legacy, writes Markus Köker.

Sarah Chhin Country Adviser, M’lup Russey, Peter Power ED UNICEF Ireland, Joe Costello TD, Minister for Trade and Development, Right Reverend Harold C Miller, The Bishop of Down and Dromore, Sharan Kelly CEO Tearfund Ireland.

Civil war and the brutality of the Khmer Rouge cast a long shadow but Cambodia is starting now to assert a new identity as its economy grows. Yet, Cambodia remains one of the poorest nations in the world. The plight of children institutionalised in orphanages is one of the cruellest legacies of its past. Almost 10,000 children are cared for in the more than 250 orphanages registered in Cambodia, according to our partner, M’lup Russey; many more orphanages go unregistered. The number of orphanages has increased sharply in recent years. This care model is decades-old and largely unquestioned. Very few are given the life skills they need to become independent. A survey of 27 young people who had previously been in orphanages found that all 27 had been homeless at some point, 24 survived on less than US$1 a day and 19 were experiencing ‘extreme sadness and distress’(IOFA, 2011). M’lup Russey believes there is another way. Its Country Adviser, Sarah Chhin, is passionate in her belief that children are best cared for in families – whether by relatives, friends or foster carers. 6

Sarah is leading the charge and showing how faith-based organisations can offer a viable alternative to the status quo. Speaking at the recent Unicef and Tearfund joint launch of Unicef’s Partnering with Religious Communities for Children report, Sarah pointed out that most children living in orphanages are not orphans. ‘The tragedy is that most of them have become disconnected and alienated from [parents or relatives],’ she says. ‘It is not that there are orphanages because there are orphans; there are orphans because there are orphanages. And those who do not have relatives also have the right to be brought up in a family.’ M’lup Russey is the only programme in Cambodia which helps children in residential care become reintegrated into families – whether with their own parents, relatives or foster parents. It’s working with the government and Unicef to this end – and fits well with Tearfund’s focus on sustainable, cost-effective, family-based care. They offer youths coming out of orphanages the safety net of a ‘back-up family’ as they find their feet in society. And M’lup Russey trains caregivers and has been involved in helping government ministers draft policy on standards of care and alternative care. And its lobbying has borne fruit. In February 2012, the Ministry of Social Affairs in Cambodia announced a new policy promoting familybased care. In time, the government hope orphanages will become ‘community centres’ that strengthen and support families. As Psalm 68:6 says, ‘God sets the lonely in families.’ M’lup Russey has grasped God’s heart for vulnerable children and is building his kingdom here on earth.

autumn 2013 teartimes

PULL SINA BACK FROM THE BRINK SINA LIVES ON THE EDGE. ON THE EDGE OF THE VILLAGE, ON THE MARGINS OF LIFE. SHE’S IN DANGER OF FALLING. But she is not forgotten. The local church is helping villagers like Sina beat poverty. They’re pulling them back from the brink and helping them build a future that’s safe and secure. But people like Sina need your support. Around the world, churches are reaching out to whole communities, right to the edges. Can you help them stretch further? Please make a regular gift to Tearfund and make life secure for many more like Sina. Today, tomorrow and beyond.

A regular gift of €7 a month for one year could give 12 people like Sina the chance to learn skills such as breeding chickens to sell for extra income.

GO TO WWW.TEARFUND.IE/DONATE OR RING 01 878 3200 TODAY autumn 2013 teartimes


M is si on im po ss ib le

Am azi ng Tru e Sto ry

Starting from nothing t’s not inesses from nothing. But tha en say they started their bus wallet ir the in nds Business entrepreneurs oft pou ybe just a few ing, maybe just an idea, ma and ties uni ort opp see quite true; they had someth eone special to put to good use. It takes som d elle lab n bee e hav but something they could ia ple in Cambod you have nothing. The peo g usin s, sse ine potential when it seems like bus g their own with your help they’re startin k big – the poorest of the poor but h and determination to thin fait the got chickens. They’ve eone som ’re You m. what they have – just a few the so they can sell multiplying their numbers the and you de breeding the chickens and insi the potential n your eyes so you can see special too – ask God to ope . opportunities all around you

Brai n- bogg lin g brai nc el l ch al le nge

Challenge your braincell


rt saying Jesus Can you remember this sho rk 10 verse 27? said to his disciples in Ma

‘All things are possible wi

th God.’

re’s nothing God can’t do… in-boggling… just think, the your It’s short but it’s pretty bra case. Get him involved in happen when God’s on the ible. oss imp the that means anything can do e in and ying and inviting him to com impossible situations by pra

What do you have in your house that God could use to bless other people? Old toys you could give away or sell to raise money?

Think about it Pennies and coins down the back of the sofa that you could collect in a jam jar? What about your talents – can you clean cars or make cakes?

your Bible in 2 Kings 4 Fill in the gaps. Read it for yourself in have gone missing from verses 1 to 7 and find the words that this version of an amazing true story.

The widow’s oil

__ cried out to the prophet company of the ____________ the m fro __ ___ ___ ___ ___ a of The wife revered the Lord. But now _____ and you know that he ___ ___ ___ is d ban hus my t Elisha, ‘Your servan __ as his slaves.’ ______________ ____________ my e tak to ing com is or his credit have in your house?’ you? Tell me what do you __ ___ ___ ___ ___ I can w ‘Ho Elisha replied to her, le ______________.’ all, she said, ‘except a litt at re the ng thi no has t ‘Your servan ask just for a few. for ______________ jars. Don’t s our ghb nei r you all ask Elisha said, ‘Go around and all the jars and as each is and your sons. Pour oil into you ind beh r doo the t shu Then go inside and filled, put it to one side.’ brought the jars to her ind her and her sons. They beh r doo the t shu ard erw another one.’ She left him and aft she said to her son, ‘Bring me , full re we jars the all en Wh and she kept ______________. ________ flowing. a jar left.’ Then the oil ______ But he replied, ‘There is not ________ the oil and pay sha), and he said, ‘Go ______ (Eli d Go of n ma the d tol She went and t.’ sons can live on what is lef your debts. You and your


e jam jar code

th Can you smash

Draw on your im aginatio n

15 11 14 MY BIG, BO


There are lots of opportunities around you to raise money to help others who don’t have much.

R Father God, thank you th at you can take som ething small, and turn it into a huge blessing for lots of people. Than k you that yo u have amazing way s of providin g for me, and others w ho live in wha t seem to be imposs ible situatio ns . Please open my eyes so I can see the potential yo u’ve placed in si de me and the opportunitie s all around me. Amen.

You can put lots of things in a jam jar – bugs, flowers, pennies, even jam! What are you going to draw in your jam jar? How many different things can you get inside? autumn 2013 teartimes

autumn 2013 teartimes


1 10 3



9 5




8 4

5 2

Write the de-coded message below:





4 CODE A=1 C=2 D=3 E=4 F=5 H=6 I=7 K=8 M=9 N = 10 O = 11 R = 12 T = 13 U = 14 Y = 15

___ ___ ____ ___ __________

Jam jar answer: You can make the difference


at d p U

Syria update

Lost innocence: update on Syria


asimah’s story is chilling but not uncommon among the thousands of Syrian child refugees. She saw her home in Homs destroyed, her brother shot. Her family fled for their lives. She is just one of almost 473,000 Syrians who have escaped to Jordan – and one of the many supported through our Syria Crisis appeal, which has raised more than €60,000 so far. Home for Basimah and her family is now a camp where Tearfund is providing essentials like food packs, blankets, medicines and kitchen tools. It’s evident from listening to Basimah that she has not fully left the conflict behind. She relives it often. ‘The army attacked us and our whole house was completely destroyed,’ says Basimah. ‘There was nothing left and we couldn’t stay. We fled for Jordan and arrived at the border at night. ‘The Syrian police started shooting at us and a bullet hit my brother’s head. We were all very afraid. We had to go to prison for a while.

‘We went through a lot of difficult circumstances. Later we tried to enter Jordan and thank God this time we were successful. We got medical treatment for my brother and he is okay now.’ The trauma that Syria’s children are living with is clear too in the artwork they are producing with Tearfund partner Vision Hope International (see image). It is providing pre-school education, as well as ongoing trauma care through play and art therapy. Many children talk of losing family members, seeing homes destroyed, fearing death. Other Tearfund partners are providing emergency food, funding for accommodation and other essentials for refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Thank you for your generous support. Please give further if you can at

Update from inside Syria… Desperate hunger among families in the Wadi Nasara region of Syria is being addressed by Tearfund partner FMEEC. Since May, FMEEC has been using emergency grants from Tearfund to distribute food to both Christian and Muslim families, after a survey revealed that 70% of people were unemployed, and 93% of families were without food. ‘The needs are so great that our partner has to be discreet, so as to not be overwhelmed by new requests for assistance,’ says Tearfund’s Country Representative, Morag Gillies. ‘FMEEC team members are regularly conducting home visits to assess the vulnerability of families and the level of their need.’


autumn 2013 teartimes


Interview – Priscilla Reid

ting c e f n i e r a s r tne Tearfund par hope h t i w s e i t i n commu Interview with Priscilla Reid other and grandmother Priscilla Reid celebrated her 60th birthday in Ogongora, Uganda. Priscilla and husband Paul have been released from leadership at Christian Fellowship Church Belfast, to serve and encourage other churches at home and abroad. Their visit to Uganda was to see how Pentecostal Assemblies of God is helping 81,000 people lift themselves out of poverty – and left Priscilla utterly inspired.

What was your most memorable moment? We met Lillian, a mother who often watched her three children go hungry. She explained that she had been ‘awakened’ by a Tearfund programme in her church to do something for herself and not wait for others. ‘Thank God, he saw our struggles and brought this programme to us to deliver us from poverty,’ she declared, as she showed us her pigs and chickens, her orchard and crops. Oh, that my heart could ring with such gratitude!

As a church leader, what struck you about churches in Uganda? The spirit of generosity in the churches we visited was humbling, not only in their hospitality towards us but also in their generosity to one another. Evas, a young mother, proudly showed us her first harvest of beans and said, ‘Now I can tithe.’

‘The principles... we’re seeing bein g lived out here are principles for all of us to live by . Own this work, get behind this work, give yo urself to it.’ David McClay, Di rector of New W ine Ireland autumn 2013 teartimes

Priscilla Reid in Kyanga village

What impact did you see Tearfund’s partners make? Passion is irresistible and Tearfund partners are infecting their communities with hope. I was deeply touched by the pastors we met, who were passionate about empowering women with the truth of their value to God and lifting them out of poverty.

Having visited our partners, what would you like to say to our supporters? I want to shout from the rooftops that every Euro that you give to Tearfund produces an unprecedented return. You would not make a wiser or more productive investment. We met men and women of integrity, faithful followers of Jesus whose names you will never know but who are transforming lives and communities for the glory of God. • Want to infect your community with hope? Take part in our October mid-term Walk of Hope (see back page).

of the ses the challenge ‘Tearfund addres the kingdom of in r efforts to br g ou of y ilit ab in susta rld. It’s simple: t corners of the wo God to the poores ch in these areas. y of the local chur the world. build the capacit pe that is the ho of ch ur ch l ca lo e th It is AOG Ireland PJ Booth, leader of 11

When families are struggling PRAY that children living in situations of war, or in refugee camps, would be kept safe and that God would provide for their needs.

PRAY for children who have been forced into work and ask God to send people to free them from this slavery and exploitation.

PRAY for those in government, local leadership and other positions of power that they would make good and wise decisions that serve children and their families well.

When families are broken PRAY for the hearts and minds of children hurt by family break-up or traumatised by domestic abuse to be healed and set free.

PRAY for local organisations working to bring an end to human trafficking and child marriage. Pray for protection from further exploitation.

PRAY for family relationships in the different situations we’ve described, where there has been abuse or trafficking – pray for God’s forgiving power to be present and for families to be healed and restored.

When families are absent PRAY that children living without families would know God as a heavenly Father and would feel his love, guidance and protection.

This excerpt from Viva’s World Weekend of Prayer 2013 booklet is reproduced here by kind permission of Viva. 12

PRAY for children living on the streets, that God would keep them safe from drugs, alcohol, violence, gang culture and abuse or exploitation.

PRAY that our churches would find ways to become ‘family’ for children living without their own; perhaps encouraging fostering or adoption, starting new ministries or committing to pray regularly for children.

Will you pray with us? 13


Quizzical fundraisers

From left, Niamh Daly (Tearfund), Michael and Sandie Lennon, Michael Duffy (quiz master), and Emma Lynch (Tearfund).

Would your church or community group like to host a table quiz to raise funds for Tearfund’s overseas projects? The wonderful quiz master, Michael Duffy, has offered to run a quiz for anyone keen to host one. To get in touch with him, contact Emma Lynch on 01 878 3200. Our congratulations to Michael and Sandie Lennon who scooped first prize at our recent Tearfund Table Quiz in Smithfield, at which Michael was quiz master.

Presidential encounter

Tearfund staff had the very special privi lege of meeting with Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtarái n, at an event to show the president’s support and thanks for the work of Irish NGOs over seas. From left: Markus Köker, Tearfund Intern ational Programmes Manager; Niamh Daly, Tearf und Marketing Manager; President of Irelan d Michael D Higgins; Sharan Kelly, Tearfund Chief Execu tive; and Richard Phillips, Tearfund Director.



Campaigning works!

Born free

The Master of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, recently praised the maternal care work of Tearfund’s project in Malawi. In appreciation of his support, Vincent Mayo, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Malawi, presented him with a framed photo of baby Jesse born without HIV to HIV-positive parents in Kamwe village, Malawi, in September 2012.

Prayer for Malawi Malawi has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. In rural areas, life expectancy is just 43 years. Tearfund’s work in Malawi aims to reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child, and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV. The local church is training church leaders and members to encourage HIV testing and greater involvement in antenatal care – especially among men. Please pray for Tearfund’s team in Malawi who are overseeing this work.

es, Members of the team from Holy Trinity Church, Rathmin of the Dublin who visited Tearfund’s work in Malawi as part Connected Church programme last year.

autumn 2013 teartimes

When G8 leaders gathered in Fermanagh this summer, they were met by the big IF. Tearfund campaigners joined with many other NGOs to ensure that ending world hunger was high on the agenda at the talks. The ten-point declaration produced at the summit included many of the things the IF campaign had been calling for. On tax dodging, we can celebrate the commitment that both rich and poor countries will start exchanging tax information automatically – so it’s not secret any more. But we need a clear timeline for when it will happen. The G8 discussed land grabs for the first time and some useful partnerships were agreed. But far more is needed. The G8 committed to keep its promise of $100 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to climate change, but failed to say where it’ll come from. The G8 announced that all developing countries should have the information they need to clamp down on tax dodging. All this is great – and more than we expected – but there’s still more work to be done. autumn 2013 teartimes


As part of Derry’s European City of Cultu re celebrations, the wonderful Belfast Community Choir, directed by Marie Lacey, will be performing in Lisneal College, Derry, on Saturday 28 September, in aid of Tearfund. Tickets are €14 (€12 concession). It’ll be a lively evening of hand-clapping, foot-stomping and great music – one not to be missed! We have a supply of tickets especially for our Donegal supp orters or anyone else wishing to travel: please call us if you’re interested.


Any plans for mid term? For details of our Walk of Hope fundraiser, see the back cover. Go on a journey that will change your life. A gap year adventure… family trips… 2–4 week trips or a grou p trip… Please contact the office for more information. The appli cation deadline for travelling with Tearfund in January is 5 October.

Self-assessing deadline – 31 Octobe

r 2013

Donation receipts for 2012 can be poste d or emailed to you on request from the office. Make your donation go further!


Could you organise a bag-packing fund raiser in your local supermarket? Packing customers’ shop ping in return for a small donation to Tearfund has proved a really worthwhile and rewarding experience in the past. Contact Emm a in the office for T shirts, details on how to book a slot and info on potential spot prizes that can add some excitement to your even t.

In time for Christmas

Cork Christmas Market Following last year’s success, the Cork Christmas market will take place on Saturday November 30 at the Carrigrohane Parish Centre, Ballincollig, Cork. Fashion Fever at the Riasc, a nearly new sale of jewellery, handbags, clothes and more, on Saturday Nove mber 23, from 10am – 4pm at the Riasc Centre Swords, Dublin




Tearfund’s NEW YEARS EVE party at the Riasc centre in Kinsealy will combine ceilidh dancing, traditiona l music, fun and food for an evening that will be a great start to the new year for all ages. Tickets are available from the office: special rate for families.

Looking ahead to 2014

Watch this space for Tearfund’s Got Talen t, coming in the new year. Start practising that musical instrument, learn ing the lyrics to your favourite song or putting the final touches to your magic show – this is your opportunity to shine! 15

WALK FOR TEARFUND AND SPREAD A LITTLE HOPE Poverty, hunger, disease... it would be easy for Sina to give up. Despair spreads easily. But so too does hope. Sina has some ideas about how to build a safe and secure life for her children. ‘If I had some land, where I could grow vegetables, and maybe raise some chickens to sell at market, I would be so happy,’ she says. Hope is contagious. Want to spread it around? Join us in our Walk of Hope this October mid term and raise vital funds to change lives.

Meet at BRAY Dart Station FOR Walk to Bray Head on Monday Oct 28 at 12 noon

Organise your own event or join one of ours. Strike out and hit back at hunger.

‘Tearfund partners are infecting communities with hope.’ Belfast church leader Priscilla Reid

Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

Call 01 878 3200

Teartimes Magazine Autumn 2013  
Teartimes Magazine Autumn 2013