Hyde and Denton Methodist Circuit

Information eXchange 25
March 2016

Fuller information can be obtained by clicking on the relevant links.

All information herein is intended for use in churches in whatever form the user thinks fit. If printed, an acknowledgement of source should be included. Further Email ‘subscribers’ can be added by contacting me at gosling.jb@btinternet.com .

John B Gosling

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A church without a mission is like a blunt pencil: no point.
Gill Dascombe – from the Connexion (see below).

the Connexion Issue 4 Winter 2016.

News for whole-life, world-changing disciples in the Methodist Church.

Copies should be available in your Church foyer. Please borrow, read and return for someone else.

The title of this issue is “Giving the Green Light to Mission.” Articles include ‘Radical Hospitality’ describing the way one Circuit set aside a member of staff to develop work amongst people on the fringes of the Church or beyond; ‘Reaching Rotherham’ including work in schools and amongst the homeless etc. It is encouraging to know of these projects and to think that we, too, might be able to progress likewise.

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From World Church News, December 2015; Refugee update. A refugee speaks.

Aweis Ahmed is a refugee from Somalia, now living in Italy. He spoke to Marta Bernardini, a co-worker with the Mediterranean Hope project.

To those who ask, “Would it not have been better to remain at home rather than die in the sea?” I answer: We are neither stupid no backward. We are in despair and are being pursued. To remain would mean certain death, to go means a probable death. Which would you choose? Or better put, which would you choose for your children?

To those who ask, “What do you hope to find in Europe? If there is not even work for us here, how can there be work for others?” I answer: We seek security, a future. We hope to survive. It is not our fault that we came into the world at the ‘wrong’ place. And it is not your own doing which meant you were born in the ‘right’ part of the world.

My father-in-law fled with me. Before you get to the sea, there is the desert. It kills as many as the sea. But these bodies do not evoke any emotions as no one sees them on their screens. There are no journalists there, continually asking how many women and children have died, and how many of the women were pregnant. For here in the West it seems as though the gravity does not reach out; it needs more emotion. My father-in-law died in the desert. From hunger. After no one had given us anything to eat for 24 days At home is a wife, who will not believe the tragedy and who waits for a call, which I know she will never have. At home are leftovers of a dream; a plan, a life. A ticket for two from the touts was too expensive; they didn’t have the money. If he had stayed behind, they would both have been killed. His last present to his wife was life. As he fled, her life no longer had a value, so she was left alone.

To those who ask, “How can we prevent more deaths in the Mediterranean?” I reply: Come and see how we live, where we live, look at our schools, read our newspapers, walk along our streets, listen to our politicians. Before you enact the umpteenth law, the umpteenth order, the umpteenth special measures, get to know us. Find the answers in the places from which we are fleeing and not in the places we wish to get to.

Change the perspective, put our shoes on and try to live, as we live. You will understand that the criminals who put us in their ‘bathtubs’, the desert, the sea, the hate and the indifference, which many of us expect, are not the worst things that can happen.

The pictures is the work of Francesco Piobbichi, an artist and resident of Lampedusa. He paints the scenes unfolding on the island – giving a voice (and, indeed, hope) to those arriving on Mediterranean shores in search of refuge.

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Refugees in Asia and the Pacific. By Steve Pearce

There are many refugees in different parts of Asia and the Pacific who seldom feature in our news media. The impact of climate change may well create 250 million refugees worldwide by 2050 in places such as the Pacific islands and Bangladesh.

In areas of the Pacific, sea level is rising by 1.2cm a year – four times faster than the global average. For some of the coral-based islands only two or three metres above sea level, this has already resulted in relocation (our mission partner Julia Edwards has reported on some of these; her newsletters are available online here.

Last year the Kiribati government bought 20 sq km of land on the Fiji island of Vanua Levu, in case people needed to move. Dozens of villages in Fiji itself will soon be moved; 2,000 people from the Carteret atoll of Papua New Guinea will soon relocate to mainland Bougainville, a threehour boat trip away, because of salt intrusion and tidal damage. Also last year, engineers from Australia and Britain helped plan the relocation of Taro, a town in the Solomon Islands. The move will mark the first time a regional capital in the Pacific has been displaced for environmental reasons.

Conflict and poverty continue to force relocation in many hotspots too. In Southeast Asia, millions risk hazardous journeys in order to provide for their families. We have worked with our Partner Churches in Malaysia and Myanmar to provide ministry to those who have reached Malaysia from Myanmar and are vulnerable. We have similarly worked with partners in Pakistan to support those forced to leave.

All this movement of peoples has given human traffickers opportunities to make their unsavoury profits. And so we work across South Asia to raise awareness of this, and to help people move safely if they have to.

DONATE TO THE WORLD MISSION FUND

All the partner churches, the partner organisations, NMA postholders, scholarship students and mission partners that you regularly read about in the World Church News bulletin are supported by the Methodist Church World Mission Fund, through the sharing of both resources and personnel. You can donate online here. Alternately, send a cheque to:the Methodist Church World Mission Fund, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. Please make cheques payable to ‘Methodist Church World Mission Fund’.

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Jane smiled. ‘Don’t be frightened, my dear. Trust God. He knows so very much more than we do.... But what I say is’, she went on more cheerfully, ‘that if we do what is right as far as we can it’s all we can do. Life’s a dangerous thing, my dear, and you can’t escape that danger by staying in bed all day or making other people act for you. Don’t expect things to be easy. Why should they be? God doesn’t arrange the universe only for me - nor for you either. To listen to the way people talk in this novel of Mrs Alexander’s you’d think that every time they have a toothache God ought to be ashamed of Himself...’ Aunt Jane in Vanessa, Hugh Walpole Macmillan 1932, Part One, The Seashore

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From World Church News, November 2015

‘Mum Power’ by Elena Leoni.

My job as a physiotherapist in Kigali has been varied and rewarding, despite its many difficulties.

In Amizero, a school for disabled children, I’ve been providing physiotherapy treatment for pupils, and have helped set up a PE programme. Since April, I’ve been training the mothers of the most severe children at weekly meetings where they learn about disability, proper carrying and positioning of children, management of epilepsy, techniques to develop communication and self-help skills for daily life.

Ultimately, the training aims at making these mothers ambassadors for their children in the community; to raise awareness and remove prejudices about disability, and to support other mothers by sharing what they’ve learnt. They feel happy and proud thinking that in the near future they’ll be the ones serving others.

I was deeply touched by the mothers’ stories, telling about the pains of exclusion or rejection from family and society and their struggle to provide for their children, and blessed to see how they stand firm in faith, knowing their children are special gifts sent from God to let them learn the meaning of unconditional love.

Even though this society hasn’t learnt to accept disabled people yet, it is encouraging to see these mums’ and children’s determination: with God’s help we can change things, moving from small (but great!) steps such as having young adults volunteer to bring wheelchair-bound kids to school, something we started months ago!

From All We Can (MRDF) December 2015

Thank you for everything you do

Over the last year, your generosity, and the amazing work of our partners around the world, means that over 343,000 people living in poverty now have a better quality of life. More than 73,000 men, women and children have been provided essential emergency assistance in their time of need.

We are grateful for a year of achievement made possible by the gifts you have given, the prayers you have prayed and the campaigns you have rallied behind.

The picture is of Women from a Self Help Group supported by All We Can's partner the Srijan Foundation in Jharkhand, India celebrate together. © All We Can/Laura Cook

Find out more in All We Can's Annual Review and Report 2014/15

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Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous George Bernard Shaw

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From All We Can (MRDF) January 2016

Prayer is vital to the work of All We Can and we are encouraged by our supporters and partners who join with us in prayer.

Each month we highlight some particular issues for prayer. The prayer points for this month can be found below.

As we enter a new year we look ahead at the potential challenges facing our partners and focus countries around the world.

Ethiopia has seen one of the worst droughts in decades. Pray for our partners who support farmers who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of droughts and other environmental changes. May all who depend on the land be able to provide for their families at difficult time. Learn more about the work of our partners in Ethiopia here

Burundi continues to face political unrest after last year’s Presidential elections. Pray for stability and reconciliation in Burundi as our partners work hard to support vulnerable people in developing their livelihoods and improving their lives in this very poor country. Learn more about the work of our partners in Burundi here.

Nepal is still recovering from the devastating effects of last year’s earthquakes which killed over 8,000 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Vital rebuilding work has been held up by political disputes. Pray for communities as they repair their infrastructure, and for our partners that their work may continue effectively in this vulnerable environment. Learn more about the work of our partners in Nepal here

Uganda will be holding Presidential elections this year. Pray that they will be peaceful and reflect the will of the people. Learn more about the work of our partners in Uganda here

Jordan continues to host thousands of refugees fleeing from the conflict in Syria. Pray for the situation in Syria and for the many refugees who have been displaced. May our partners supporting refugees continue to help meet their needs. Learn more about our response to the Syrian refugee crisis here From All We Can February 2016

Finding a safe space: update from Nepal

It is now nine months since the worst earthquake in 81 years hit Nepal. Supporters gave quickly and generously at the time, enabling us to respond through our local partners as well as experienced international relief partners with specialist knowledge in supplying water and sanitation facilities, rebuilding homes and supporting communities to get back on their feet. One partner is now helping to deliver emergency shelter and sanitation support to over 40,000 people.

A homeowner stands in front of his former two-storey house, which he is helping to demolish. ©Medair/Phil Vice

Find out more here

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Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous George Bernard Shaw

 

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