Thank You From Megan Creamer From Her Mission

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I am Megan Creamer and I am a Drama student at Royal Holloway. Early on in my first year, September 2016, I decided that I wanted to make Christchurch Virginia Water my church family whilst studying and they have been generous enough to give me funding towards my mission trip this summer. I am spending three months over the summer in America specifically in western Pennsylvania  at a Salvation Army summer camp called Allegheny for under privileged kids from Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.

 

This job is not an easy one and I have seen a lot and faced some great struggles. Many of the children that I am working with are in the foster care system or are cared for by someone other that their parents. Some of them are clearly at camp because it is a cheap way to get rid of the kids for a week or so which is really sad to see. Here at camp we try to show them love, we give them a good fun week and teach them what we can about Jesus in the process. It is a brilliant but challenging experience to see how the kids develop through the week. Each child gets the chance to invite Jesus into their life during the week that they spend here.

 

I would like to thank the church for their generous donation towards my work here this summer and I look forward to sharing more of my experience when I am back at Royal Holloway and at Christchurch in the new term.

 

If you are interested in doing a mission of this nature, please do contact me at meg1598@outlook.com. Here is a story of one camper, Re’Ann… She was a  lovely girl, she was only 5 which was too young for camp but she came anyway. One day she was not following instructions and we were telling her off when she froze on the spot and became unresponsive. It took over an hour to get her to even shake or nod her head in response to anything we said. This was very difficult as we were aware of this being a response to past trauma that would induce fear in her when in trouble. Through her week at camp we worked with her to show her our care, love and understanding. She grew in confidence and spirit as a result, which was lovely to see.

 

Tearfund Update

Tearfund thank you for all your support

Christ Church gave £2,000 to Tearfund for the East Africa Crisis Appeal. Here’s a 1 minute video saying thank you.

Ben Niblett

 

Volunteering Opportunity At The Street Child World Cup 2018

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New Generation Burundi has been invited to take part in Street Child World Cup 2018 in Moscow May 19-27th 2018. The event will see 24 teams (12 boys & 12 girls) of former street children aged 15-18 take part in a soccer tournament, a street child conference and arts workshops. There will be over 100 volunteers from the UK and elsewhere travelling to Moscow to help run the event, and applications are open. Read more…..

 

The objective of the SCWC is to have a high profile soccer event immediately before the FIFA World Cup which highlights the way that street children are treated in many countries and which creates a platform for a global campaign that “no child should have to sleep on the streets. “

 

The first Street Child World Cup (SCWC) took place in Durban in 2010 when our then mission partner, Umthombo, hosted an 8-team tournament. Then a new charity was created, Street Child United, which organized the Rio SCWC in 2014 which saw over 200 street children, 75 project leaders and 140 UK, Brazilian & international volunteers travel to Rio for a week-long event.

 

New Generation Burundi took a squad of 9 boys to the Rio event and reached the final of the boys tournament, were they lost to Tanzania. The boys were wonderful ambassadors for their project and their country, taking part enthusiastically in the singing, dancing and arts events, which ran alongside the soccer. Innocent, their top-scoring striker, also sang a solo at the closing ceremony. New Generation had to raise the money for their flights to the event in 2014 and this will be a big challenge for them again in 2018.

 

The event will take place on the edge of Moscow on May 19-27th, just a month before the start of the FIFA World Cup. Volunteers are required to commit to be there from May 16-29th. The 2018 SCWC is being sponsored by Megafon, the 2nd largest Russian mobile phone operator, Vitol and Save the Children. Street Child United need to sign up further sponsors and donors to ensure that the event’s expenses are covered – but they are praying & working hard, and are much further ahead than they were with 10 months to go in 2013.

 

For more details about the volunteering opportunity and to apply, see https://www.streetchildunited.org/get-involved/volunteer/ . The deadline for applications is 8th September, though there is a chance this will be extended. Volunteers will need to pay for their flights and visa (about £350) and to fundraise £1,200 towards event costs. You can specify on your application form that you are keen to help New Generation Burundi, and if you raise more than £1,200 the extra funds can be put towards their costs. You can apply to be a Communications, Arts, Medical or General volunteer and foreign language speakers e.g. Russian, French, Spanish, Swahili will be especially helpful.

 

Taking Sight To Kenya

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You can join me or perhaps you would prefer to pay not to! So far I have been given suitcases and permission to carry extra luggage. I have many pieces of ophthalmic equipment to take out to Kenya to increase the likelihood that people can reach an eye clinic. Patrick, the senior member of the ophthalmology team at Kijabe Hospital is preparing to leave his home for 3 months to learn to treat people suffering diabetic eye problems, which are the leading cause of blindness world wide. Sarah, his protégé is away studying to be able to carry out cataract surgery in his absence and build up the service in the future. They have sacrificed their time and comfort to be able to do this work, paying for their studies from their meagre salaries, but to make it worthwhile they need us to fund a yag laser ophthalmic device and other surgical equipment. Please can you help? Tax effective giving can be arranged through the office at Christ Church Virginia Water.

East Africa Appeal Update

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Christ Church gave £3,000 to help with the food crisis in East Africa. Here’s an update from Tearfund in Somaliland, where they are providing clean water to 1,500 people, distributing cash to 3,500 people left destitute, and building up 500 young children who have been suffering from malnutrition, with a plumpy nut feeding programme.

Somaliland’s now in its third year of drought and needs our prayers – you can find out more in this interview with Tearfund’s Andy Morgan.

Update From Veronica

I frequently wonder how valuable my services in Kenya are, but perhaps these pictures give a little insight into the lives of the the people around here.

The children, who would not be barefoot if they had shoes, playing on a grassy slope which they slide down on pieces of cardboard. They make the most of what is available.

The ancient wheelchair, missing both arm rests and a foot rest with breaks that barely hold on the flat. Anyone who has broken a bone will recall the pain of each jolt. Neither the wheelchairs or trolleys are designed with any consideration of comfort and in this climate everything ages far more quickly.

Instead of complaining people tend to be far more accepting than we are at home, and grateful for the care we are able to give. We experience frustration when things aren’t right. All too often we don’t use this emotion to work towards change. I sometimes feel lazy not becoming more political in an attempt to change the bigger picture, as it is, I try and change little things whenever possible and share God’s love, which is for everybody with those who have so little.

I appreciate your prayers for me and the others who work here on both short and longterm assignments

 

Veronica

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Veronica Returns to Kenya

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It is the last few days before I leave on my fifth trip to Kenya and even more than usual I am suffering from ‘Imposter syndrome’, that fear that sooner or later you are going to be revealed to be something less than you proclaim yourself to be. Whilst the doctor in me realises that this condition is relatively common, that doesn’t make it any more comfortable to be in.  It is, in many ways partially true, on one hand I know that I have experience of working in Kenya and have some knowledge of what to expect, I also recognise the limitations of my clinical experience compared with the range and severity of the medical needs that I will be expected to manage when I am on call.  At those times I will be the most senior medical doctor on duty for the needs of the largest group of patients in the hospital. On the other hand though, I am in a significantly stronger position than I appear to be in; I am the child of the Most High God who made the universe and who called me to do this work and who has promised to be with me wherever I go, who has also vouched to ensure I will be properly equipped to do the work I am called to do.  I believe that part of this provision is the kindness of friends and unknown strangers to give advice via the World Wide Web when I am out of my depth and also the many people who are praying for me as I go on this trip.  I firmly believe it makes a big difference.
Last time I travelled I was meeting up with a doctor who I had worked with previously as a ‘short timer’ and knew I would be meeting up with others I knew. This time I only know that many I have worked with previously will not be there as they are taking holidays or on long leave and Kenya itself will be somewhat unsettled due to the forthcoming elections. Please pray for relationships to develop quickly between those who are ‘left’.
I am excited to be able to take a large amount of optical equipment with me.  My two ‘hold’ suitcases have been stripped out and totally filled with the donations from a gentleman who services the equipment in opticians and passes on the replaced items to different charitable causes. I have literally nothing more than a box of instant coffee sachets for me in those cases! I am relying on the clothes that I left on my last visit to be safely available for me.
I hope to receive permission to take extra equipment in my hand luggage and I hope I will be able to carry this heavy consignment together with a pair of crutches also donated to the hospital. Whilst I will carry a certificate stating I am taking medical supplies, bribery and corruption are common in Kenya and an unobstructed passage through customs will be appreciated.
Thank you for joining with me in this adventure once again.

Veronica

Retreats And Pilgrimages!

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The Revd. Haydon Wilcox is leading his next Retreat at Stanton House, Oxfordshire on 17-19 November and Pilgrimages in 2018 to the Holy Land and to the Celtic Sites of Ireland.

If you are interested in knowing more contact him on Tel.01252 621639 email: haydonwilcox@mac.com

 

Thank you from 602 South Sudanese families

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Colin Rye, DAI’s CEO & Senior Consultant for Curriculum Development writes:

“In April the Christ Church PCC (Parochial Church Council) agreed, in response to the famine crisis in East Africa, to donate £3,000 from the Church’s Mission Contingency Fund to support the relief efforts of Mission Partners DAI (£1,000) and Tearfund (£2,000). I am delighted to advise that this donation contributed to a total of $19,558 which DAI has passed to the Rumbek Diocese of the Episcopalian Church (part of the Anglican Communion). There, our local DAI team, led by Bishop Alapayo Kuctiel, has distributed these funds to 602 needy families to buy life-sustaining food and medical supplies.

Bishop Alapayo expresses his thanks below and, on behalf of all at DAI, I would like to add mine. Thank you Christ Church for you generosity to the people of South Sudan”


Bishop Alapayo Kuctiel 60018 May 2017 Rumbek, South Sudan

Greetings in the name of our merciful and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, love and mercy Amen!

When we asked for help in August, the situation of our people had been very bad compared to their current situation after your assistance. Therefore, you provided for people who could not afford to buy a simple meal for one day. Your gift came at the right time for our people in Rumbek Diocese which falls in the heart of South Sudan. Many people from different places have run to Rumbek for safety.

Your assistance helped 602 people who could have not managed to survive without aid. They will not forget your wonderful gift and they always ask me to share their gratitude and appreciation. You have done a great job for God’s people across the globe, more especially South Sudan which is facing a tough political situation which resulted in famine because people could not cultivate their local farms.

The impact of your assistance on our people was also very helpful as they have realized that the Church is for all people in the World, for one purpose of evangelizing, and for transforming the lives of other people who may face difficulties in one way and another. They went even to the extent of comparing your assistance with the two loaves of bread that Jesus blessed and shared among over five hundred people who were following Him for long time without food. Therefore, they ask that God bless you and give you long lives so that you will help others like them in the future as a furtherance of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

We are very thankful and grateful for the $19,558 USD in donations that we received from DAI friends. We will always put you in our daily prayers and God the Merciful and the source of all good gifts will bless you one by one and give you more resources so as to continue doing the work of mercy, love, kindness, sympathy for the furtherance of the ministry of our Lord and savior who gave up his precious and dear life for our salvation and transformation as the new people of God’s Kingdom.

Rumbek Diocese will always remember you as long as we are still in existence in the ministry now and in the life to come. May the grace of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ be with us all.


Bishop Alapayo Manyang Kuctiel Nhiera
DAI, Ministry Center Director

Difficult Choices – News from Veronica

Veronica

We know death is inevitable, but there are good and bad deaths.

A young brother and sister were knocked over by a car. They were communicating when they reached the emergency department, but first one succumbed to a major bleed in his brain and later I learned that his sister was struggling to stay alive in ITU.

Patients with TB cannot be nursed on the open ward and we only have one single room in ITU to monitor patients needing a ventilator, but we had two such patients. Now we only have one….

We question ourselves as to whether we could have handled things differently.

Some patients are afraid when they are ill to seek appropriate help. It is easy to deny you are sick if the family cannot afford treatment, if you have witnessed friends and family going to hospital too late for treatment and so having poor results, you are disinclined to rush there yourself. For some healthcare staff caring for people who then die, especially when they are know that things could have been different, produces a hardening in their attitude, which may be a self-preservation tactic for them, but limits their availability to the patient and causes repercussions with other team members.

There are some truly inspirational people working here and some delightful patients, but many others struggle on. We do need and appreciate your prayers and messages to provide the best healthcare available in these challenging conditions.

It has been a great blessing to share an apartment with two other short termers that I met last April. We have shared special Easter celebrations with the other Christians in this community, but we cannot ignore the huge problems in providing good healthcare for the people living here. Like us Kenya will have a general election this year. Let us pray that people of integrity will be elected who have a clear vision to make changes that benefit all the population and not be distracted by false goals.

P.S. I have just been up to itu. The little girl is recovering. She has many broken bones and will be in hospital for a while, but she is breathing on her own and talking. I don’t know if she has been told that her brother died yet.

Veronica