In April I’m heading out to KwaZulu-Natal, Durban in South Africa with Tearfund (in partnership with the government organisation ICS), to spend 2 ½ months volunteering with one of their partners, Zoe-Life. I will be working within a group of 18 – 25 year olds from UK and S. Africa. The aim of Zoe-Life is to ‘transform the lives of children, vulnerable families and communities that have been affected by disease, poverty and injustice’.
Some areas I may be involved in are:
Working with vulnerable children and families.
Developing health campaigns for schools and communities mainly focused on the impact of HIV and AIDS. (Zoe-Life was set up primarily to provide support to people suffering from these diseases)
Running assemblies and lessons in schools about life-affecting topics.
Sharing our personal skills with the organisations and groups we work with.
Please pray for me as I prepare and when I am there. Pray that we will bond as a team when we meet to train at the end of February. It is a Christian charity but not everyone will be a Christian so it’d be amazing if I could share God’s love within our own team as well as the people who we meet whilst we’re out there. It is great the programme is partly government funded, but I do have to raise some finance, so pray for that help too please. Finally, I’d love you to pray that focus of our trip will be centred on spreading the message of Jesus, and that my faith, and that of other people on my team, will grow whilst I’m on the biggest adventure of my life!
For the last few years our church has supported the Blythswood Christmas shoebox appeal. Last year we filled 65 shoe boxes – a record for Fulwood. Can we beat this total in 2014? Added to each box will be a piece of age-appropriate Christian literature in the local language.
This is a simple but effective way of reaching out to those in need. It shows the love of Jesus in a practical way and it’s not difficult to choose gifts for people who have so little. Things we take for granted are often luxuries for people living in desperate poverty. By filling a shoebox with simple gifts you can bring joy and laughter to someone this Christmas. Shoeboxes will be distributed to Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania and Serbia.
How can you get involved? Simply get an empty shoebox and wrap it in Christmas paper but keep the lid and box separate. Decide which age group and gender you would like your box to go to. Leaflets to help you will be available at the reception desk from 12th October. At the same time you can look at some completed boxes in the foyer, as examples.
Your box should be delivered to church by the week of 10th November. An exact date will be given in ‘church life’ nearer the time. Thank so much!
On August Bank Holiday weekend our team of 12 will head out to Kibogora for a two-week visit to the hospital, church and school that are run by the Free Methodist Church in Rwanda. At the hospital we will be running a children’s club for patients and their families. Patients depend on their families to provide meals for them, and families bring in their healthy children to visit, so these children will also join our club. Some of us may get involved with the chaplaincy and working with the management team.There is a possibility that we will lead some school assemblies. We are planning some training sessions with youth and children’s workers in the local churches, and also hope to get involved in activities with the church in Kibogora.
A group from Fulwood FMC are sewing dresses for us to take, as well as the usual knitted hats and jumpers especially for new-born babies. We will take good quality used children’s and teenagers’ clothes to distribute via the hospital social work team. To help carry the clothes, we need suitcases. If you have any unwanted suitcases that we can take and leave in Rwanda, please let Dave Brown know. THANK YOU!
The pictures are of a knitted jumper and hat, and children’s clothes distributed on 2011 Visa Team visit
Back in December we wrote about The Ontaneda Family. This is a family of 10 that Pan de Vida has been spiritually investing in since 2008, when they first attended Pan de Vida. The Ontaneda’s were living in a 20 sq meter (215 sq foot) room with all 10 family members ranging from 6 months of age to 21 years of age. In addition to the challenges of raising a family that large, they have two children with special needs, Mikaela, their 9 year old, who has a significant intelligence disability and Martin, their 5 year old, who has behavioral issues and aggressive behavior…Read more
The VISA Team that visited Pan de Vida in 2013 were involved in the Hit Squads that are mentioned in this article.