International Mission, Global Action

St Paul’s Tongham: Blythswood Care:

Blythswood Care is a Scottish charity working around the world in a number of great projects supporting vulnerable people in a number of ways e.g. food provision, shoe boxes, education, training and sharing their faith on the way.

We have loved getting to know Balasz, who heads up a project working with lads coming out of orphanages. We have had a tour via zoom, met some of the people at the project and Balasz has preached for us from the top of a mountain!

There are lots of ways to get involved!

5K UR WAY IN MAY – Would you like to take part in a 5K to help raise funds for the work of Blythswood? Join us on the 29th May and take part ‘UR WAY’….running, cycling, swimming, skipping……a 5k route near you.

Ben Nevis Challenge – 12 June 2021 *new date. Conquer Britain’s highest mountain and help transform lives with Blythswood Care. Aim to raise £200+ to support our live changing work.

An Audience with Sam & Asmita Vadavana -Partners at Cornerstone Project in India (online event) on 15th June @7pm

 Blythswood Care Day of Prayer -16th June (Resources available.)

Contact: Area Fundraising Manager: Susi.shears@blythswood.org

St Peter’s Ash: Connect and Encourage

Connect & Encourage is Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s directory of people who have asked to receive cards and letters of encouragement. They’re church leaders, human rights workers, church members and activists from all over the world who suffer daily because of their religious beliefs, or because they defend those rights on behalf of others. Many of them are in prison – all of them are in desperate need of encouragement and hope. Your letters can encourage and inspire them, even getting them better treatment as the government and prison authorities realise that their treatment is being monitored and made known internationally. Here are some of the people we write to: –

(Cuba) Father Conrado is a Roman Catholic priest who has suffered harassment and threats for speaking out for human rights and allowing the families of political prisoners to attend Mass.

(Kenya) Ebenezer Foundational Healing Church.  Many Eritrean Christians have been forced to flee their country due to the severe oppression they face on account of their faith. As they waited for acceptance in third countries, they have established their own worshipping communities. These are essentially refugee churches. Many of these Christians still live cautiously because the Eritrean authorities have been known to track down and harass people even outside of Eritrea.

(China) Alimujiang Yimiti.  A Uyghur Christian from Xinjiang province, Alim is being detained ‘solely because of his faith’ according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Alimujiang was working as a project manager for a British company, when it was targeted in a series of closures of foreign businesses belonging to Christians in Xinjiang in September 2007. Alim was detained in February 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2009, in a court case that did not follow due process under Chinese or international law. Following a failed appeal, Alim was moved to a prison in Xinjiang’s provincial capital, Urumqi. In February 2011 it was announced that an appeal at the Higher People’s Court of Xinjiang had failed and his sentence was upheld. In Jan 2013 Alim’s wife was informed that her monthly visits to her husband would be cut to one every three months.

We hold a Connect and Encourage Lunch Club at St. Peter’s, Ash, and we hope to restart this group in June, eating lunch together and then writing to persecuted Christians using addresses from Christian Solidarity Worldwide. (During lockdown some of us have kept the cards going but it is good to have more people involved) We usually meet on the 2nd Monday of the month and would welcome new members, even if you cannot join us every month. Contact: Barbara Rose 07761808727. 

St Mary’s Ash Vale: Sowing Seeds of Hope with Amaha We Uganda

Amaha We Uganda (Hope for Uganda) is a, grassroots charity which Revd Neil Lambert is a founder member of. He and Helen have worked with the Uganda team for decades, and we have formed some great friendships between Uganda and St Mary’s through mission visits, and recently through William joining our lockdown services on Zoom from Uganda to keep us updated.

The work of AWU this year is focussed on tree planting, mission to street kids and supporting women’s’ groups. These simple projects are incredibly effective in transforming communities by empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty.

The trees project is going brilliantly! 3 nurseries have already been established, and 33,500 tree seedlings have been sent out for planting. Over 1,000 of these are planted  where there were terrible landslides last year, and they will form an important defence against further erosion and loss of life, as well as providing food and shelter.

Bishop Nason of the South Rwenzori Diocese is very supportive and has asked every archdeaconry to establish a tree nursery, and every baptism candidate this year will be planting trees too. We have 13 nurseries to set up, so we will be planting more trees as fast as we can fund them!

How about sponsoring some seedlings for £1 a tree, or even clubbing together with friends to sponsor a whole tree nursery for £500?

Details:  07730 609446 www.amahaweuganda.org

Happy News from Uganda

By Judith Vella & Alex Sanderson (2 of the Amaha We Uganda Trustees)

A Bountiful Harvest: Part of Amaha We Uganda’s ‘No Money No Food’ campaign involved providing seed for planting in August, thus providing crops of beans for food in the next season. Without this help, families were facing a crisis, because during the early Covid lockdown all they had to eat was their seed grain, they had nothing left to plant. We are delighted to report that the harvest was blessed, providing an enormous crop in November. All the women’s groups who had received seed for planting have given some seed back after harvesting. This seed will be redistributed to more groups in March 2021 for the next season’s planting. In this way we hope they can make this a sustainable means of growing food. In total 977kg of beans were paid forward for replanting. An amazing feat.

Continue reading “Happy News from Uganda”

Make a Difference this Christmas

Christmas tree

With the whole world groaning under the strain of coronavirus , on top of climate change and other issues, it feels right to make every penny of our Christmas spending really count this year. Here are some ideas! 

Buy local—it goes without saying, our lovely local shops and entrepreneurs need us more than ever this year! The big chains have big reserves, small businesses do not. So when you’re browsing, please start with local shops and local online sellers first.  Give a voucher, buy a gift, book a treatment… supporting them now means they will still be here in 2021, what a splendid gift! 

Donate for Christmas Hampers—Our local Covid Support group are partnering with St Mary’s doing food parcels, and this Christmas they will also be delivering hampers to local people in need. Keep an eye out for the special  offers and see what you can donate! Donations needed by Sunday 13th Dec please. You can also donate online via  give a little. Thank you  https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c

Give a Christmas Tree in Uganda!

St Mary’s works closely with the charity Amaha We Uganda, supporting our brothers and sisters there to sow seeds of hope, helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.

One of the big problems lately has been soil erosion. It has wiped out crops, destroyed homes and obliterated livelihoods. Re-foresting is crucial and so the AWU team are very busy setting up tree nurseries! Did you sponsor a tree last year—it’s now growing in Uganda!  Please support  this amazing work and why not ‘buy a tree’ in Uganda for a loved one as a present? We will send you a Gift Certificate by email that you can personalise and email (or print and post) to give to your loved ones.  Donate online and simply email alex@amahaweuganda with your donation reference for your certificate.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?campaignId=10240&charityId=1016542

By Alex Sanderson