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Winter Newsletter 2017

transform 

I thought I would start this newsletter with two questions I have been asked over the past month. The first was "Does MPUK still have a Christian focus?" The second was "Can my giving really make a difference when the needs are so huge?"
My answer is that there is a double blessing in our ministry. Your giving does make a material difference to a mother and five children living in a shack or to a child needing education. But people who feel worthless need more than physical aid. 
They need friendship, love, emotional support and more.

Our projects are run by locals who care, who get to know the people in the communities we support, and who share the gospel. Sometimes I say that our ministry is about "life before and after death". In this newsletter we will focus on our ministry in Eastern Europe. (Pictured : Albanian director, Besa, distributing clothing in Tirana.)

Richard Wallis


Three Sisters: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love     

The three sistersNastya, Farida and Camilla have three different fathers (pictured right in one of our homes in 2011).

When firstborn Nastya's father died, her mother started to drink. "There were drinking parties and fights in our home all the time. My mother's new husband and drinking companions kicked and beat her before my very eyes. I would run to the streets to escape my horrible life at home.

Then the day came when the police rescued my younger sisters as they were walking the railway tracks, crying for help. Mum was lying drunk on the tracks" says Nastya. The police brought the sisters to our shelter home and this completely changed the lives of these young girls. "I had prayed that God would give me a normal life for just one week. I did not know what that meant until I got to the shelter home" continues Nastya. 

The sisters proved to be artistically talented. Nastya took singing lessons, Camilla ballet lessons and Farida was good at design and drawing. A Christian youth conference was a spiritual turning point for Nastya. "There I really met God and my inner life changed." Nastya joined the church worship team where she met Dmitry. They are now married and are guardians of Farida and Camilla. 

The one week of normal life that Nastya prayed for became a whole new life! "I am now a genuinely happy person" says Nastya.


Transformation happens! 
Ian Sinkinson reports on his recent trip to Bulgaria

One of the most rewarding things about working with Mission Possible is seeing people and communities transformed by God through the work of our partners. 

In September, I visited two Roma communities in rural Bulgaria. The Roma are at the very bottom of Bulgarian society, marginalised, despised, insulted and abused. Mission Possible has just started a new work in the first village I visited, while our team has been working for several years in the second. 

The first village, Karnare, was typical of a Roma community – very poor, with garbage scattered around, and no proper sanitation. The houses were ramshackle brick huts containing almost no furniture. The people's clothing was invariably ragged, while the younger children were naked. Overall there was a general atmosphere of apathy and despondency. 

We distributed twenty-one Baby Boxes to mothers, visiting family homes and praying for families. For most of the mothers, this was the biggest present they had ever received in their lives, and their smiles were testament to the joy the boxes brought and the changes they would bring to the lives of those mothers and their babies. We shared their joy, but we were conscious too that as we departed the poverty and hopelessness remained.

(Ian pictured right praying for a baby.) 

The second village was Pevtsite, where Mission Possible Bulgaria has been working for over 4 years. What a contrast! Although Pevtsite was in the same condition as Karnare four years ago, the place was now clean and largely litter free, and although poverty still existed, people here were clearly making an effort.

The children were active and engaged and the heavy atmosphere we sensed in Karnare had been replaced here by lightness, purpose and hope. I left sharing that hope, knowing that the church built by Mission Possible was at the centre of village life and that the gospel was clearly transforming lives and the whole community.

  

 

Open my eyes to see as You see and weep as You weep

Open my heart to love the broken and care for those without hope 

Open my hands to hold what I have lightly and to share cheerfully 

Open my mouth to speak for the voiceless and to shout for mercy 

Open my ears to the gentle whispers of Your Spirit and to obey what You say

 

 

Prayer Note: To date, MPUK have funded 150 Baby Boxes in Bulgaria, made possible by the wonderful response to our 2016 Christmas appeal.
This is one example of how MPUK makes contributions – alongside others – to projects in Eastern Europe.
In Africa, our policy is for projects we support to be fully funded by us.

prayer


Summer Camps : Lyuda and Dani's Story

Mission Possible held its summer camps in Eastern Europe again this year. Hundreds of children and teenagers from various places were given the opportunity to spend one week together to hear the gospel. 

In Ukraine, there was a large youth camp with participants who came from many different villages. Everyone had one thing in common: they came from very difficult living situations. Lyuda was one of them. She comes from a family broken by alcoholism. Her mother abandoned her twice and then her father was called up to military service. 

 

She went to stay with an aunt but she was also an alcoholic and the living conditions were terrible.
Lyuda is now a teenager and along with others, she accepted Jesus at the camp. "It was as if my eyes had opened. Now I understand who Jesus is and why He came to the world" Lyuda shared.

Meanwhile in Bulgaria, seventy children of Bulgarian, Roma and Turkish descent spent five days playing, singing and praying at their summer camp. Nine-year-old Dani was one of the children and he has a Roma mother and Turkish father. He asked Roumen, our project director, if he was Bulgarian or Turkish. Roumen responded "Dani, you are something more than Bulgarian or Turkish. You are a Christian. You are a citizen of heaven." The common faith of these children with different tongues and traditions made everyone friends despite the historic distrust between these communities. (pictured are two children praying for each other at the Bulgarian camp.) boys

A Child's Faith

When children leave Mission Possible's shelter homes in Russia to return to their own homes or a place prepared by the childcare authorities, our teams always pray that the things that they were taught and shown will remain in their hearts. Nevertheless, one of our shelter home directors was surprised by a phone call from a mother who shared the problems she was having with her son. The mother shared that a classmate had told her son that he ought to go to church and start praying and then his behaviour would change. She thought this was a wonderful idea and asked our shelter home director how to go about getting to church. 

The classmate's name was Stasik, who lived in one of our homes for a couple of years until his own family were stable enough to take him back. Now, the mother and son have attended church for six months and their family situation is improving.

Some Snippets

It's time for bed
Many of the children on our child sponsorship programme are boarders at the Star School. They come from difficult domestic circumstances that are not conducive to education. They sleep in dormitories with old wooden rickety bunk beds.

We are now replacing these with metal-framed beds.

As Premier Inn would say "A good night's sleep is now guaranteed".

 


Blessing Burundi
Bible Distribution is a core ministry of MPUK.
It seems outrageous that although translators spend many years translating the Bible into African languages, many local people, especially those who live in rural areas, cannot afford to buy them.

Next year, we are planning our largest ever Bible distribution in Burundi with over 500 Bibles in Kirundi going to church leaders, secondary schools and prisons.


The Centre Of Hope
The Centre of Hope is the beautiful name of Mission Possible's ministry centre in Bathore, near Tirana, in Albania.

The ministry of this centre includes a community library with many books but only a few decrepit computers. MPUK has funded three new computers for the library.

We are also exploring the possibility of funding a new Youth Empowerment project at this centre.


Next Generation Christian Leaders
Being involved in equipping next generation leaders is a joy.
The National Youth Director of the Assemblies of God in Kenya is now using our online Essentials of Excellent Leadership to train their youth leaders.
They have printed off the material from our website to produce their own training manuals.

 


... and finally
MPUK started in 2006, when someone unexpectedly came forward at a church service, offering an Irish five-pound note towards funding a new school in Rwanda. The Holy Spirit moved in an extraordinary way that morning with the congregation responding by pledging £7,000. 

note

Unknown to them, this was sufficient to purchase the land required on which to build the Star School. Eleven years on, and donations to date are just a few weeks off reaching £1,000,000. This money has been used to bring transformation to many thousands. To Him be the glory.

The Mission Possible Team