Summer News 2016

In my book ‘From Russia to Rwanda with Love’, I tell a story of managing a staff team of 60 Zambians in 1973 before I became a Christian.  One day a staff member challenged me ‘Richard, you want to change the world. But you will never change the world.  Only changed hearts will change the world and only Jesus can change hearts’.  In this newsletter, you will read about people whose lives have been improved by the resources we have given them.  But core to our ministry is the belief that greater and more permanent transformation comes from changed hearts.  Our stories confirm the truth of the dictum ‘No matter how you started out, God can rewrite your story and give you an ending that you never thought possible

Transformation in Bulgaria...

                              ... ‘Anna will get married when she grows up’

In the impoverished Roma villages on the foothills of the Balkan mountains of Bulgaria, it is common for a girl to be married when she turns thirteen so that her family no longer has to provide for her.  An alternative is to go to the city to beg, steal or work as a prostitute.

Anna was seven when she lost her parents and since then she has lived with her grandmother in a one-room ramshackle cottage in the village of Slatina. Anna grew up benefiting from our soup kitchen located in her local Roma church and we provided her with warm clothing and shoes to walk to school in the harsh winters.   Anna is now fifteen but she is neither getting married nor going to the city.  As her grandmother says ‘We have become Christians and Anna will get married when she has grown up.’  Anna’s hope is that after completing school she will enrol onto Mission Possible’s hairdresser course and so have a profession to provide for herself.

   

We are supporting Roma children and teenagers like Anna in these Balkan villages. The ministry includes soup kitchens, literacy classes (as Romani and not Bulgarian is the first language in these villages) , vocational courses teaching life skills and Christian values.  In the villages, we also conduct training on hygiene, parenting and other practical matters.   

Prayer Spot

Pray for Anna and the other teenage girls in these villages that they have the opportunity to release the full potential that God has placed in their lives.  Please also pray for our staff team in Bulgaria.

 

Transformation in Albania ...

                            ...  ‘My dreams vanished…… but you brought hope’

My name is Manushaqe and I have four children. I was only fourteen when I fell in love and ran away from my family.  But soon my dreams vanished.  My husband would be away for days while his mother treated me as a servant. When he came home, he would abuse me.

 
In the midst of these troubles I heard about Mission Possible’s activities for children at their Centre of Hope. I could not leave the house, but my neighbour helped register my two oldest daughters for the Miracle Club. One evening, as I was setting the table for dinner, the girls clasped their hands together and in loud voices said, ‘Our Lord, You who protect us and take care of us, please help and provide food for our family. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!’ I could not believe my ears! We had never talked about God in our family before.  The girls continued to learn more about God and Jesus the Saviour and  shared these things with me also. 

One evening last summer the police appeared at our door to arrest my husband. I can still hear the chilling words of the policeman: ‘He has killed a man!’ The next day at the police station I was told that he had a large file with many crimes and murders.

I felt like the most unfortunate person in the world. I did not know where to go. But the girls embraced me as they prayed to their God, to their Jesus, for my condition and for their father.  Then Besa from Mission Possible came to visit us. She handed my daughters brand new backpacks filled with school items they needed so badly. The girls beamed with joy.  ‘Mum, you see, God is good to us! He protects us and cares for us even when we forget Him.’  And I felt deep within me that they were right. Even though I did not know Him yet, He loved me!  His love continues to amaze me more and more with each new day. Now I know that I am not a stranger to God! Mission Possible, you bring hope for us, the ones who feel forgotten by everybody. You give us smiles and love.

Prayer Spot

Please pray for the 1700 children who attend Mission Possible’s Christian Children’s Clubs in Eastern Europe

 

Transformation in Rwanda – ‘a beautiful miracle is happening here’

I featured our new Red Zone Children Project in the Spring Newsletter.   The people of Nkombo Island are a forgotten community on the fringes of Rwanda close to the Democratic Republic of Congo.    This project is more than feeding children though that is an important part what we are doing. We are also supporting the nursery school there (you may recall 300 pupils and only 4 volunteer teachers) and we hope in the longer term to build a primary school.  When I was there in February, the only resource the nursery school had was a blackboard. We have already provided some additional resources. (See picture).  Also we are funding adult education in the community on many issues such as nutrition, hygiene, parenting and more.

Our project coordinator Boniface reports:
"Smiles are coming back to families and children are easily jumping around running to the nursery school site and rushing to the porridge serving points. It is a beautiful miracle happening here. The Pastor looks more vibrant and hopeful of having more children in the Sunday school classes every Sunday."

Prayer Spot
Please pray for this new project.  One of the fruit of our ministry with children is that adults respond to the good news of Jesus– see story above from Albania.  Please pray that this happens on Nkombo Island

 

Transformation in Russia – Dare to be a Daniel’

The story of almost every child who comes to our shelter homes is full of tragic experiences. Daniel lost his parents during the first six years of his life. His father died from drug abuse, and he witnessed his mother’s murder.   Eventually having left his foster home and after keeping bad company, he was brought to our shelter home.  Here he was thrilled to find out that he bears the name of a Biblical character. He asked for a Bible for himself and spent a long time reading it each day.   

The change in Daniel happened very quickly, which did not go unnoticed by his old friends and teachers at school. Some laughed at him, some were concerned. But there is a new spark of light in him that the ridicule and criticism has not quenched. 

Daniel (pictured at back of sledge) delights in helping around the house and playing with the younger children.   And he often brings his friends to the shelter home for youth fellowship.  Daniel, who has experienced tragedy, loss, rejection, and abandonment, has hope today.

Prayer spot

Thank God for the witness of Christians in Russia.  And thank Him for those who ‘Dare to be a Daniel’.

Some snippets from Africa

Cows for Batwa community

We have provided a cow for the Batwa community we support in Rwanda.  The beneficiary is Apolo who I met living in the most appalling living conditions in 2014.  We are planning to provide a second cow to a lady in the community in the autumn.  The cows will not only provide milk for the community and manure for the land we recently purchased for the community to grow crops but looking after the cows will give a daily purpose.  We have agreed to launch a literacy project in this community later this year

cow

Bibles for Africa

This project was the beneficiary of our 2015 Christmas appeal.  Bibles in Lozi were distributed in the western province of Zambia early this month.  The distribution in Burundi has been delayed awaiting reprinting of the Bible in Kirundi. When in Kabwe in Zambia conducting leadership training in 2015, pastors appealed to us to send Bibles and other literature.  Recently they received a pallet load of Bibles and teaching books from us
biblegirl

Developments at the Star School, Rwanda

At the Star School we have almost completed our latest project - lightening conductors for the buildings.  This is really important in an area that is hit by huge tropical storms.   In the next twelve months we want to replace some treacherous muddy outside staircases (the school is on the side of a hill) with walkways that are suitable for all students including those with physical disabilities.  Photo shows one set of staircases in the dry season! Also we are hoping to improve the school’s sports facilities over the next year and purchase more books.   

schoolsteps

Peacebuilding in Burundi

Towards the end of last year Scott Campbell, Head of Central and West Africa at the U.N. Human Rights Office said ‘Burundi is slipping and sliding we believe, unfortunately, down a very ugly slope’. Combating this, the vision of REMA, our partners in Burundi is of ‘an integrated, harmonious, dynamic, informed and vigilant community living in a conducive environment and which upholds the attributes of the kingdom of God.’  Recently, REMA completed a peacebuilding initiative in southern Burundi sponsored by MPUK.  One community leader reported.  ‘As many of you know, it was not easy to rule over people in this area, but now things have started to change for better.   This is the beginning and not the end. Then later on we shall rejoice when we will see more change in this area. God led you to come to help us and please continue to back us up in this programme of bringing lasting peace ‘

peacebuilding
And finally ...

We so value your support for our ministry as we seek to serve the poor, marginalized and forgotten.  

Please pray for our ministry. 
Many thanks

 

Richard    Richard Wallis