St Mary’s Mission Partners
At St Mary’s we support a number of individuals and projects looking to share the life-changing love of Jesus with others, both in the UK and abroad.
It is with great happiness that we can inform you that we are in a new relationship! Following the PCC’s decision that we should become a Tearfund “Connected Church” we have signed up as a church to grow closer to ZOE! You may be wondering who is this young lady? But no! ZOE stands for Zimbabwe Orphans through Extended Hands.
“Connected Church” means that, together, we at St Mary’s will receive regular news about ZOE’s work in Zimbabwe, we will have the opportunity to pray in an informed way for ZOE and we will be able to support ZOE financially as well. We have already donated £3000 from our church mission giving to ZOE and we have committed ourselves to do even better. As our relationship unfolds, we also look for an opportunity to visit Zimbabwe to get to know our Christian friends at first hand and to further build our relationship by meeting individual folk there. We will be able to put faces to our prayers!
It is our prayer that all of us in our groups and individually will take ZOE ‘on board’ and will look actively for ways in which we can help.
You can get to know more about ZOE by visiting http://connected.tearfund.org/en/partners/zoe/
BRUCE AND JAN ROSSINGTON
Bruce and Jan are based in Kenya with Africa Inland Mission. Bruce is Scripture Engagement Consultant for AIM’s Eastern Region and works in bible translation to make God’s word available to people in the language and medium (either written or audio) that best enables them to engage with God’s word. Jan teaches French and oversees the IGCSE programme at Rift Valley Academy, which supports mission partners by educating and mentoring their children. Their three children Zoe, Martha and Joe study also at the Rift Valley Academy.
St Mary’s partners with the charity Open Doors to support and serve persecuted Christians who are living out their faith in countries where, to do so can be dangerous, illegal or life threatening. In over 50 countries, Open Doors is supplying Bibles, training church leaders, delivering Bible-based literacy programmes and supporting Christians who suffer for their faith. In the UK and Ireland Open Doors works to raise awareness of global persecution, mobilising prayer, support and action among Christians. We are lucky to have had the Open Doors CEO Lisa Pearce speak in church and she has inspired many of us with her stories of the persecuted church. St Mary’s is now a Partner Church with Open Doors. Open Doors provide some great resources which we will be sharing at the back of church but you can also sign up online for their prayer diary and other updates here: http://opendoorsuk.org/pray/
FAITH INITIATIVES AT LONG LARTIN PRISON
This is an exciting opportunity to support Rev Stephen Blake in his prison ministry at the local Long Lartin prison and to be able to provide some much-needed resources to the Christian outreach to prisoners. Stephen wrote to us
‘I’ve been hankering after some musical instruments for chapel worship (floor bongos, specifically!) and a colleague is looking for funding to start a pilot course on Restorative Justice. There are always projects we’d like to start – even buying DVDs for Christian courses – but there is no money from the prison authorities for any of these things’.
We look forward to hearing about the projects that he and his colleagues are able to start with the funding we have given and especially to hearing the impact of the floor bongos. We will be sharing regular prayer requests from Stephen in the coming weeks.
This is a new partnership that we are engaging with this year alongside our increasing youth ministry. Adventure Plus is based in Witney and offers outdoor activities and holidays to young people, especially the most vulnerable. They work with 7,500 young people each year to encourage them through adventure and education in a positive Christian environment. They are ‘inspiring the next generation’! You can find out more on their website: http://www.adventureplus.org.uk/