You may have read about the devastating floods and landslides in Sri Lanka a few weeks ago. If your parish would like to help the Church of Ceylon (the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka) with its relief efforts, the details for contributing may be found here. You can also find updates about the situation on the Church of Ceylon’s general website.
Many of you will remember the horrendous floods in Mozambique in 2001 and the famous baby that was born in a tree as a desperate lady waited to be rescued. Sadly the reality is that Mozambique is all too used to atrocious weather conditions and although disaster planning and mitigation has improved over the years, it is still an ongoing issue for one of the poorest countries in the world today that is three times the size of the UK.
A few weeks ago, in mid January, the Zambezia province in central Mozambique experienced horrendous flooding once more. Over hundred people were killed, an estimated 157,000 have been affected with over 10,000 losing their homes. 11 million people north of the Zambezi river have no electricity and many roads were destroyed. Bishop of this area – Mark van Koevering says: “We must have had about a months worth of rain in just one day”.
The local Anglican churches in the Diocese of Niassa, Mozambique has been right at the heart of an emergency response to this crisis through their ‘Teams of Life’. Niassa Diocese is one of the fastest growing dioceses in the Anglican communion and is in the process of multiplication into three. In 2003, there were 7 active priests which has now grown to 61 today; 159 congregations in 2004 has grown to 442 today and 34,465 members in 2004 has grown to 63,973 today.
Staggering statistics in the face of huge difficulties which frankly are a challenge to us all?!
Growth in depth and numbers can be put down to huge variety of factors but one is their formation of ‘Equipas de Vida’ from the diocesan mission department – these ‘Teams of life’. These volunteer teams ‘homegrown’ from the local Anglican churches respond to the most pressing health and development needs of their own communities. The leaders of these teams, initially trained in HIV prevention, treatment and community mobilization are also are trained in health and development issues and so they were best placed to make a fast and strategic disaster response. Over these last weeks, this emergency response has involved supporting 1,000 families across 18 communities with kits of food, water purifying equipment, mosquito nets and farm seeds and implements.
MANNA is a long-standing UK registered charity that exists to enable and grow the churches in Mozambique and Angola and supports the Diocese of Niassa and the ‘Teams of Life.’ Elizabeth Thomas who worships at Marcham Church in the Oxford Diocese has recently come on board as MANNA’s Executive Officer and is delighted that MANNA can support this appeal. She says:
“This is development at its most effective. It is grassroots work that comes from the local churches who know their greatest needs. Moreover MANNA is just one of the mission and development agencies that is working in partnership with the Niassa diocese. It is collaboration together like this that ultimately brings about good long-term change in developing countries; we are simply facilitating these local churches to do God’s work.”
Another one of these partners is ALMA – the London diocese’s links with Mozambique and Angola which in turn has grown some incredibly fruitful partnerships between parishes. How exciting and encouraging that the Anglican church is right at the heart of this emergency appeal and how fitting that we as fellow Christian servants of the Gospel of the poor should partner with these Mozambican churches at this time.
For more information:
Share your photos. Share your stories.
Does your church have a mission link? Do you have photos that tell a story about the people and places involved? If so, enter our competition!
We want to celebrate the way that the people of God are working together across the world. And so we’re looking for pictures from your mission links! They might be of people; they might be of places. The picture above is of Ivy Molema, secretary of the Valley of Hope, a charity based in our link diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman. Ivy is showing where the Valley of Hope was planning to extend a community vegetable garden. If you look closely, you can see a tomato from the garden alongside her car keys!
We’d love to see your picture. And we’d love to share it: selected photos will be on display at the Grand Day Out. There will even be prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place choices!
How To Enter
- The Competition is free to enter and is open to all church members.
- Send your photos to Partners in World Mission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photos should be high resolution.
- Please send them with your name and telephone number, the name of your parish and the parish/agency with which you are linked, a title for the picture, and up to 100 words of description.
- The deadline has been extended to 3 September to include photos taken over the summer … so you have a little more time … but don’t delay!
For more information, contact:
- Joan Walker: email@example.com
Anthony Boyd: firstname.lastname@example.org