Bite-Size Globetrotter Winter 2016
‘This is what the Lord requires of you, that you act JUSTLY, love MERCY and walk HUMBLY with your God.’ Micah 6:8
Welcome to our Winter 2016 Globetrotter.
In this edition Andy writes about the partnership that we have as a church with IJM. Please contact him if you would like anymore information. We are really privileged to partner with this work and thank God for the life giving impact that IJM is having in areas of grave injustice.
Fiona Morrison from Tearfund writes about the ZOE project, our partnership programme.
We also hear from Wendy Ager about "Exporing Edinburgh" - a programme to get to know Syrian families and other people new to the city.
IJM - Justice in Bangalore
Bangalore is the technological centre of India. But there is a hidden problem beneath the progress: forced labour slavery is rampant in and around this booming metropolis.
Outside Bangalore’s high-tech sector, children, women and men are held as forced labour slaves on farms, rice factories, brick-making facilities, textile mills, construction sites and other industries. India’s laws clearly ban forced labour, but enforcement has historically been weak, with very few convictions or meaningful sentences.
Let me intoduce to Kumar
Kumar became a slave when he was just seven years old working in a brick kiln in India. Like millions of others in slavery, Kumar worked seven days a week with no break, no holidays and no opportunity to go to school or enjoy being a child.
On top of the backbreaking work, he experienced verbal and physical abuse from his slave owners. Slaves who tried to run away were captured and publically beaten.
Help finally came when a team from International Justice Mission in Bangalore discovered the extent of violence and slavery in that kiln. Once IJM had gathered enough evidence and got support from the local police, they were together able to rescue Kumar.
Now out of the grasp of the slave owners, IJM made sure Kumar and the others had somewhere safe to go and provided ongoing support and training to help them start their new lives in freedom.
Kumar will never recover the two years of his life that were stolen by the slave owners, but with the help of IJM he has been able to rebuild his life.
Today, Kumar is studying to become a social worker and is looking forward to the future.
Kumar was one of the lucky ones, because someone stood up and fought for him. But there are millions more slaves who have no hope for the future – unless we turn up…
The good news is that IJM is out there, right now, on the frontlines, fighting for other boys and girls like Kumar. To date, IJM has helped to rescue more than 25,000 children, women and men from violence around the world. But they are also improving how the local police, lawyers and courts can better fight against slavery and violence themselves.
The Partnership with Ps & Gs
IJM are delighted to be able to partner with Ps & Gs to support the ongoing work in Bangalore. As Kumar’s story demonstrates, change is possible, and we invite you to be part of that change!
IJM’s commitment to Ps & Gs
Specific prayer request for IJM Bangalore.
- Connections with Bangalore staff directly through annual Google hangouts/conference calls.
- Receive testimonies from the team.
- Video resources that allow you to share the progress of the Bangalore team with the church community.
- An opportunity for some within the church to visit the Bangalore office.
Ps & Gs support for IJM Bangalore
- Regularly pray for the work of IJM Bangalore during Sunday services, connect groups and the Justice Prayer Community
- As part of the church’s Global Focus budget, Ps & Gs will contribute financially towards the work of IJM Bangalore. At £5,000 per year, Ps & Gs is fully funding the cost one rescue operation each year – see below, some operations recue hundreds of people at once!
- Use your influence to network and spread the word about the impact of IJM.
As ever, thank you for the amazing support of all at Ps & Gs.
- Join the Ps & Gs Justice Prayer Community – contact Andy Bevan at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consider Giving to IJM personally
- Read about IJM Bangalore’s largest ever operation, rescuing 260 people
Tearfund - ZOE
Twenty years ago, I stood in a children’s hospital in Zimbabwe, cradling a young baby boy and listening to the story of how he’d been found, abandoned in a toilet, a tiny victim of the same poverty that had left his mother feeling that she had no choice. It was a moment that has stayed with me over the years, and I wonder what became of that child, and what chances and opportunities awaited him as he grew up in an orphanage, or care home, or if perhaps his mother ever came back.
Memories like this from my visit to Zimbabwe all those years ago make me so grateful that you, as a church, have chosen to sign up to the Connected Church link and will now be supporting Zimbabwe Orphans Through Extended Hands - better known as ZOE. They are a Tearfund partner doing incredible work with local churches, helping them to reach out and support vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is home to roughly 890,000 children who have lost one or both parents. ZOE know that when a child loses a parent they are at a much higher risk of dropping out of school, becoming victims of abuse, and living in extreme poverty. Without support, many fall into working in exploitative labour in order to survive. Tragically some even turn to prostitution.
Clive was one such vulnerable child. His parents had died, and he lived with his grandmother. He was 13 years old, but you would never know, because sickness as a result of his HIV had stunted his growth. They couldn’t afford to get to the nearest clinic, so Clive kept getting sicker..
ZOE encourages churches to take responsibility for children like Clive. Because of the church’s place at the centre of a community, they are easily able to identify the children most at risk, but often they don’t know how to help. ZOE trains and mentors church members for up to three years so they will know how to react in even the toughest situations..
A local church trained by ZOE noticed the family’s situation - they clubbed together and provided school fees for Clive, as well as paying his bus fare to go to the local clinic, where he could pick up drugs to manage his HIV. That took care of his physical needs, but there was still his emotional health to look after. His grandmother says that before the church came along to help, she and Clive were shunned by the local community. Clive didn’t have any friends, and losing his parents had left him with deep emotional scars..
Fortunately churches are also trained to provide emotional support. Now Clive is part of a children’s club in the church. He can have fun, make friends, and begin to heal emotionally thanks to the psychosocial support provided by the church.
These activities are supported and managed by church volunteers who are passionate about working with children. Their core training from ZOE includes counselling, advocacy, recognising and preventing child abuse, and passing these skills onto the community. The church starts out aiming to help the most vulnerable, but the training they receive blesses everyone.
Thanks to your support through Connected Church, ZOE will be able to help 18,000 children like Clive through the local church. They will help them to remain in education, provide the chance of a stable livelihood, and empower them to live dignified lives with hope and a future. I am so encouraged to learn of Tearfund partners like ZOE, who have such a heart for vulnerable children and a desire to see poverty overcome..
I look forward to journeying with you as you support ZOE and hear more about this transformative work throughout the year. Please note if any individuals wish to receive the quarterly updates and prayer points, contact the Global Focus team and you can easily be kept up to date directly. Bless you for your generosity and vision for this work!
I can hardly believe it when I think about it. In August, when we went to Portobello with a group of Syrian families, some of the children went straight into the water! It was a brilliant afternoon, sunny and warm. Just the weather to make our welcome to Edinburgh really relaxing and enjoyable.
This was the first outing we had organised as part of ‘Exploring Edinburgh’ – a baby step in getting know refugees and other people newly arrived in the city. We planned to go to Portobello on the bus from outside church, and spend a couple of hours on the beach. It all worked out really well. A lovely group of Ps and Gs people came along too. One of them emailed me afterwards and said: “It was lovely to see the children enjoying the freedom of the beach and sea, with the dads playing with them and the mums able to relax together while there were other adults around to keep an eye on things. I was glad the mums had had the foresight to bring a change of clothes for the children!”
We have done two more outings since then, one to the Botanics on another glorious day in September and the other a walk along the Water of Leith to Inverleith Park in October. We had initially sent an invitation to the Syrian families via a member of the congregation who works with this group (as well as people seeking asylum and refugees). But after the first outing, the families themselves passed the word around. So far we have met around twelve families, with children ranging from babies and toddlers to primary school children and a few teenagers. Some have been here for a month or two; some have been here for a bit longer.
With limited English for some, it has been really good to have activities to do together. Walking around the Botanics looking at the beautiful flowers, playing tennis on the beach, doing colouring with the children at the café at the West Gate, having children and babies along from Ps and Gs to break the ice too – all these things hopefully help to communicate our welcome.
What next? Well, for November and December we have booked No 40. The sunny weather couldn’t last! We’re going to have seasonal parties with games and crafts and some yummy cakes and other goodies. We’ve begun to meet up with some of the women during the week and invite people to our homes too. We’re also keen to keep in touch with other groups and networks in Edinburgh working to support families and single people who have arrived on our doorstep from difficult situations around the world.
If you’d like to join us, please contact email@example.com