ST JOHN’S: SUPPORTING MISSION ACROSS THE WORLD
We aim to encourage all our church members to believe and accept that making the name of the Lord Jesus Christ known to all people, both at home and abroad is an essential task to be shared by all who profess belief in His Name.
WE ARE CURRENTLY SUPPORTING THESE MISSION ORGANIZATIONS
For work abroad
- Church Mission Society
- Emanuel International
- Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- The Toybox Charity
- In addition, some home groups support their own chosen mission agencies, and various members of the congregation have been abroad on short-term schemes.
- Church Army
- Care for the Family
- The Armed Forces Christian Union
We have a mission board with monthly displays to coincide with the current Mission. A monthly article is produced in the Parish Magazine.
STUDY OF MISSION
A group of parishioners meet 10 months in the year to study Mission Activity, using the Church Mission Society’s “Audio Mission” as their basis.
MISSION TO UGANDA
This is a slightly edited version of a report by the youngest team member….
A warm Welcome
Wabukire! This was a word we heard many times throughout our three weeks in Western Uganda. It means, ‘good morning’ or ‘good day’ in the local dialect of Lhukonzo, which is spoken in the Kasese district of Uganda, and Eastern Congo. The amount of welcomes we received was amazing and everyone was so happy to see us, which was very humbling. My highlight was meeting all the people including our ‘boss’ for the building work who set up children’s ministry in the poorest part of Kasese, and the chaplain of the cathedral who is very involved in improving education.
Poor but happy
Everyone was extremely welcoming, but what shocked me was how happy they were despite having so little compared to Western standards. It really made you appreciate all the luxuries and opportunities we have here.
We achieved so much in our time there but it wouldn’t have been possible without the great accommodation we had. We were expecting a mud hut somewhere with no running water or electricity, sleeping on the floor, cooking our own dinner but these expectations were thrown out as we stepped into a beautiful house with proper beds, space for our preparation work and breakfast and dinner provided for us. Not to mention, the hospitality of the family who lived there. The house was a real blessing because it meant we could focus on preparing the work with the children and get a good night’s sleep (apart from the Imam at 5.30 a.m. followed by the cockerel!). The food we ate there was delicious but my favourite was matoki, otherwise known as mashed plantain. We saw the green bananas everywhere we went, balanced precariously on the back of bicycles. There was also the experience of trying yam, which I will not be doing again in a hurry!
The actual building work we did in Mulongoti Primary School was concreting and plastering 3 classrooms and then painting the outside of them. And we managed to finish it, which was such a satisfying feeling. It was quite hard work carrying buckets of cement to and from the classrooms but well worth it.
Work with the children
That was all done in the mornings and then we got on to working with the children in the afternoons. This was one of my favourite parts of the day as I was in the craft group. Each class started off with a Bible story and then split up into three groups each doing craft, games, puppets and singing. In the craft sessions for the first week every class made a big frieze of creation using paints, pastels, material, shiny paper! and many more resources we had with us. Then in the second week we were celebrating Christmas and Jesus’s friendship with us so we made paper chains, streamers and friendship bracelets, which the children loved. It made me so happy watching them all making things they’d never normally have the opportunity to do and just generally having fun.
Another thing we did to brighten up their lives was to pay for the toilets to be cleared out by the ‘cess pool emptier’! They were absolutely revolting with flies and maggots and it was particularly alarming because most of the children had bare feet so it was no wonder that disease spread easily. At least we could organize this work to help prevent disease spreading even more.
An emotional farewell
We all became very attached to the kids there, and it was extremely emotional having to say goodbye to them all!
These were just some of my highlights of the trip. It was one of the most amazing experiences and I hope to go back there some time in the future.