York circuit secretary's report of MWIB Presidents Partnership Day
I've not really had much contact with MWIB, having only been to 2 events previously to this one. I was a bit apprehensive of going but my fears were soon put aside. There was an incredible welcome from all of the ladies, what a great opportunity for fellowship and friendship! I often think that the Methodist church has a ministry of tea: ministea: Methodists are very good at refreshments and chatting.
Methodists were born in song, so it's not surprising that we started the day with singing. The first hymn was Crown him with many crowns. We then had a reading from the Gospel, the one about Sheep and Goats. The key phrase was "Whatever you did for the least important of these you did for me". As Christians, we need to be going out there and helping people in need. This is the point of the presidents partnerships. We then sang again, When I needed a neighbour, were you there.
The first charity partnership is the Swanland Education Africa Trust (SEAT). Their aim is: Care Educate Hope. These three words sum up the essence of what they do. They provide care for children whose lives are very difficult. Education will bring them out of the poverty they are in and give them hope for the future.
2 schools: Nairobi and Ngong: SEAT are the sole supporters of these schools. They provide care and education. They have a feeding programme, porridge in morning and good meal at lunchtime: food gives them health so they are able to receive the education.
How it all started?
Christ like heart for young children in poverty in Nairobi Small beginnings, now something quite substantial with a huge impact now!
Education can break the cycle of poverty. It is hard to get in to education when you are in poverty as you need uniform, books and to speak Swahili and even some English. This is out of the reach of the children who live in slums. This is why this charity is so important.
After lunch, we had a time of devotion where we sang "I am a new creation", because Christians Against Poverty is about transforming lives.
We then heard from Christians against Poverty.
Christians Against Poverty's talk was entitled "Debt.. The silent killer". This is because no one is willing to talk about debt, people are ashamed about it.
1 in 3 people are in serious debt. Serious debt is defined as causing people worry. The stress of debt kills people, either through suicide or ill health. Anyone can find themselves struggling with debt. Usually caused by an unexpected event. Being in debt is not just a money problem, it causes ill health, relationship problems, the effects are huge and serious. Th43% of population in Hull are worried about debt, highest in the country. Only 12% seek help! 72% sacrifice meals, 21% do this regularly. It's hard to imagine that in today's world and in this society people are going without food. 40% attempted or considered suicide.
What does the bible say about debt and poverty?
Isaiah 41 v 17
God doesn't forsake people. We as Christians shouldn't either
Psalm 82 v 3
Isaiah 58 v 6 and 7
Christians need to get involved and do something about it! This is why CAP was set up.
CAP don't just support people who are monetarily poor, but emotionally and spiritually poor.
CAP set up debt centres. John Kirkby is the founder (there are free books which explain his story). He found himself in debt and it caused his marriage to break down, lose his job, everything. He found himself in a bedsit alone. Found a church and found a way to Jesus and found a way out of debt. He wanted to help other people do the same.
Hull CAP helps 50 families a year, help them pay off their debt. Whilst doing so, they expose them to the love of Jesus, pray with them and invite them to events to find out more about Jesus. Hull CAP has helped 46 this year, four of which have come to faith. This makes everything worthwhile, even if they just change one person's life. It's an amazing privilege.
As well as debt counselling, CAP also run budgeting courses. CAP look at these at debt prevention courses. CAP also help people to become able to budget so that they don't end up in debt again. They often pass on their skills to friends and family.
It's been a really good day, and I would recommend any MWIB event to anyone, it's not just for the "older" ladies.