Mary - Cameroon
A month has already passed since my return to Northern Ireland and the start of retirement! I’ve appreciated this time to unwind, and have been enjoying the cooler climate and good rest. I’ve still catching up to do with family and friends, and look forward to attending a niece’s wedding in Cumbria on November 11th.
The work in Cameroon remains much in my thoughts. News from Cameroon: The Rain Forest International School in Yaoundé, which plays an important role in educating the children of several mission organisation families in Cameroon, has some critical staff needs: They write “Due to some of our present teachers going on home assignment or leaving next year we are finding that there are many holes we need to fill. We are desperately in need of teachers in almost all areas for the next few years.
In order to provide basic core subjects to our Middle School, we are in need of a math and science teacher. In High School we need an upper level math teacher and a versatile science teacher.” Please pray that these gaps would be filled in good time as qualified teachers respond to God’s prompting.
Pray too for the final stages of preparation for the dedications of the Yambetta
and Nugunu New Testaments (November 25th and December 2nd respectively)
- that communities and churches would work well together. Pray that God will
open hearts to receive His truth that has power to redeem and transform lives.
The ship “Africa Mercy” has arrived in Douala (main port) for 10 months of
medical ministry in Cameroon. Pray for wisdom and strength for her staff as
they serve, and that their ministry will speak powerfully of God’s grace to trainees
Caleb - USA
One of the goals we have for AFC is for the Club to become more unified in the 2017-18 season. Unified not only in spirit, but also in the way our teams play. With our teams geographically spread over different practice facilities there has been far too little connection. We are therefore hoping to build stronger unity and connection for the benefit of everyone, especially for our young players!
At the beginning of July, Jean Paul arrived from Rwanda to spend 5 weeks here learning how to work with children at an Ambassadors camp. His first week was a training course both in the classroom and out on the field. For the following 4 weeks, Jean Paul coached children at locally church based Ambassadors soccer camps.
Jean Paul returned to Rwanda in early August with a bag of soccer balls and, even more importantly, a new vision. We have plans to work with many thousands of children in churches with 156 primary schools all over Rwanda but Jean Paul could not wait. All he needed in his neighbourhood was the bag of balls and now about 35 children are being coached and taught what is going to be life changing!
We believe that the new arena in Macedonia has the potential to help us build that unity. A coach can have a life-long impact!
The facility, "Rothenbühler Cheesemakers Arena" (same sponsor on club jerseys) is making great progress with the large steel work complete. Since construction was delayed 2 months, we are renting space at the Edge in Twinsburg for November and December. We are still in need of $300k to complete the nets, sound, video, and other equipment essential for running the arena well. Donations to Ambassadors Football are tax deductible and Sponsorship is possible. We expect more than 1,500 people to be in this Phase I facility on a winter weekend. For Phase II as many as 5,000 people will visit on one winter weekend.
Hostages who have escaped the clutches of jihadists in Marawi have described being made to build bombs for militants. More than 200 hostages, many of whom are Christians, have been held by militants and forced to construct improvised explosive devices, as well as scavenge for food and weapons. Some have even been press-ganged into fighting for Islamists rebels. At the time of writing, government forces are expecting shortly to retake Marawi , after 4 months of fighting. One escaped hostage recalled how the jihadists - excited by their “success” in Marawi - openly discussed other possible targets, including the Philippines’ capital Manila
The Philippines have a Christian majority, but the southern region has a significant Muslim population and Islamist groups are fighting for independence to establish sharia law. Pray for the Christian church in the Philippines that they remain strong and true to the gospel, and that the government might be given wise council in dealing with the Islamists.
The following update on Aleppo, Syria, received 24th September “This is how we can describe the current situation in Syria, 6½ years after the start of the events that caused the death of more than 35,000 people, destroyed a large part of the country, displaced a third of the population, exiled more than 3 million people and wiped out the future of many young people and many generations of Syrians. In Aleppo, the situation, has improved considerably on all levels since the end of 2016. The vast majority of the neighbourhoods are safe enough to come and go, without fear of mortar shell or bullets from sniper fire. Water is provided for at least 2 days a week and power between 12-15 hours a day. But the situation isn’t clear with neither peace nor war at this time.” Please pray for those Christians who have lost everything and are seeking to rebuild their lives and for those church leaders to know how best to rebuild the church from the ruins of the church in Syria.
Authorities in several provinces have banned children from attending church.
More than 100 churches in Zhejiang province have been notified that minors will
not be permitted to participate in religious activities, including Sunday school or
summer camps, even if they accompany their parents.
The ban on children attending church is targeted at state recognised churches,
which are required to be registered. All activities of believers, who are part of
China’s flourishing ‘house church’ movement, are already illegal. Pray for the
church in China whether state controlled or not that they will stand. Jesus said
“I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it”.
Geoff, Fay & Danni
For the past month we have been looking at the gospel of Mark in our bible study. There are many different challenges that come with doing a bible study in a care home, especially since interactive bible reading is new to most residents. However, in recent times I have seen some encouragements! God’s word has been speaking louder than my feeble words and I have seen its power to speak into all kinds of situations. One lady who attends bible study lost her baby girl at just eight months old.
For many years she had struggled with the pain of that loss, but had not been able to properly share what she was feeling as it was something she was told “she just needed to get over as it’s a part of life”. I have sat with her many times as she shared the story of what happened. She finally admitted to herself, and to me, that she was angry with God and feared where her baby girl was now. I handed out some Mark gospels to encourage the bible study group to read Mark in their own time too. This particular lady took one from me and started reading Mark 10:18,
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” She shouted out to the group what she had read and said, “that’s where my baby girl is!” The bible is very much alive! And God is using it to heal and change lives every day and although it’s a very slow process, in our eyes, I’ve have seen it first hand in our studies. Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Please pray as we continue to share the Word through the four Bible studies we
hold across all the homes:
• that we are bold and faithful to what it says.
• that it will bring healing and hope in their lives.
• that there will be growth and a desire to learn more and a desire to read the
bible outside of bible study.
Tim & Alison - UK
Things have been very challenging for Tim. There are many demands of
information wanted, but not much receiving of information needed in order to
meet these demands. Tim has been trying to work in between family life so has
been burning the midnight oil and beyond. For people in some of the WACA
area they have had visas refused and are going “home” with young families to
see where their next step is. As you can imagine it is not only an upheaval for the
families but causes much uncertainty for those left in the country.
Alison is still on half term with one of the children, and on her return to work,
will have cut her hours due to things happening at work. Alison is praying and
seeking Gods leading for His way ahead.
The plans have been drawn and are now with Greenwich council waiting for their
confirmation. We will be, hopefully, getting quotes from builders with them to
start work in the New Year, for the extra, much needed, bedrooms. Please pray
for Gods guidance in all this work. Our time is already under pressure, so having
this work done and decisions needing to be made could put more strain on things.
Helen & Alastair - Ireland
We had a great weekend with George Verwer in Dublin celebrating OM’s 60th
anniversary with two special services. We also officially opened our Dublin office,
which is our first office presence in Dublin since 2008. While we have some good
Dublin connections, especially through TeenStreet, we would love to promote
OM more within the churches in Dublin and encourage many to get involved in
missions both locally and globally.
Our three Immersion students will be getting settled into their church placements
this month. They will be working with churches in North Clare and Co Cavan.
Alastair will be attending the European Leaders Meetings in Germany (6-9
November). This is an annual event and a great place for Alastair to connect with
other leaders. The Ireland leadership team are finalising ministry plans for 2018
in this coming month so please pray for wisdom for them.
Our Creative Arts team are preparing for the Christmas show, “Oops, Forgotten
Something” and will be doing 35 shows in schools across Ireland. For the next
two weeks they will be working on the set and then start rehearsals in earnest
with two additional short term workers, a girl from Switzerland and a guy from
The Netherlands. We are very thankful that Rafa and Mariana have been able to
join our team for a few months and Rafa will be very involved in the Christmas
Our niece, Ciara, will be leaving to visit her family in West Africa for a couple of
months prior to joining OM Riverboat for three months. It’s been great having her
stay with us for the past two months while she has done our Immersion training.
Alisha & Hannah will especially miss Ciara, and have appreciated her help with
their French homework, especially as they prepare for school assessments from