MORE STORIES FROM THE CATALYST
Sea Sunday – 9th July
|Look around your home. How much of the contents in your cupboards, wardrobe, rooms, and even garage came to you over the seas, via the great merchant ships? What would your home be like without them?
Yet when did you last give a thought to the people who bring them to you?
It is a curious fact that seafarers are one of the most important, and yet invisible people groups in our society. We all of us depend on them to fill our homes and businesses with an endless variety of goods, and yet we never see them, never speak to them, and rarely even remember their existence.
It suddenly makes Sea Sunday seem good sense: an annual opportunity to give thanks for the seafarers of the world, and to pray for their personal well-being. For going to sea is a lonely occupation. It separates families for months on end. It can sometimes be dangerous, and is always physically demanding work.
So this month, on Sea Sunday, let’s pause and give thanks to God for the seafarers of the world. Let’s remember how their work so enriches our lives. Let’s pray for them, for their families, and let’s support the organisations that offer them care and support through their chaplaincy work.
In doing so, we will join with thousands of other Christians, from London to Lagos, Manila to Melbourne and Durban to Dunkerque, who each year remember the seafarers who make our prosperity possible.
Seafarers and their families are at the heart of everything we do
MALAWI FOSTER CARE NEWS
Dear Sponsors, Friends and Donors of Malawi Foster Care,
Here is the most recent news from our annual visit to Malawi – April 8th 2017 to April 18th 2017.
This trip was particularly special for me as I was accompanied by Emanuele (my partner) and Elia (my 23-month old son). It was very exciting for both parties, who have heard so much about the other, so to finally get to meet face-to-face and to spend some quality time together was a happy experience.
Since my last visit in November 2015, both the foster care and outreach programs have continued to grow, with the foster mothers working in Malawi and the charity supporting them from the UK. We have recently recruited another Malawian volunteer, Chikond, whose role is to support the foster mothers with communication to the UK and extend our outreach program to more remote villages which need support.
I felt very rewarded meeting the children this year, the success of the project is apparent through the children’s motivation, aspirations and drive to succeed and to do well in their education. The children were all exceptionally well behaved and incredibly respectful. I was very proud of our foster mothers in nurturing such positive attitudes and raising such lovely children and very happy that our children were valuing the opportunity by working so hard.
The children were delighted with their gifts from friends, sponsors and donors of T shirts, books, clothes, footballs and games. They especially enjoyed reading their letters from the sponsors and seeing the pictures. They all took great pride in replying to their sponsors and friends.
Over the week, thanks to one of our sponsors, we had one special day trip to Lake Malawi. Some of the children had never seen the Lake before, others had only seen it once. The children quite literally gasped when they saw it – it was a fantastic day that none of us will forget.
Through our outreach and support of the elderly, our foster mothers noticed that many orphaned children, although being cared for by extended family, were not accessing school because they simply didn’t have school uniform (a requirement). We have partnered with one such remote village, Chiwombwa, and we have now enabled 55 orphans to attend school by buying them uniforms thanks to your support.
We have continued to support their elderly relatives who care for them through regular outreach packages. Emanuele visited Chiwombwa with the foster mothers (an experience he enjoyed and found very humbling) and he met the children and elderly who we have been supporting. Thanks to the support from our sponsors, friends and donors we were able to continue our outreach program distributing care packages containing some basic essential commodities such as blankets / soya protein / chitenges /mosquito nets. The villagers wish to pass on their sincere thanks to everyone.
Finally, this April 2017 the foundations were laid for a very exciting project involving a collaboration between ‘West-Wirral Rotary’, ‘Bwaila Rotary’, ‘LifeLong Therapy’ and ‘Malawi Foster Care’. The aim will be to raise the money through an ‘International Global Grant’ to support the Malawian organisation ‘LifeLong Therapy’ in building a vocational centre to reach the most vulnerable street children.
Once again, I would like to thank all our sponsors, friends and donors for your ongoing kindness, generosity and support. As a small charity run entirely by volunteers, 100% of donations go directly to the cause. I am very privileged to see first-hand how your contribution has changed the lives of the many.
Love from Katie Bushell and us all at Malawi Foster Care.
CHURCH BELLS ON THE WIND
Nigel Beeton recently lost his father. He writes: “He died quite suddenly in early March, but, praise God, he was 84, fit and healthy, completely independent until a few days before he died. Nevertheless, I was feeling terribly sad as I washed the car one Saturday morning. It was dirty after a significant number of trips back and forth to Banbury, where he lived, and he always used to pull my leg if my car was dirty. As I wept gently while I worked, I heard the bells of St Edmundsbury Cathedral on the wind as they celebrated a wedding. I live a mile and a half away from the Cathedral, but the wind was blowing from that direction. They cannot possibly realise how much good they did that morning! They blessed far more people than just the wedding party. So this poem is dedicated to all those tremendous people along the length and breadth of Britain who give up their time to keep church bells ringing in praise of God. Thank you!