“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3-18.

On our annual Gift Day, we aim to reach out to the poor and needy, those who are the poorest in body, mind and spirit, both in this country and overseas. We want to share with them the love of God and that we care about them and their future. Please pray both for the charities we support and what you might be able give this year to those who are so needy.

Frontiers UK.  James & Jo Price continue their involvement with the Rohingya community in Bradford – running an English class as well teaching them practical skills, they arranged an outing for these ladies to see an English farm and countryside. After class there is an opportunity for coffee and socialising. James continues to be involved with the Rohingya in South East Asia and visited them earlier this year.  They are developing new partnership opportunities for people to work in the region and placing people with teams already in place.  James and Jo are both involved with the Global Rohingya network and they would hope to return to South East Asia sometime in the future, seeking wisdom about timing and location.

SIM UK. (Serving in Mission).  Many of us know Rob Eldred, John and Chris Cartwright’s son in law, who is People Care Coordinator for SIM. He has had a busy year supporting, caring, and equipping mission workers to serve overseas. He supports adults and children, providing advice and support in physical and mental health, and offering training in care and resilience, enabling them to overcome the many difficult situations they will encounter. The care team have also debriefed those returning from mission overseas, including some who have been in involved in critical incidents. Rob says it is a privilege to serve in such a way that enables mission workers to be well cared for.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is an International Christian organisation whose purpose is to bring hope, healing and help through aviation. They have been flying for 75 years using light aircraft over mountains, jungles and swamps to bring the essentials of life and the love of God to the most isolated people. They operate in Southern America, Africa, Asia, the Philippines and the very Northern part of Australia. Where conflict, famine or disaster strike the only access available may often be by air.  Our link partners are Sam & Abby Baguma and their 2 daughters, Rachel & Rebecca who live in Kampala, Uganda where Sam’s operation is based. Sam finds that his financial work enables him to share his Christian faith with ministers or officials with whom he has to deal to ensure that MAF’s donations are fairly and wisely spent. Uganda has suffered much during the pandemic and Abby home-schooled the girls who are now happily back at school learning with their friends.

The Bible Society is a world-wide interdenominational organisation devoted to translating and distributing Bibles either freely or at affordable prices. Increasingly they are involved in advocacy of credibility and trustworthiness in contemporary life. In Ukraine they have distributed many large print Bibles to be read by those trapped underground or in dimly lit places bringing hope and encouragement.  Great comfort is taken from Psalm 91 verse 5 “You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day.”

Open Door, on the High Street in Berkhamsted, provides a safe welcoming place for all, encouraging everyone to be active engaged and creative. They are helping to tackle today’s issues, isolation, loneliness and inequality. They offer craft classes, art, workshops, exhibitions and host events, quiz nights, tea dances and literature groups. They also hold a monthly repair session. There is a café where delicious cakes are made and donated by the volunteers. This year, they are welcoming refugee families and individuals from Ukraine for afternoon coffee and cakes on Tuesday afternoons every week from 1 to 3pm. Open Door is part of the Way Inn Christian centre.

The Swan Youth Centre, also on the High Street in Berkhamsted is a unique place in the town where young people can gather every weekday during school term time and in the holidays, it provides a wide range of organised activities, or is just a place to meet friends relax and chat. It is open to all 11 – 18 years old, providing a safe place to be, preventing anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse. It also provides safe accommodation for under 25s with local connections who are homeless, providing they are in education or employed, until they are able to live independently.

Good news for everyone, formerly The Gideons, want to introduce everyone to the Lord Jesus by distributing God’s word. They provide New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs to school’s colleges and prisons as well as hotels and B&Bs. Free copies are available to anyone who requests. They now partner with the Farming Christian Link, Christian bikers and the Waterways chaplaincy, they aim to evangelise by taking time to talk to individual people.

Age UK Dacorum is a local charity working to improve the lives of the elderly and their carers. They will direct people to the services they need and help with legal advice, making wills and obtaining Power of Attorney, giving help and support when someone dies. Recently they have started a gardening service to those who are now unable to look after their own. They offer essential services to those who need free, good, helpful advice.

We are aware of the sensitivity in asking for gifts this year only a couple of months after Campaign 22 to raise our weekly giving and at a time, when the increased cost of living is difficult for everyone. Please do pray for the charities and consider what you might give. Every gift however small is really valued and every penny is given to those whose need is so great.

Our Gift Day leaflet can be found by clicking on the link.

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