Our Gift Day 2022 partners

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6 v8)

As has been our practice in recent years, Sunnyside’s Mission Focus for Prayer Mission during September encompasses not just two of our Gift Day beneficiaries, as it does for the other 11 months of the year, but all of them. So as to assist us not only in praying for them but also in understanding what each of them seeks to do, Joy Wright has very helpfully summarised some of the aims and objective of each of the 23 causes we supported after last year’s Gift Day. This is the first of three articles she has prepared spread over the next few weeks.

We launch our 2023 Gift Day appeal on Sunday week (3 September) with a speaker from The Leprosy Mission, Chris Stratta, before building up to its finale on Sunday 24 September. So, as you read these three, we would ask that you pray about each of the charities we support and consider how much you might donate. Both of the groups, GDUK (local organisations) and GDI (international) regularly review the charities to ensure they are well run and meet our criteria.  Many have church members closely involved. Most years, there are one or two changes, as we carefully consider their direction, governance and vision for the future.

Sunnyside has a long tradition of supporting mission groups both here and overseas.  We support them through volunteering, prayer and many have strong connections over time and just once a year we ask for your financial support.  Each charity is well known to us and we know the money is used carefully and wisely.   Many of the groups we support have seen their income reduced after the pandemic, with many of the overseas ones adversely impacted by fluctuations in foreign currency as well.    We are aware also of the impact of the cost of living crisis upon you as donors here in the UK, but please be as generous as you can: every gift is really appreciated.

Church Mission Society (CMS) is a worldwide organisation supporting Christians working In many spheres, doctors in Africa, sustainable agriculture in the Philippines, teaching theology to educate local clergy and lay workers and providing workshops for those with disabilities where little is available for them. In this country there are many programmes for those on the edge of society providing help and encouragement for the lonely and long term unemployed.  Our link mission partners are Chris and Veronica who live with their children in Northeastern Spain inviting local people to hear the gospel and have provided food parcels to the needy. Chris also encourages and supports small groups of Christians in the Middle East through a charity which he directs & from personal visits.

Wycliffe Bible Translators have been working since 1953 to translate the Bible into every language so that everyone can read the good news of Jesus in their own tongue or dialect. They work with local people and over 3000 languages have one book available and the full Bible is still only published in under 700 tongues.  They aim to bring the joy of reading the Bible stories to everyone.

Embrace the Middle East, supports local partners to transform the lives of the most excluded and marginalised communities in the middle east.  They are motivated by Christ’s invitation to care for those in need. They provide hospital care, mobile clinics, doctors, nurse training, schools in refugee camps and encourage women and girls to learn to read and write, as many have been prevented from having any education. They are active in encouraging those with disabilities who are frequently overlooked or ignored.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). is an international Christian organisation that brings hope, healing and help to the most remote places, often only accessible with light aircraft. They operate in South America, Africa, Asia, the Philippines and parts of Australia, flying over jungles, mountains and swamps.  They bring essential supplies often in times of disaster with the Christian message everywhere they go. Our link partners are Sam and Abby Baguma, who live with their 2 girls in Kampala, Uganda, from where Sam directs MAF’s operations over much of East Africa.

Playskill is a local charity that supports families with children who have special needs. It was founded in 2006 by a local paediatric physiotherapist for pre-school children and is the only one of its kind providing free expert help with physiotherapy, speech and language support and occupational therapy. Pre-school children can learn the skills they need while playing in a group of only 8, with volunteers on hand to help. They can set up messy play, important for sensory development, as well as allowing the parents to have a coffee break by themselves, chatting to others facing the same problems. They have now started groups for babies before 18 months called Springboard. They advise on schools as well as training and sign language which many of the children use.  Having a child with cerebral palsy, Downs syndrome or other severe conditions puts huge pressure on families so siblings are offered fun days out as well, this year on a canal boat and sailing.

Chilterns Neuro Centre at Halton. This facility is unique providing support for those with Multiple Sclerosis at whatever stage they are and also, starting this year, it is offering its services to those with Parkinson’s and also to stroke survivors. They can access physical, practical and emotional support with experts in fatigue management, speech and language therapy and all-round care all at the one centre. They encourage sufferers to stay as active and independent for as long as possible, helping them to stay in work while they can. Like many of the charities we support, they have to raise much of the money they need to stay open.

Dacorum Emergency Night Shelter (DENS). Started many years ago as the emergency night shelter in a church hall and now is an amazing charity with its own purpose-built hostel, The Elms, where people can stay after living on the streets and are supported while progressing toward independent living.  There is advice on hand to enable them to take the next positive steps in life. They also operate a drop-in centre where showers, clean clothes and hot meals are offered as well as people to listen and advise.  They also provide crafts workshops and art for the vulnerable and those who are in danger of homelessness. Early intervention may prevent someone losing their accommodation.

Hospice of St. Francis.  The hospice helps about 2000 local people In Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire with end-of-life care.  They provide a safe place where people can talk about the difficulties they or their family are facing. Trained professionals are available to listen and offer emotional and practical help with every aspect of their lives. They encourage everyone to live life to the full for as long as possible.  Doctors, nurses, therapists and social care workers and chaplains are there to provide support and advice. Patients and their families are cared for and bereavement counselling is offered both in groups or individually.

We do hope you will be encouraged by reading about the work of the people & organisations that we support. We trust that you will pray and consider giving them a donation through our 2023 Gift Day appeal. The organisations we support rely heavily on donations with very little government assistance at all.

NO amount is too small. Every gift is valued. Together we can make a difference.

Click on the link to read more about Gift Day.

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