CMS - Inspire November 09 - Founders' Appeal
INSPIRE FOUNDERS' APPEAL
The poorest nations have some of God’s finest servants – but not the money to support their life-changing work
There's a new dilemma facing world mission that might have passed you by. It’s come about because many of those sharing Jesus and changing lives are no longer from the richer West.
Instead they are more likely to be people like Suman from India, Bisoke from DR Congo and Lalramthara from Nepal.
Why the dilemma? It’s to do with money.
Tim Dakin, General Secretary of CMS, explains: “When mission was mainly from Western Europe to distant continents, those who did the sending also had the financial resources to support those who went. But now mission is more likely to be Africans-to-Africa, or Asians-to-Asia.”
A new generation of gifted and godly leaders is rising up. They are skilled and servant-hearted, much like Timothy in the Bible. But they have little or no financial support because the communities they serve – or those that send them – are too poor to meet their needs.
Determined to respond to this challenge, CMS has launched the Timothy Fund.
What do gifts to the Timothy Fund make possible? Ask Tim and he’ll tell you about regional missionaries like Bisoke in DR Congo.
For 10 years Bisoke has been involved in the youth movement, quickly becoming a leader, unifying young people to become great contributors to their country.
One of the many things Bisoke does is help run the Girls’ Hope Centre in Bunia, which helps young women who were brutalised during years of war and conflict in Congo. At the Centre, they receive counselling and skills training to help them really live again.
But Bisoke can only provide his much-needed leadership if funds are found to make his service possible. Which is where the Timothy Fund comes in.
Tim will also tell you of Suman, who walks Mumbai’s streets to bring the love of Jesus to those who are poor, sick and dying. Suman serves the poorest of the poor – washing them, clothing them and cleaning their wounds.
It’s a year round commitment – including monsoon season, which is particularly awful for people living on the streets.
Suman admits it’s “very challenging to go out in the night carrying supplies and getting wet. But we are so blessed that people are so happy when we give them tea, biscuits, towels and plastic sheets.”
One person who felt especially blessed was a man named Keval. When Suman met him he was extremely ill with TB and begging in the road.
Suman took Keval to the hospital and remembers: “He looked very happy and cried that we were helping him. The main thing was we were able to share the Gospel with him.”
Days later, Keval died. “I’m grateful that we could share the deep love of Jesus with him first,” Suman says.
In the slums of Kathmandu we find another modern-day Timothy, Lalramthara, who focuses on the Bagmati riverbank, where sewage, factory waste and dead animals are dumped. Hundreds of people live in this squalor, with no real chance at development opportunities.
Lalramthara helped start a school for children here. Boys and girls are taught to read and write, which gives them hope for a future, keeps them from playing in the rubbish and distracts them from drugs and illicit sex.
Says Lalramthara: “We’re hoping that by teaching the children, we can reach out to their parents with the Gospel. Our ultimate goal is to establish a fellowship in the slum, bringing the light of Christ to this dark area.”
The dilemma is that the Timothy Fund is not bottomless. “In fact,” asserts Tim Dakin, “we urgently need gifts to support this kind of life-changing mission.”
He adds: “God’s faithful servants, from some of the poorest nations, have committed their lives to making Christ known. It’s up to us to use what God has blessed us with to support them.”
The shape of mission is changing. The future of Christianity lies in the hands of our brothers and sisters in Asia, Africa and Latin America. And we have a part to play.
£8 would pay for a night of Suman's ministry to people on Mumbai's streets
£34 would provide a teacher for a week for children living in the sewage of a Kathmandu slum
£81 would provide four sessions at the Girls Hope Centre in DR Congo, giving vital skills to victims of rape and violence
To give to the Timothy Fund, visit theCMS website
and if you can, mention theInspire Founders' Appeal
when you donate.