Category: Mission and Ministries


Steve B travelling to Thailand this week

Tim,

From Sunday 8th to Friday 27th October Steve is visiting Chiang Mai in Thailand. There are two main purposes:

  • spend time at the WEC boarding home where some of WEC’s MKs (missionaries children) live. They attend Grace International School while their parents serve the Lord either in Thailand or another country. Steve’s role is to give pastoral support and practical encouragement to the couple running the home. He will be there from 10th – 17th and from 22nd – 26th October.
  • attend Asiacon, a large conference for leaders from four areas in Asia. From 17th – 22nd he will give presentations on safeguarding and talk with individuals.

Please pray for Steve to be able to minister effectively in both of these situations.

To learn more about Steve and Gill’s work download their biannual prayer letter here

A busy week…

Tim,
A letter to Oasis from an Eastern-European lady

Catch up on some of the people Lesley introduced us to last week (sorry for no re-post on the CBC site, maybe you should read here before going on).

Then on to a big Wednesday when Neal gave an address in six-languages; and some dancing that was truly the oil of joy instead of mourning (Isaiah 61), a glimpse of the “day of the Lord’s favour” surely.

And that’s just half-way through the week, be sure to read (and watch) to the end: http://grindrods.simplesite.com/436990349

Hitting the (Austrian) ground running …

Tim,
Room full of people listening to Ali preach in Farsi and German with Russian translation by Leila

As most of you will know, we fare-welled Neal and Lesley recently as they returned to Austria after their trip last year to spend four months working with the Oasis Refugee Ministry in Traiskirchen, just south of Vienna.

It certainly sounds like they’re right back in the thick of it with powerful stories of love and tragedy already, but don’t take my word for it, read for yourself: http://grindrods.simplesite.com/435831945

Talking of Sanga Sanga

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari
Hi to you all!

It seems strange to say we will see you all soon but if all goes according to plan we will! Next weekend we fly, arriving back late on Sunday evening in the UK.
Our last week will be a tight one as we have a few more projects we want to complete however, to quote one of our favourite TV police chiefs ‘You can only do what you can do’ (answers on a postcard please).

Talking of police….Steve and Ruth – who were with us last night for a catch up/goodbye/meal – were amazed that during our time here, although we have been stopped by the police on numerous occasions we have never been fined. Martin’s honest ploy of opening the window, smiling and greeting them with a loud and British ‘Good morning!’ seems to amuse them and after a brief glance at our licences, we are waved on.

Talking of waving…that is also how he deals with them when we pass all the police checks, while I am sinking into my seat wondering why he must draw attention to us, and now they wave back – silly me, of course, waving works…

Talking of Steve and Ruth…they have said goodbye to the Oak Hall-ers and have a brief moment to catch their breath before heading off on Tuesday to a conference where Steve will be speaking, it’s been a pretty exhausting time for them both. The feedback from the holiday group though was very encouraging, so all their efforts have been worth it.

Talking of things that are worth it…whatever our efforts, whatever we manage to achieve, there is nothing more worth it than giving of ourselves to God. He is worth our all whatever the cost because He has already paid the highest price and somehow He thought we were worth it!

Last Sunday we joined the hoilday group to visit a tiny village church over the mountains and into, what felt like, the jungle. The caretaker/evangelist from Sanga Sanga, runs the church here, planted a few years ago, in a very hostile area where there is little other Christian influence around. We were delighted by their welcome and joined in with their worship – we hope it was as encouraging for them as it was for us!

Things we will miss…the entertaining antics on the road, the amazing shops – all tiny but crammed full with anything and everything, all the folks at Sanga Sanga, the ‘wheelbarrow bird’ (we will explain all), the home entertainment system – monkey treks through the garden, learning from Cath and Tony/Steve and Ruth about Tanzanian life, cheap ‘n’ fresh fruit ‘n’ veg sold at the gate…and so much more.

‘For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.’

Psalm 100:5

See you soon,
Jo ‘n’ Martin

The adventure continues!

Tim,

“Would you be willing to spend three months as short term volunteers at the Oasis Refugee Centre in Traiskirchen, Austria?”

Thus began Neal and Lesley’s journey last year. Now they are preparing to return once again. You can read about those preparations and regular updates on their blog at: http://grindrods.simplesite.com/

But don’t worry we’ll keep you up to date on this site and Facebook too.

We the redeemed shall be strong, in purpose and unity

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari!

It has been a wee while since the last email and all for good reason – we have been working really hard this week in particular, in an effort to complete the toilet and shower block (built by the Corsham team in June) and make sure that everything functions as it should and that it looks fairly presentable, ready for the Oak Hall group arriving on Thursday from the UK. The plumbing is now nearly completed but we have yet to install the solar hot-water system on the roof and fit the doors, so it will be a last big push through to Thursday and then hopefully collapse in a heap on Friday (us, not the shower block!) As we have worked all week up till today we are already having a little practice at collapsing in a heap, so today we are mostly doing nothing!

We are SO thankful for a lovely place in which to rest! Sitting on the verandah, overlooking the huge variety of trees and greenery here I would say it is peaceful and in a way it is but adding their voices to the silence are the numerous neighbourhood cockerels competing for top spot in the pecking order, several gangs of combatting sparrows nesting in the eaves above our heads and the intriguing chatter and song of passers by who wander up and down the cut-through alley way at the side of the house which leads down to a stream and then eventually onto the road where Steve and Ruth live. The monkeys have yet to make an appearance…

Steve and Ruth will be leading the group from Oak Hall and have been working hard, planning and getting covered in dust along with us down at the Sanga Sanga site. They have also been very supportive this week especially as it did not start in a good way…

So Tuesday was probably the worst day we have had so far, in saying that though it was the only really difficult day we have had so far, which all things considered is pretty good!
It has been dubbed Leaky Tuesday as every pipe we plumbed or laid, well you guessed it, leaked; it seemed as if every connection failed and hours were spent fixing other leaky things on site before getting on with our main work. That in itself was just frustrating, just part of life but we were so tired at the end! The other issue which left us feeling a little vulnerable was that one of the guard dogs belonging to the house where we are staying became ill very quickly and died that evening. It all happened within hours and not knowing the system here and feeling quite responsible for someone else’s dog was difficult. At the end of a long story, we watched and waited with Luka, the night guard, as the poor dog breathed its last.
Not to mention the other animal death earlier that same day…

George, the calf born on site this year, became ill on Monday and when we arrived on Tuesday morning the first thing we ask is

‘How is George?’

‘Oh, George is dead…come and see’

I follow Amos the guy who looks after the 3 cows (now 2) through to the field behind the cowshed expecting to see poor George’s body…instead there is George, in 3 buckets, being dissected and examined. Francis holds up (a little too closely) the lungs and heart for me to comment on…

‘Look,’ he says, ‘You can see the bad bit there!’
‘Yes, quite…thank you…’

Later we see some of George bubbling away in a pot on the campfire – the dogs dinner of course – waste not want not, a far cry from the plastic wrapped joint from the supermarket.
For those interested parties, the campfires have been very useful in heating pipes so that we can bend them to make them fit – always think outside the box!

The song in our heads this week…

‘And we the redeemed shall be strong, in purpose and unity.
Declaring aloud, praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honour and power and strength.
Be to our God forever and ever!’

We pray for the ability to get done what needs to be done this week and to stay wholly reliant on Him!

Love to all,
Jo and Martin

PS Thanks for all the snippets of news and info we get from folks back home!

Not in the dog house!

Tim,

Habari!

Hi to you all,

It has been a good day, I know that because I am covered in paint and we are both sat outside with a cuppa for the last hour of sunlight – sun always sets around 6pm whatever time of year – Martin is quiet so I know he is tired!

Now that the plasterwork is finished and the ‘windows’ (read grates with mesh for windows) are in, we have started working back on the shower and toilet block that we built when the team were here – Martin is making doors for the cubicles and planning the plumbing and I am, of course, painting…

Jo preparing more paint

Jo preparing more paint

It took us just over a week to get the showers in the retreat house fully functioning, just in time as there will be a big group staying on the site for the next few days.

It is really good to notice that relationships with the staff on site are going well, as they now come and tell us about things that need fixing etc.
The bees have been a bit of a problem this week, that is African bees, with a bit of a reputation. They tend to swarm angrily around the workshop in the afternoons and we have to light fires, the smoke keeping them at bay. They also seemed to follow me around today wherever I was painting, they obviously have words to say about the colour or my sloppy technique? As long as you don’t make any sudden movements they are ok…
Staff were very happy when Martin made a new door out of scrap wood that was lying around for the dog house (ok so he wasn’t actually in the dog house, then…) see photo on facebook, if you are ‘friends’ !

I went along to a ladies prayer breakfast on saturday morning – sounds very civilised, and it certainly was – a great group of English speaking ‘gals’ from Zimbabwe, USA, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania as well as UK. We were saying goodbye to a German lady who has run an orphanage here for nearly 20 years. We had an interesting chat as she comes from Berlin and trained in the hospital where youngest daughter was born…

So life continues here in Morogoro and Sanga Sanga – not always full of excitment, like life the world over, but we are happy to work and know that the small things we do are making a difference.

I almost forgot! How could I possibly say that life is not exciting when the local council, or somebody official, came and scraped a few inches off the road surface up to our house this week – that may mean nothing but if you can imagine the difference between driving across the Grand Canyon and what is now a farm dirt track, then you will understand our joy!!

Let’s see what they can manage next week…?
Love to all,
Jo and Martin

Meet a missionary

Tim,

Sorry for the terrible alliteration in the title, it just seemed irresistible ;-).

You will have seen in the church notices that Gill and Steve Bryant are holding an open evening with the WEC course participants this evening and we (the wider congregation) have been invited to join them.

So why not take this opportunity to find out more about both Steve and Gill’s work and that of the participants? Perhaps God is calling you to support this work in prayer, financially or some other way?

7.45pm at Priory Street

Plumbing, Chai and Singing

Tim,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari!
Hi to you all
We are getting a little hotter here, hope the summer in the UK is still a good one (I guess if you’re a gardener the lack of rain might make it not so?!) Sounds like CBC has been and is very busy, for all the right reasons.

Our main job at the moment is sorting out the hot and cold water systems for the showers both in the retreat and on the campsite, not a fun job, although Martin is determined to get it all going, literally by hook or by crook! We have deployed an old electric water heater for the campsite which by end of play today should be up and running…tomorrow ‘we’ will be attempting to re-plumb the retreat system, please pray as this has been teeth-grindingly tricky and frustrating to fix!

Steve and Ruth have family visiting and have been able to enjoy a few days away with them, Cath Swanson has been in Senegal but is back now and Tony has been here but is now in Uganda/South Africa till next week. The whole team here have been so supportive and thoughtful and have allowed us to fit in as best suits us, which is perfect (hope they think so too!) They were especially kind this weekend as I was under the weather again and slept thru most of it, but all back, up and running now…

As mentioned in an earlier email the Tanzanian regular staff here have a chai break late morning but they always have a little service beforehand – singing, praying and reading the Bible – I joined them yesterday and they came and asked us to come again today. They have a book with the words for singing otherwise I would be totally lost and I can just about follow the Swahili Bible readings, if it is a familiar passage that is. Even though I understand so little I can still sing ‘Yesu nakupenda’ !

I just asked Martin if there was anything he wanted to add and he said…’he is mortally wounded because they don’t have any Knipex plumbing pliers here!’ His words not mine… He thoroughly enjoys the mad chaos of Morogoro town, driving badly is a forgotten art in England, he says!

We are home now from Sanga Sanga, cup of tea in the garden and watching the monkeys.

Love to all,
Jo and Martin