Wednesday 08 Mar
Scott shares about new and reimagined ministry partnerships.
Greetings! I’m writing this ED Update from India, where this week I will be celebrating our partnership with the Baptist Convention of Mizoram [BCM].
This special partnership dates back to 1969 when the parents of our current Thailand Team Leader Muana, took up responsibility for our work in Assam, India, when Australian team members were refused visas. And, seeing our 2023 theme being lived out, God was certainly going before us.
In time, we would welcome Muana and Villy as seconded team members in Thailand, followed by other wonderful Mizo team members. They have all become much loved and respected members of our mission community.
I look forward to sharing in BCM Assembly this week and meeting with convention leaders, as we explore how we can build our partnership as we share in God’s mission together. I’m looking forward to travelling this week with Rema, one of our valued Mizo team members, now based in Delhi and serving as our Asian Mission Mobiliser.
Speaking above of Assam, Rema, has recently returned from the area as we explore new partnership opportunities in a part of India with special historical connections with our Australian Baptist movement. Following on from a successful contextual mission training gathering last October, we’re chatting with leaders from the Rabha, Adivasi, Garo and Boro associations, discerning together potential new partnership opportunities in our changing world.
We have entered into several new partnership opportunities which I would invite you to be praying for. We warmly welcome financial support for these new partnership initiatives in PNG, Zambia and Myanmar
(information coming soon).
As many readers will be aware we have a long history of partnership PNG and Zambia and I’m greatly encouraged to have signed new partnership agreements with the Baptist Union of PNG [BUPNG]
and the Central Baptist Association of Zambia [CBAZ].
Under the new five-year PNG partnership, we look forward to supporting the BUPNG through:
These initiatives will make a Kingdom difference in PNG and beyond. Your support will foster the training and leadership development of Baptist women and men, including an emerging generation of passionate followers of Jesus.
- Provision of a consulting role, focused on ministry/leadership coaching and support
- Supporting BUPNG to establish an intercultural sending arm
- Building the capacity of BUPNG to develop and train leaders
- Developing a project to help fund the construction of transit housing at the Baptist Theological College of Kwinkya
- Renewing short-term ministry team visits to assist BUPNG on agreed projects
And we will be working with the BUPNG to support the development of their own, culturally relevant sending body. This will be a wonderful step forward for PNG Baptists and those they will serve across the Pacific and beyond.
In Zambia, the CBAZ Holistic Transformation project
will enable the establishment of a skills training centre in Kipiri Mposhi, a regional centre in Central Zambia and the home base of the Central Baptist association.
This centre will provide life-transforming skills training and employment and income- generating opportunities for vulnerable youth and women in Central Zambia.
Zambia is a country experiencing significant poverty, with projections that this will seriously worsen as the population is expected to double by 2025, a result the country’s extremely high adolescent pregnancy rate.
In seeking to respond with a proactive, holistic response, CBAZ leadership see a vital need to support at-risk youth and vulnerable women. The training centre will provide participants with the opportunity to access a range of vocational training options, such as bricklaying, carpentry, sewing, hairdressing, as well as micro business skills.
Success will see participants experience greater dignity, independence, choice, financial and social inclusion in the community and the opportunity to earn an income, supporting themselves and family members.
We have also recently signed a partnership agreement with Sharing Hope, a Melbourne-based Christian organisation, that has been supporting work in Myanmar and on the Thai border for more than a decade. This partnership will provide opportunities to support schools in Karen State, which play a special role beyond education in the war-torn country. We will also be supporting the development of pastors and mission workers in Thai border refugee camps.
I will be sharing more about this partnership in the weeks ahead. We’re also discussing opportunities to support Chin pastors in Myanmar and I look forward to progressing these conversations.
As Gospel people we recognise and celebrate the power of partnership – of serving together as co-workers in the good news of Jesus.
As we pursue our Strategic Roadmap and look to the future we see the Spirit leading us into more partnerships around the world. As we look across the world - in a rapidly changing international mission landscape – we see God at work through exciting collaborations, as western and global south agencies come to the table together in missional partnerships.
Grace and peace
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