This is a report by Fiona Macaskill, from Women for Mission, about the recent WfM Annual Meeting.
The sun shone brightly for the WFM Annual Meeting in Aberdeen. It was coffee outside weather as people came from all corners of the country to learn more about the encouragements we have seen in this past year and hear about our exciting new project. The meeting was once again broadcast on YouTube and many tuned in to join remotely.
Our theme for the 2023/24 project is Breaking Barriers and we were able to learn a little about each of the four organisations we are supporting this coming year. Each group we will support works in their own unique ways to break down barriers, be they physical, mental or spiritual.
One of the charities we will be supporting this year is Christian Values in Education and we were delighted to welcome the its chairperson, Megan Patterson, to talk to us about the work of CVE. Megan loves to encourage Christian teachers and helps teachers to develop a biblical approach to the whole of classroom life. She shared a little about the work that CVE is doing to influence what is being taught in our schools, and in particular about the needs of our young people, parents and teachers to have Christians supporting them to thrive in the Scottish school system. We are delighted to be able to highlight and support the invaluable work CVE are doing. Visit the Women for Mission website to find out more about CVE and how you can meaningfully pray and act.
In addition to CVE, Breaking Barriers will also support three other charities:
- International Justice Mission, a global movement of Christian lawyers, social workers, investigators and survivors working to end slavery and violence, until all are free.
- Release International, a Christian ministry called to love and serve persecuted Christians. We will be supporting their Love in Action project, which provides essential food and hygiene items to around 1,000 families affected by persecution and violence.
- International Mission to Jewish People, a UK-based interdenominational evangelistic society committed to sharing the Good News of Jesus the Messiah with Jewish people.
Videos, PowerPoints and resources outlining the work of these charities were shown at the meeting and are available to watch and download on our website.
The Annual Meeting is also an opportunity to look back at previous groups we have supported and to find out what impact the money we have given has had. We were delighted to welcome Kam Cockburn, a local worker with Bethany Christian Trust who will be benefitting from the 2022/23 project Refuge and Strength. It was so encouraging to hear about how Kam has gone from volunteering to now working as a Community Development Worker. She shared with us the amazing work that Bethany do helping to bring an anchor to lives that are often rocked by storms of some form or another. The practical way in which relationships are built through activities such as cooking classes and other life skills is really inspirational. The gospel is worked out in practice daily in the work of Bethany and we are excited to see how the money they will shortly receive will further this.
Sarah Cumming is no stranger to WFM, having written the articles for The Record for many years. She came to the Annual Meeting to talk to us about the work she does with Choices in Dunfermline. For over 20 years Choices Dunfermline has been providing support to people who have experienced stillbirth, miscarriage, termination & unplanned pregnancy. Sarah was involved with the organisation for 15 years, managing it from 2017 until very recently. She told us about the amazing work God is doing in bringing healing to lives which have been broken by loss. Please pray for Choices as they seek to show God’s love in action while not being able to openly speak about it. Pray that those who are helped would see God in those who are helping them.
It was a real pleasure to hear about Emily Giffen’s experiences in Peru last summer. Emily received a grant from our Support A Volunteer Fund. Last summer she went to Moyabamba and stayed with David and Martha MacPherson who are now working there. She spent her mornings in the Annie Soper school teaching about nutrition. This was maybe not surprising for a medical student but the fact that she had to do it in Spanish was quite the achievement as she didn’t really speak much Spanish ¡Muy bien! In the afternoons she gave music lessons and even had a mini orchestra who gave a concert in the local concert hall.
It is always encouraging to hear about the experiences of those who apply to SAV for a grant and we would love to have more people make use of this so please do look on our website for details. You don’t have to be a student, you are only as old as you feel!
It was great to take the Annual Meeting on tour to Aberdeen and the afternoon tea was certainly the icing on the cake. If you didn’t make it along then the whole meeting is available to watch on YouTube.