Beginnings and New Beginnings
Posted by Philip and Rosemary Halliday at 17:20 on 23rd March 2012
It is six months now since we launched our new NGO programmes in Kosovo, among one of the the country’s poorest and most marginalised ethnic-minority groups. The research undertaken by our team there had revealed that one of the most significant ways they could make a positive impact on the community was by providing educational activities for pre-school children and by creating a community play area for families. Philip has just come home from a visit to Kosovo and he was very encouraged to see the good work that is being done. Further programmes have been added, including a craft club for older primary-school-age children and conversation classes for teens and adults, and the response of the community has been universally positive. We have a BMS gap-year team in Kosovo too this year and they are certainly helping to make our new work more visible in the community, particularly among local young people.
This weekend we will be making a visit of a very different kind as we catch up with Amanda Redwood, a BMS pastor completing her first year of ministry in Florence, Italy. The Baptist Union of Italy has only around 30 ordained pastors for its 120 churches (and this in a country with the same population as the UK). Amanda’s role, like that of our other BMS pastors in Western Europe, is a key one.
Following on directly from Italy, Philip will be returning to Tunisia (which we wrote to you about after our visit in January). Our BMS personnel there work with a development organisation that gathers together Christians from a variety of different countries and denominations. The coming meeting, in which Philip will be participating, will provide an opportunity to re-structure that organisation. At such a crucial time in Tunisia’s history, our hope and prayer is that the partnerships might be expanded and the work correspondingly extended.
We didn’t put a post on the blog last month because, instead, we sent out a Prayer Letter. Hopefully, you saw a copy? This is something that we do every quarter and these Prayer Letters too can be downloaded (as pdf files) from this same page of the BMS website.
Thanks for reading this post,
Philip & Rosemary.