When we set off a long journey, itâ€™s important to keep focused on where weâ€™re going. But, sometimes, too, we need to remind ourselves why we set off in the first place.
As we embark on our 15th anniversary year, weâ€™ve been reflecting back on the original vision that inspired us to set up BCT back in 1999.
The original picture that God gave Susie Howe, our director, was that of Aaron and Hur holding up Mosesâ€™ arms in the battle against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8â€“16). He told her there was a spiritual battle on for the lives of children in the world today. And he gave BCT a clear calling: to mobilise the church to â€˜hold up the armsâ€™ of those on the frontline of that battle, to strengthen those brave souls working to save and restore children at risk.
Thatâ€™s been our mission ever since. In practice, that support and strengthening takes on many different forms: prayer, solidarity, militant compassion, finance, resources, energy and encouragement, God-given authority.
It really matters that our partner projects know they are not alone. And it remind us all what it is to be the body of Christ, standing in unity with a common purpose.
Weâ€™ve so seen so many battles won in the past 15 years, often across whole communities. Weâ€™ve held up the arms of Global Connections, for example, to help build wells and toilets for hundreds of families in northern Uganda rebuilding lives shattered by the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army. And weâ€™ve helped many hundreds of families devastated by HIV and genocide to find hope and fresh purpose, as weâ€™ve partnered with Abisunzimana and now APRECOM in Rwanda.
And, of course, every single life changed is a battle won too.
We recently heard from our partner project in the DRC, Pukusu Childrenâ€™s Ministries (PCM), about Kiara.
When they met her, Kiara was totally isolated and â€˜living in distressâ€™. Both her parents had died, so she had no family, no protection, no support.
PCM have encouraged her community to adopt her as their own and enabled her to go to school. Now 14, sheâ€™s doing well in her studies and, as PCM puts it, â€˜shares her joy with others in the communityâ€™.
We know weâ€™re in a spiritual battle against forces that are bent on destroying childrenâ€™s lives. We see it even here in the UK as children are bombarded with images and information that would try to sexualise them and turn them into professional consumers.
But we also know Godâ€™s on our side and victory is his.
The focus of the Exodus 17 story is not the strength of Aaron and Hur â€“ but the power of God. Wonderfully, he partners with people to show that power. But heâ€™s the one that makes it all happen.
So, in this special year, weâ€™re calling on God to help us take ground for vulnerable children across this planet. For children with special needs who are trapped by unhelpful attitudes. For children accused of witchcraft and robbed of their true identity. For those in prison and those forced to live like trash on the streets. For children burdened by poverty and disease, unable to lift their heads. For young girls forced to marry old men who steal their youth, health and happinessâ€¦
We thank God for all our Champions for Children who help us hold up our partnersâ€™ arms â€“ and for those who are standing on the sidelines to join us this year.
Itâ€™s God whoâ€™ll help us reach our goal â€“ and we know he works most powerfully when Christians join forces in his name to make change happen.