Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Trustees wanted

BCT has a passion and vision to see the Christian Church leading the way in creating local and global societies where every child is valued, kept safe, nurtured and free to reach their God-given potential. If you share that passion and want to use your skills and some of your time to help bring about change and transformation, you might be exactly the kind of person we want to hear from.

It’s an exciting time for BCT. We’re seeing growth and new opportunities in all sorts of areas. At this point, we need 2 or 3 new trustees to oversee our development and make sure our God-given vision remains at the heart of everything we do. Could you be one of the people we’re looking for?

 

To find out more about the role of Trustee, click here.

 

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Susie in Rwanda

Members of APRECOM’s Inshuti Nziza Troop in Bukora

BCT’s Director, Susie Howe, has just arrived in Rwanda, to spend two weeks with our local partner, APRECOM. While in Rwanda, Susie will spend time with the APRECOM team, review their work, offer counsel and encouragement, and help them plan for the next year. Following that, she will spend three days with Rev Jean-Paul of LVLE, who will cross the border from DR Congo to meet her.

Visits like these always provide invaluable insights into what the situation ‘on the ground’ is really like for our partners, and how we can best support them. So please pray that this trip is as informative and as mutually-encouraging as it could possibly be.

Susie asks for prayer on one or two specific points:

‘Please pray that God will enable me to fulfil his plans for this trip – to be alert to the leading of Holy Spirit, to step out in faith, to go beyond the obvious and to glorify Jesus. Pray that the children, their families and the local team will be my teachers and that I will learn from them. I pray that Holy Spirit will graciously impart such wisdom to me that I can share his blessing, truth and encouragement with everyone I meet.’

If you’d like to know more, please click here for Susie’s full itinerary and more details on exactly what she will be doing.

 

And if you’d like to pray for BCT and our partners more regularly, you can find the latest prayer requests and our quarterly prayer diary here.

 

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Witchcraft workshop at the UN

Last week saw a ground-breaking workshop on witchcraft and human rights at the UN, in Geneva. Carolyn Gent and Emilie Secker had the fantastic opportunity of presenting SCWA‘s work there, alongside friends from DR Congo and Nigeria.

Bob Priest (Trinity Divinity School), Emilie Secker (Safe Child Africa), Carolyn Gent (BCT) and Pastor Abel Ngolo (EPED)

Carolyn tells us: ‘The workshop went well and was definitely worthwhile. It was also a good opportunity to reconnect with old friends and forge some new contacts. Christians were well represented there and although there was a little more hostility of tone towards the faith based panel, it was clear that the Church is taking a lead in addressing witchcraft accusations against children.’

Our hope is that the workshop will prompt the UN to recognise witchcraft accusations as a harmful cultural practice, and therefore put pressure on governments to enact laws against it. Please join us in praying for this outcome.

 

Click here to find out more about how we are tackling witchcraft accusations against children.

 

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They did it!

On Saturday, our five intrepid trekkers completed the Walk for Wukwashi, raising vital funds for our Zambian partner’s work with disabled children. The route took in 26km of London’s roads and paths between Putney and Southwark, crossing 16 historic bridges on the way. Huge thanks and congratulations to Caroline Daley, Jane Mallac, Heather Brazier, Jaqueline Kerwin and our own Andy Wileman.

Two other BCT supporters, Harry and Diane Barrett, arranged a sponsored walk of their own in Exmouth. Thank you so much, Harry and Diane!

We’re still counting the pennies but will update you soon on how much our heroes have raised.

 

Click here to find out more about our Zambian partner and how the money raised through the walk will make a difference.

 

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Why we do what we do

BCT’s vision is to see the worldwide Church leading the way in building a local and global society where all children are loved, safe, nurtured and free to reach their God-given potential. Our purpose on the planet is to do all we can to help make this vision a reality.

We work with, and through, our partner projects to:

  • combat ignorance and cultural beliefs that leave children at risk of harm.
  • teach parents about ways to bring up their children.
  • provide families with ways to earn a living and provide for themselves.
  • mobilise local churches to model caring for vulnerable children; speaking up for them, giving them opportunities to actively participate in their communities, and leading the way in creating societies where children can flourish.

But why do we do that?

Because we won’t accept a world where children suffer. Multiple millions are abused, exploited or neglected because of ignorance, harmful societal conditions, stigmatising beliefs and human sin. We will work with every ounce of strength and insight God gives us to change the attitudes and issues that make children suffer.

Because God cares even more than we do. The Bible rings with his fathomless love for children, for the downtrodden and for the marginalised. If we are to be faithful in following Jesus, we must take care of the ones he loves.

Because we believe in the Church. The Church is God’s plan to reach, serve and restore the world. And when local churches mobilise their people, resources and God-given authority, beautiful things happen. Churches are ideally placed to bring change. We’ve seen many churches influence their communities to become environments where children can thrive. And we’re committed to enabling more of the same.

Because things are changing! We’re thrilled to see individual children thriving and communities beginning to realise how valuable their children are. It is such a privilege to play a small part in the divine work of transformation, and, with your help, we want to keep doing it. The Kingdom of God is coming. And we’re hugely grateful to you for joining with us to serve him.

 

Find out more here about how you can get involved in BCT’s work to help children thrive.

 

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Pray for Kenya

Well, perhaps it’s not surprising, but it’s disappointing, nonetheless. Following this month’s election, Kenya’s opposition are alleging electoral fraud and taking their case to the Supreme Court. There doesn’t seem a great deal of evidence for irregularities, but we’ll have to await the outcome of the case to see what comes to light.

What’s troubling about this is not the result of the election itself, or the alleged fraud. What’s troubling is that 28 people have already died in violence linked to the election, and a disputed vote in 2007 led to widespread unrest in Kenya. Nobody wants to see that kind of unrest repeated, especially given the horrifying situation in DR Congo at the moment, which was itself triggered by a political dispute.

Please join us in praying for Kenya:

  • Pray that the questions over the election result will be resolved quickly and fairly.
  • Pray, above all, that peace will prevail in what is usually a stable country, and that nobody else will be harmed through political violence.

 

For more prayer points from BCT and our partners, click here.

 

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International youth day

Members of the Inshuti Nziza Troop in Bukora

Today is International Youth Day – a celebration of the energy, skill and idealism of young people. So, it’s only right that we acknowledge the young people connected to our partner projects, who are showing these qualities by the barrel-load. APRECOM’s Inshuti Nziza Troop are worthy of special mention. The members of the Troop have all been affected by HIV/AIDS. But remarkably, they have risen above their own (significant) problems and are pouring their time, energy and skills into serving other people. On a recent visit to Bukora – a community largely populated by displaced people – the Troop planted trees, served at a children’s club, helped build a church and a house, and distributed food and water to patients at a hospital.

Never let it be said that young people only take and never give back. The Inshuti Nziza Troop are showing just how much young people have to offer. It makes you wonder what the young people we see every day could achieve, given the right support and encouragement.

 

Find out more about APRECOM here.

 

 

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A new resource to stop child witch accusations

We are almost ready to launch a new resource to help church leaders handle accusations of witchcraft against children. This is very exciting as the resource has the potential to transform how whole communities view and treat children. We are now seeing the resource piloted, to ensure it is easy for pastors to use and as effective as it could possibly be.

Participants at the Kasai pilot event

The first pilot took place last month in Kasai, DRC. That this pilot even happened is a minor miracle, given the extreme unrest in the region. But the participants not only attended the event; they gave it their full attention and responded enthusiastically to the teaching material. Several of the participants report that their attitudes towards children have changed dramatically as a result.

A second pilot is in progress right now, in Togo. Please join us in giving thanks for such an encouraging outcome in Kasai, and in praying that the Togo pilot will be just as productive. We will bring you more news on the SCWA resource soon.

 

In the meantime, click here to find out more about our work addressing accusations of witchcraft against children.

 

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Why is no-one talking about this?

More than 3,300 people killed in just a few months. More than a million people displaced. Nearly 400,000 children left at risk of severe, acute malnutrition. The scale of the violence and upheaval in DR Congo – particularly in Kasai province – is staggering. Neither is this a sudden and unexpected development: trouble has been brewing for almost a year now, ever since President Kabila refused to stand down at the end of his second term. So it’s surprising and extremely disappointing that so few people outside the DRC are aware of what’s going on or seem to care about stopping it. Why is no-one talking about the violence in Kasai?

UNICEF say they need US$40.2 million for their relief effort in the region. We hope and pray that will be forthcoming soon. There seems a fairly glaring need for peacekeepers, too, but nobody seems keen to commit troops to that, right now. So, we’re also praying that will change. There’s nothing else we can do. But as we pray, we remember that our God moves mountains and that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and we don’t lose heart. Please keep Congo in your own prayers, too.

 

Click here to find out more about what our partners are doing in DR Congo.

 

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Overcome evil with good

‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil… If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Romans 12:17-21)

Recent events have shown that evil is at work in our world. We saw it in Finsbury Park just last week and in the London Bridge attack earlier this month. We saw it in Manchester two short weeks before that. We see it in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And we see it in DR Congo.

EPED persevere in serving street-living young people, despite the current dangers.

DR Congo has been experiencing unrest for months, now. Millions of people have been affected by politically-motivated violence, hundreds have died and, as ever, it’s the children who are suffering most. Life on the streets of Kinshasa is dangerous at the best of times but, with violence and threats of violence increasingly widespread, the city’s street-living children are more vulnerable than ever.

Evil is lurking in Kinshasa and when we’re faced with this kind of evil, our reflex can be to either run away or retaliate against those responsible. But our friends at EPED refuse to give way to fear and anger. Despite the curfews and uncertainty, they persevere in reaching out to children on the streets, offering them medical treatment, counselling and hope in the name of Jesus. EPED is overcoming evil with good.

What a powerful example to us. How might we show this kind of courage and steadfast, godly love? Let’s not be cowed by threats of evil. Let’s reach out to people who are suffering and need to know the love of God. Let’s overcome evil with good.

 

Find out more here about EPED’s valuable and courageous work.

 

 

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