Archive for May, 2019

‘Real buzz’ at the SCWA forum

We’re really thankful for an excellent SCWA forum in London yesterday, connecting with church- and organisational leaders around the subject of witchcraft accusations. We also benefited from valuable input from Dr Julian Eaton on how common worldviews in the global south affect how mental disorders are perceived and treated.

BCT Director Susie Howe comments: ‘There was a real buzz in the room; everyone contributed to discussions and it was good to get the perspectives of those working in very different contexts to ours. Despite different working backgrounds and faith perspectives, it was great that we all shared a common heart to address the stigmatisation and harm of those accused of witchcraft and indeed of those who are stigmatised because of the mental health conditions that they live with.’

The feedback from the day was very encouraging and the delegates were enthusiastic about keeping in touch and attending future SCWA events. We’re looking forward to developing relationships with the organisations represented at the forum, and continuing to learn together. We hope that, in due course, working collaborations may emerge from these relationships.

Find out more about how SCWA is addressing witchcraft accusations against children.

 

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Big enough to answer, loving enough to listen

‘Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counsellor?’ (Isaiah 40:12-13)

My grasp of interstellar navigation is sketchy, to say the least. But a quick Google search tells me that our nearest star (Proxima Centauri in the Alpha Centauri system) is 4.24 light years away. If my maths is correct, that equates to a distance of about 22 trillion miles. This, I remind you, is the distance to our nearest star: the galactic equivalent of popping down to the shops.

When we start talking about space, the distances involved quickly become mind-boggling. But this is the universe our God created. When Isaiah talks about God marking off the heavens ‘with the breadth of his hand’, this is the sheer scale of God’s work which he communicates, whether or not Isaiah himself would have fully understood that at the time. We so easily forget just how awesome our God is (and in fact, we probably don’t fully grasp that at the best of times) but Isaiah’s words remind us of God’s immense power and majesty.

On the other hand, Isaiah also emphasises God’s love and gentleness. In verse 11, God ‘tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart’.

As we pray, this is the God we call out to: the God who is staggeringly powerful but also wonderfully caring. So we can pray with confidence, knowing that God is big enough to answer and loving enough to listen.

I don’t pretend to know what you’re contending with at the moment, but I hope it encourages you to know that our awesome God is with you in the midst of it all. I also hope it inspires you to pray, however unlikely it might seem right now that you’ll get the answers you want.

Of course, we’d also love it if you would call out to our awesome, loving God for our overseas project partners, and the children they serve. Find out more about how you can pray for them, here.

 

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