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As a church we are supporting Tearfund Partner the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), particularly the work of the Self Help Groups (SHG)
Ethiopia is experiencing severe drought and the report below shows how EKHC is responding to this situation. You will see that this work is not all plain sailing, but still a difference is being made to people’s lives as we see the love of God in action.
Please use the prayer pointers and this report for your prayers.
If you would like to write to our partner church in Ethiopia, this can be arranged through obtaining letter heads from Ian Baillie, who will arrange for letters to be forwarded through Tearfund.
Living without a safety net
We often thank God for your compassion and cheerful giving to support the poor and disadvantaged people in Ethiopia. May God bless you and your ministries.
In the past few months we have been focused on two areas: assessing the impact of the drought on SHG members and their livelihoods and finalising our plans for a Church and Community Managed Resource Centre. (CCMRC).
How the drought is impacting the groups
The drought has been catastrophic for many people in Ethiopia who do not have a safety net. We were hoping that those who are part of a SHG would be faring better, as they had their savings to fall back on.
This is proving to be somewhat true but, because of the scale of the drought, it has still had an effect. We did an assessment of 141 members from eight groups and found that they were struggling to save as regularly as before. Those who had taken loans were finding it difficult to pay them back, and the groups had stopped doing projects together that would help them raise income.
We raised these issues as well as the general need for more support for drought stricken communities when the local government came to see our work with SHGs. They are always very impressed with the groups and the whole life transformation of group members, but we feel there are more opportunities for collaboration between us, the churches, and the government. We ask that you pray for this to happen.
A new project for the long term
This CCMRC is the next step in making sure that our SHGs are sustainable and built for the long term.
It involves bringing together churches, church leaders, and SHGs, and encouraging them to support the SHG network locally, rather than relying on funding from us. We are still at the early stages, but we are encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm we are getting from church leaders.
To make sure they are prepared for running these centres we are giving them training on fundraising, and thoroughly briefing them on how the centre will work. Please do pray for all the groups involved as we bring this project to life.
How you can pray for EKHC
- Pray for the development of the CCMRC project, that all involved would be eager to see it come to fruition, and that it would make a big difference to the sustainability of SHGs.
- The drought in Ethiopia is still severely affecting communities, please do pray for God’s intervention and help the church to respond to those who are suffering.
- EKHC and Tearfund are planning to respond to the emergency situation through our SHGs, please pray that God would provide guidance on the best way to handle this process.
Hillsborough Baptist Church now has a new Facebook page:
This is my first blog as minister of Hillsborough Baptist Church and I wanted to start by saying that it is a real privilege to have been called to serve at this church in this way. As we move as a family from Huddersfield to Sheffield we are looking forward to getting involved in the life of the church and the local community. I believe along with the other local churches that we are called to be salt and light in Hillsborough and the city of Sheffield, to be witnesses to Jesus and the amazing life transforming gospel.
As I was born in Sheffield and lived here until the age of 18 there is a lot about the local area that we are familiar with, although some things have changed – where has the hole in the road gone? As well as discovering new places and rediscovering some old ones, it will also be great to get to know lots of new people. One of the many things I enjoy about what I do is working across all the different age groups. Another thing I enjoy is drinking coffee and eating (cake, fish and chips etc.), so I will also be trying to continue to play sport as well as watch it.
When as a minister you move to a church, you know that much time and prayer is given by both the church, and the minister’s family and friends to work out if this is the place that God is sending you to. It’s great to have the reassurance that you are going in God’s strength to the people He has called you to. However this is not only true of a minister. It is true of all God’s people as He sends us to communities, schools, work places, families, friends, neighbours and others that we come into contact with. May God make it clear to each of us who He is sending us to and may we know that through His Holy Spirit He will equip us to do everything He wants us to do
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20v21-22)
Rev Chris Hawley
Hillsborough Baptist Church has recently joined the Tearfund Connected Church Programme. This is designed for churches and Christian groups that want to get involved in supporting a specific project through prayer and giving. The project we have chosen to support is in Ethiopia and involves Self Help Groups. The Kale Heywat Church run savings and self help groups working mainly with women from the poorest families in urban areas who are often unable to provide for their children. We have pledged to give £450 to the project and Ian Baillie will be our contact.
We will receive a certificate, some bookmarks and quarterly news updates. We will build up a relationship with the project and get to know what is going on in the community. Those supported by the project will be pleased and blessed to know that people many miles away are praying for them. We can send letters and photographs and pray regularly for the work but we cannot expect like for like communication in return. Some of the people we support will not speak English or be able to read or write but someone at the partner’s headquarters will respond on their behalf.
Tearfund inform us that we can go and visit the partner, get them praying for us and even invite them here – at our own expense. This project is commended to you for your support and prayers.
Facts & Figures:
• 68,000 people involved in 4,000 self help groups.
• 95% of those involved are women, transforming lives and improving family and community relationships.
• More than 200,000 children are well fed, clothed, have access to health care and are going to school.
• Over 100 local churches showing the love of Christ to those in need.
• £75,000 annually required for the project.
• Praise for the thousands of lives being transformed.
• Wisdom for those leading the project.
• Continued restoration of relationships.
Look out for updates on the Tearfund website or in thie magazine