Hartford Methodist Church Ladies Fellowship will be holding a Coffee Morning in aid of ‘Action for Children’ on Saturday 22 October between 10.30am – 12 noon in the Methodist Church Hall. There will be a Cake Stall, Gift Stall, Christmas Stall and a Raffle for a ‘Christmas Hamper’.
Tickets £2 (which includes refreshments) can be purchased on the door.
We put this post up on Facebook but then thought it could have a wider audience. Please note it has a silly mistake at the start. Chris does know that the shortest day was on the 21st December and not 22nd. Not sure why he made that mistake! Click on the link to watch
The Hartford Victorian Christmas Market was held on Saturday, 30th November and, as usual, the outreach team had a stall. This year we were supporting the Mid Cheshire Foodbank and, as well as distributing information, we raised funds by selling bric a brac on the stall. A total of £135.85p was raised through sales [£78.20] and donations [£53.65].
For several days, including the day of the market, a container was sited in the Co-op for people to make donations of food and this goodly collection of food has now been delivered to the Foodbank warehouse in Winsford.
Residents of Hartford were alerted to this collection via the Village Facebook page which was used to advertise what the church was doing. Some food was also brought directly to our stall. We also sold copies of the Action for Children quiz which raised £27 and Christmas cards were sold to raise a further £70 for Tearfund. Thank you to everyone who donated bric a brac or who visited us at the stall on the day.
Nearly a year ago now, I was approached to be the castaway
on Desert Island Discs. Since being asked, James and I have had many
conversations about the 8 tracks I would choose. It sounds easy when you say “Yes,
no problem” to being castaway, but when the month of November arrived and Alan
wanted a list of tracks, I realised just how difficult it is to choose just 8
pieces of music. For those of you who attended, you’ll know I have a very
eclectic taste, which just made it even harder as I could just choose my
favourite 8 choral or 80s electro pop tracks. Bit by bit I narrowed it down to
pieces of music that had meaning for different stages of my life.
Choosing the tracks turned out to be the easy bit though! I
am by nature quite shy and private, so the realisation that I was actually
going to have to talk about myself in public, was way more challenging than
choosing 8 pieces of music, in fact I would have been quite happy to be castaway
to that desert island once the day actually arrived! Still it turned out to be
an interesting experience and Alan was a great host who put me at ease,
especially as he has put some of my music on his Father Christmas list!
Best of all was the opportunity to raise money for
Compassion UK. I became involved with Compassion 20 years ago when I sponsored
my first child, Radhika in India. This delightful little girl and I wrote
letters back and forth building a lovely relationship. She came from the slums of
Bangalore and yet her Methodist church project was an oasis of beauty and
peace. There she learnt skills in sewing and went on to set up her own tailoring
business. She became a faithful Christian who ran a Bible study in her
lunchtime at school. Following Radhika, I sponsored children from Rwanda, Kenya
and Uganda – adding a child each time I had a promotion.
In 2010, I became an advocate for Compassion and began
speaking on behalf of the charity to find more sponsors for children living in
extreme poverty across the world. Then in January 2011, I had the opportunity
to travel to see Compassion at work in Rwanda and meet my sponsor child Razaro.
Whilst there I saw the damage extreme poverty causes, it isn’t
just the lack of food, clean water or a decent home – it is the lack of hope
that people face that is so shocking. In contrast, the children sponsored by Compassion
were full of joy and hope, they were articulate and self confident. They knew
they were loved – by the church workers, by their sponsor and most importantly
by God. I know everyone worries about how charities use the finances they are
given, by I was so impressed with how much Compassion were able to do with the
funds I donated each month.
Compassion work directly through the local church, as they
know their communities best. Many willing volunteers give their time and energy
to providing each child with love and care. I had the privilege of visiting
churches, homes and families to meet children who might not otherwise have
survived. These are all real children with their own unique stories. Each child
benefits from having a sponsor who believes in them and is willing to pray for
them. Sponsoring a child is so much more than meeting physical needs, it’s also
about telling a child they are valued and loved by God. As well as education,
nutritious food and medical check-ups, a Compassion sponsored child also
receives health and hygiene training, vocational skill training and mentoring
to help them discover their God-given potential.
I have been privileged enough to meet 5 of my children and
make visits to Rwanda and Kenya. I have heard such sad stories of families’
experiences and also stories of transformation as God has worked in their lives.
Ask most Compassion children where they would be without the support and they’ll
tell you they wouldn’t have survived. That’s why my one essential music track
is the one which reminds of my work with Compassion. I’ve seen how it works,
several of my children have been to university, one runs her own charity in
Uganda. Each one has been released from poverty in Jesus name and their lives
are far different from those of their parents before them.
Thanks to Desert Island Discs we raised £200 for the work in
Togo and the Philippines; James and I have match funded this so we can support
projects in Thailand and Burkina Faso as well. Thanks so much to everyone who
contributed – funds make such a difference to churches working in poverty.
If anyone would be interested in sponsoring a child through
Compassion, you can come and speak to me or visit www.compassionuk.org. You can also
support projects for young mums and babies; clean water; support for those
caught up in natural disasters or child protection training for families.