Monday 28 March 2011

Angola video: project completed

Travelling across Angolan terrain, which is still showing the aftermath of various wars and conflict, was the job for the AfriCom team who spent two weeks touring the country to meet the YWAM volunteers doing longterm work in Angola. It was a privilege to travel with them and experience fellowship in such a beautiful country.

After a lot of hard work by the AfriCom team in Cape Town, a video has been created to help showcase some of the great work done by these Christian volunteers with YWAM in Angola.

Short promotional videos will hopefully whet the appetite of anyone interested in getting more involved, while the longer documentary will deepen people's understanding of working in this African country.

The team will get together to watch the documentary where we'll also have a meal to celebrate the completion of this large undertaking.

With a very low budget and scant resources – yet with sheer determination – this film was put together. Many hours went into editing, translating and producing this unique project.

Visiting these ministries in Angola and listening to and sharing their stories will have a much wider effect than just making them feel valued. Already stories shared in our magazines and articles online has developed interest from other agencies who wish to get involved in our work there. Partnerships are starting to be formed which will enable much more work to be done in some of these very remote areas. AfriCom's vision is to replicate this kind of work - supporting Christians working selflessly in difficult areas through sharing their stories - with others across the continent.

In my next entry, I will upload the shortened version of the Angola video to this blog. It would be great to hear your comments/thoughts about this film to help us shape future projects.

Also, if you would like a copy of the full film, please let me know and I'll get one sent to you.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Communications in Mozambique

Sponsor the trip now by clicking here

Today the team is working on the logistics and finer details of a workshop in Mozambique for missionaries who want to communicate their work better.

It has been said that God equips the called, He doesn't call the equipped. That means that those with a passion to serve, often don't know how to relay that to their supporters and to the wider world. Great things are done that go unmentioned and potential good partnerships in mission are/can be easily missed.

One of the things I love about this job is the way in which we interact with so many different people at different stages of Christian service. It is a privilege and a pleasure to serve God by training and equipping missionaries with what they need to communicate what they do. But, much more than that - we support them in their journey to connecting them with other ministries and championing their work to a wider audience.

YWAM has 1,100 ministry training and outreach locations worldwide, some of them in very remote places – especially those in Africa. Without good communications skills, the effectiveness of any mission work can be very limited. But with foundational skills, taught by experts in communication, young missionaries can further develop their local network of partners for mission.

Our next stop is Mozambique where our team will be running an Effective Communication Workshop in Maputo, Mozambique to train a group of Christians in full time ministry to be effective communicators.

AfriCom is dedicated to equipping and empowering people with the skills they need to communicate their work with the wider world. Rather than forcing all comms through us, we empower them to effectively communicate themselves. This helps them identify partners and build a better understanding locally and globally of their work.

If you'd like to support this training event directly click here.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Missions Communicators in Sudan

YWAM AfriCom: Missions Communicators in Sudan: An update from our missions communicators in Arua, northern Uganda, who were heading into South Sudan in preparation for shooting video footage to mobilize people, prayer and resources for the work of YWAM there. Read more about it here

Monday 14 March 2011

Becoming a family

It's something that happens to so many people everyday: the transition from being a married couple to becoming parents.

When you choose to get married, there is a whole process of discussing the idea with your prospective partner and meeting the family and going through the emotional and mental process of what it means to be married. The marriage preparation course done by our pastor, Revd Howard Thornton, was amazing and set us up for, what has been a wonderful 5.75 years of wedded bliss.

But, when you have children, it's very different. First of all, the conception is rarely a plan-able event. Many couples try for years to get pregnant, whilst for others it comes sooner than anticipated. Then, once you're on your way, the 12-weeks scan has been done and you're mentally preparing yourself for the arrival of your first baby, the focus is no longer on what it is to become parents and more on the process of having a baby. These two are very different. All the appointments, discussions with medical professionals and others work on the process that Becky's body would be going through at each stage of pregnancy. Then, as the third trimester approaches, it's all about labour and what that will entail. Different methods of giving birth, what to expect, how to know what stage you're at. Then comes the actual event: the birth. An amazing unique experience that in the whole thing, you cannot deny the Creator God in the whole process. Each birth is a miracle, without a doubt.

But in all of this, nobody is really talking about, or preparing you for the transition between being a married couple and becoming parents. The body shock of sleepless nights, as you're cradling your little one at 3am, after he's woken up for the 4th time that night, screaming, you begin to ask yourself: what have I become?

Becoming a parent is a massive shift in any person's life. Yet it so often comes about without any emotional preparation for the status change. All focus is on the birth, and little-to-none is on the actual movement from couple to parent. We know that we have a new responsibility, but it's more than that. My whole thought pattern has changed and developed to have a consciousness of what I am doing, not in light of me, but in light of my family. This is a huge thing for me and has probably caused me more mental exhaustion than any crying at 3am Joshua could do!

Little Joshua is gorgeous. But he didn't come with an instruction book. He has a strong personality and a healthy appetite. There are hours on end when I can't stop staring at him and wondering how Becky and I managed it! The awe that you have as you hold him and look up to God and ask: can I really be responsible for taking care of such a precious gift?