Ebola outbreak: pray for Uganda

Ebola outbreak

Pray for D R Congo and Uganda

Join us in prayer as Ebola cases are confirmed in the Uganda / D R Congo border region.

Urgent prayer is needed that the highly infectious Ebola virus will not spread across Uganda, spiralling into a health crisis.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the presence of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda. The BBC has since reported two deaths in Uganda from Ebola — a young boy and his grandmother who had travelled across the border to Uganda from D R Congo.

D R Congo has been fighting an outbreak of the virus for some time. Ongoing prayer is needed, as nearly 1,400 people are reported to have died from the devastating disease so far.

BMS World Mission workers in Uganda are taking every precaution, avoiding all travel to the area surrounding the border region.

Urgent prayer is needed for the Uganda and D R Congo border region.

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You can download prayer points for Uganda and D R Congo by clicking the button below.

The spread of Ebola has been called “truly frightening” by the head of major medical research body The Wellcome Trust. Thank you for praying, and please do continue to pray for Uganda and D R Congo.

A purple map shows where Kasese, Uganda is.
Kasese is at the centre of the region affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Pray for the Uganda Ebola outbreak

  • Pray for medical supplies and personnel to arrive quickly. Pray that doctors would know what to do and that God would give them wisdom to decide what action to take.
  • Pray for the local authorities, especially in Kasese and where there have been Ebola cases reported, that they would know how to respond.
  • Pray that aid agencies would be well-coordinated in responding to the crisis. Pray that God would guide them in their decision-making.
  • Pray for those have lost loved ones or are looking after people who are suffering from Ebola. Pray that God would console them and give them strength.
  • Pray that God would stop the spread of this terrible disease.

From the frontline: stories to inspire you

From the frontline:

stories to inspire you

From giving critical medical aid at night, to helping a rural community grow crops, our mission workers have had a very busy, challenging and blessed start to the year. We thought it was time to share some of their news with you.

The surgeons in Chad who came to the rescue after dark

Andrea and Mark Hotchkin in traditional Chadian dress in front of a sand coloured wall
Andrea and Mark Hotchkin dedicate every day to helping others in Chad, no matter where they are in the country.

We’ll paint a picture for you. One day you’re in a fancy hotel in Chad’s capital city, N’Djamena attending a Ministry of Health meeting. Then just a few days later you’re hours from the nearest town, it’s late and you’ve spent the day driving from village to village assessing healthcare provision. Word reaches you that two local people are seriously unwell and no-one has made any effort to get help.
This is what happened recently in the lives of BMS World Mission surgeons, Andrea and Mark Hotchkin. If you didn’t already know how amazing they are, you certainly will when you read their latest blog.

Giving hope for a better future

A woman dressed in black stands behind a table covered in neatly arranged clothing
You’ll probably never meet Shama, but thanks to your support for BMS you’ve helped her and her family.

Consider this: you have five children, your husband is unable to find work and one of your children has tuberculosis. You have to spend every day not knowing how long you have to make the small amount of income you do have last. This is the life that Shama has known in Delhi. But thanks to your support for BMS workers James and Ruth Neve, Shama and others have been given hope of a new life-changing income. To find out how, read the Neves’ latest blog by hitting the button below.

A night of praying with women in pain

Evening street scene in Bangkok with neon lights
The light of Christ is being received in Bangkok’s red-light district, helped by BMS worker Ashleigh Gibb.

In the red-light district of Bangkok, women are learning they are children of God and that he loves them. BMS worker Ashleigh Gibb writes in her latest blog about a special event at a hotel where women who work in some of Bangkok’s bars gathered for a meal and prayer. Please read Ashleigh’s blog, and please continue to pray for her and the people she meets in one of the world’s darkest places.

‘The seeds we received are a gift from God’

Carlos Tique stands in front of a house and some green foliage
By supporting BMS worker Carlos Jone, you’re helping people in Chassimba, Mozambique not only fight hunger, but also earn their own money.

There’s a rural village in Mozambique called Chassimba, where your faithful support for BMS work is transforming lives. Men and women are not only being given seeds to grow crops, they’re learning how to take care of them better. And with increased production comes an income. BMS worker Carlos Jone visited Chassimba recently, and shares in his latest prayer letter the beautiful response he received from villagers.

News in brief from around the world

  • In Guinea, BMS worker Ben*, along with a professional football coach, visited football training sessions to strengthen links with non-Christians. Ben has also started to meet with a prison group as he continues to show God’s love among the marginalised.
  • In France, the BMS Action Team has been helping at a refugee centre for women, supporting youth work, forging friendships and developing their language skills. Check out all their news on their blogs page.
  • In Peru, BMS worker Laura-Lee Lovering has been kept busy through attending the Peruvian Baptist Assembly (her seventh!), catching up with BMS short-term volunteer Becky Richards, and meeting Action Teamers.
  • In Mozambique, BMS worker Sergio Vilela has put in a lot of miles (around 3,000 in two weeks) meeting people through our partnership with the Mozambican Baptist Convention. Meanwhile, fellow BMS worker, and Sergio’s wife, Liz Vilela has been doing great work with child protection training, which she touches on in her latest prayer letter. Please check it out and pray for the Vilelas!
Want your church to support life-changing mission work?

Your church can get behind our mission work by becoming a Church Partner. It’s ever so easy to join and gives your church the chance to focus on a region or ministry, or on specific people.

We’d love to talk to you, so please don’t hesitate to contact Jo in the Church Partners team with any questions. Call her today on 01235 517600 or email her at churchrelations@bmsworldmission.org

If your church isn’t in Church Partners, talk to your minister today. Get involved, be inspired, express your heart for mission!

These stories are just a snapshot of what our mission workers and partners have been up to. In countries like Uganda, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ukraine, Albania, Lebanon and India, your support is being felt through training, nourishment, heating, education and much more. We thank you today for all that you do for BMS, for your giving and prayer, and your encouragement. Thanks to you, God is meeting the needs of people like you and me around the world. We praise God today for your support and give thanks for our incredible mission workers.

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*Names changed for security reasons.

Helping people see their lives are worth living

Helping people see their lives are worth living

A counsellor in Nepal hears many moving stories.

One day it might be a woman who was married too young, and felt trapped in a life she didn’t want. Another day, it might be someone who lost everything and everyone they loved to the devastating 2015 earthquakes. Their stories are different, but both people came to the same conclusion: one dose of a lethal pesticide, readily available over the counter, and it would all be over.

In places like Nepal, where people have suffered unimaginable trauma, and where there is a huge stigma attached to discussing mental health, suicide might seem like the only way out for some who are experiencing terrible suffering.

But your support for BMS World Mission is helping to change that.

BMS counsellor Jenny Saunders is working with the Elijah Counselling Training Centre (ECTC) in Kathmandu, training local people to become counsellors in communities across Nepal. Critical to the work is raising awareness of the symptoms of trauma. Jenny trains people to find individuals who are trusted in their local communities, so they can identify the symptoms and help people get support.

One of the first people Jenny trained was Binsa. Binsa then trained counsellors in rural communities. “Counsellors in Nepal have very little access to supervision,” says Jenny. “So we want to promote a more holistic approach to supervision, in which we can supervise each other.”

That approach sees Jenny train her counsellors to work in peer groups to give each other the emotional support they need, and the structure to work ethically and professionally. Binsa saw this as a great opportunity for the people she worked with. As they worked in rural communities, they would never be able to access the supervision they needed. But by approaching their training the way Jenny suggested, Binsa ensured they would be able to rely on each other to meet their support needs, and the needs of the people they were counselling.

A partially collapsed building.
The trauma of the 2015 earthquakes still affects people every day.
A woman sits on a table.
Jenny helps save lives by ensuring people get the emotional support they need.

Jenny is undertaking further research into supervision techniques in Nepal. And she’s hoping to make as big an impact as she can.

“We want to make changes at a policy level. We’d love it to be mandatory for counsellors to have supervision,” she says. It might not seem like that big of a deal on first reading, but Jenny’s work is putting the key steps in place to ensure that people won’t see suicide as the only way out.

“Without supervision, it’s very easy to burn out or not do a good job,” says Jenny. “You need someone to support you.” By supporting BMS, you’re supporting Jenny’s work. That means you’re helping people in very real need of help.

Jenny’s work is pioneering new ways of treating mental health issues and trauma in Nepal. But she and her colleagues still need your prayer. Please pray for:

1. Pray for the training centre’s work. Pray that more people will be able to support those still suffering from the 2015 earthquakes.

2. Pray for people with mental health problems in Nepal, and across the world. Pray that they know they aren’t alone, and that they receive the support they need.

3. Pray for Jenny, as she continues with her research in supervision techniques, and for her husband Andy in his teaching at The Nepal Baptist Bible College. Pray that they have energy and encouragement in all they do.

4. Pray for those who are today contemplating suicide. Pray for an overwhelming sense of God’s love.

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Looking back: top 5 stories of 2018

Looking back:

Top 5 stories of 2018

Your faithful prayer and giving touched life after life last year through our work at BMS World Mission. We look forward to bringing you more stories of transformation and the power of God’s love in the months to come. But for now, we’d love for you to check out our five most-read articles of 2018.

1. You can help end modern slavery in the UK

An illustration of a man washing a car with Help written about it
A victim of modern slavery might have washed your car, paved your driveway, or painted your nails.

Did you pass by a victim of modern slavery today? It’s certainly possible, given that there are thousands of people in the UK being forced to live in inhumane conditions, working long hours for very little or no pay. But there are Christians working to help victims of modern slavery. You can play your part by reading how to spot the signs of exploitation.

2. Ten reasons why you should serve with BMS

A woman uses a sewing machine at skills centre in Uganda.
When you serve with BMS, you’ll witness the incredible joy that a transformed life brings.

Here’s one reason why you might consider serving overseas with us: you’ll transform lives around the world in the name of Jesus. We could have easily come up with dozens of other great reasons, but in the end, we chose to pick ten. You can read them all by hitting the button below. And if you feel God calling you to serve, there is a link in the story to our current vacancies. We’d love to hear from you!

3. Sleeping on the pavements, studying on the streets

A girl walks towards other children standing under a bridge in India
School is being brought to street children in Kolkata, giving them the opportunity to learn.

Tens of thousands of children live day and night on the streets of Kolkata, India. To survive, they often have to beg, steal or sell alcohol and drugs. Going to school is not an option available to them. But thanks to your support, some street children are receiving an education, and they’re getting to learn about Jesus too.

4. Five ways you’re making the world a healthier place

Taban, a mother from Afghanistan and her daughter Chehrah
Thanks to your support, Taban can focus on giving her daughter, Chehrah, a future that wouldn’t have been possible before.

You’re helping to save the lives of mothers and babies in Afghanistan by supporting BMS. You’re also providing critical medical care in Chad and giving children with disabilities in Thailand the support they need. Find out more today by reading about our healthcare work.

5. The seven must-read chapters of an extraordinary mission worker’s life

A mature woman with grey hair sits at a table in a hospital cafe with an elderly man on one side, and an elderly woman on another.
Ann Bothamley catches up with friends at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. Friends back home support her too, ringing her to chat and ask for her prayer requests.

“I think God planted it in my heart that I was going to India. I knew, too, that it was going to be for life.”

Ann Bothamley has been serving with BMS in India for 50 years. We were delighted to hear more of her story when we caught up with her in Vellore, where she provides pastoral care to patients at Christian Medical College. Many of you who read our story about Ann commented on our Facebook page about being inspired by her. Receive fresh inspiration today by hitting the button below.

Other powerful stories you made possible in 2018

1. He preached the gospel and they poisoned his daughter: David’s story. Thousands of people in India have come to know Christ through the work of BMS church planters such as David.

2. Spiritual workout advice from the heart of the red light district. BMS worker Ashleigh Gibb shares how she stays spiritually strong while working in one of the world’s most unloving places.

3. The cursed boy, the better Muslim and the long game. Boys are learning valuable life lessons through football and are becoming model students in the process.

4. They’ve lost so much: don’t let families freeze in Ukraine this winter. Families are fighting for survival in Ukraine this winter. You can help them.

5. The North Korea you never see: and seven prayer requests for this isolated nation. Check out images of life in North Korea, and join us in prayer for people in this secretive nation.

The work you’ve just read about was made possible by your brilliant support for BMS. Right now, in 30 countries around the world, there are more stories of transformation developing. We can’t wait to share them with you throughout this year as we work together to show the love of Christ where it’s needed most.

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Fearless: taking on the Sahara Desert, raging rivers, and the sex industry

Fearless:

taking on the Sahara Desert, raging rivers, and the sex industry

There’s nothing overstated about the headline above. BMS World Mission workers enter isolated, extreme and often dangerous places because God has empowered them to change people’s lives for the better. They tread fearlessly knowing you are standing alongside them in prayer. So please read on for some of their latest blogs.

1. When you get lost, stuck and weary in the desert

Nightmare journeys home usually consist of heavy traffic, train cancellations, or flight delays. Not so for BMS surgeons Andrea and Mark Hotchkin. For these two brilliant mission workers, along with their children Ruth and Rebecca, the journey home to Bardaï in northern Chad involved getting lost in the Sahara desert, camping outside as lightning struck, and digging for hours to release their vehicle from sand. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, a dust storm then hit. Read the Hotchkins’ blog to find out how they got home!

Truck stuck in the mud in a desert
The Hotchkin family not only faced flooding in a desert, they also had the problem of sand becoming mud.

2. Cable bridges, landslides and a lot of walking – just to reach schools

Simon Hall holding a book as children surround him
Children’s books (and Simon Hall) are clearly popular at this remote school in Lamjung District

It’s fair to say that Simon Hall put in a lot of effort to reach the school in the photo above. That’s what’s needed in Lamjung District, Nepal, where BMS teacher trainer Simon serves. The school you can see was one of 15 that Simon and three of his colleagues visited in just one week. Reaching them involved crossing cable bridges over raging rivers, walking for hours up steps, and then travelling in jeeps up to altitude-sickness-inducing heights. The journey was understandably draining, but it was nothing compared to what was to come for Simon. Please read his blog today and pray with him using his prayer points.

3. Joining the fight to eradicate TB

Can you imagine being part of history? BMS mission workers James and Ruth Neve don’t have to. As part of the Indian Government’s plan to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from the country by 2025, James and Ruth are going to be giving training to people who have been cured of the illness. Their training courses will teach vital skills to help some of the poorest and most marginalized people in India generate a better income and turn their lives around. Read James and Ruth’s blog post about the day they decided to help change the world.

Ruth Neve signing TB agreement
Ruth Neve signs a life-changing agreement

4. ‘I want women to understand that God created us beautiful’

Ashleigh Gibb witnesses pain every day. She serves with BMS in the red light district of Bangkok, where she enters bars and brothels to speak words of love and kindness to women who have been trafficked. She also works in a coffee shop, that gives women who have managed to escape the sex industry the chance to learn new skills. Ashleigh’s blogs are always very powerful and heartfelt, none more so than her latest post in which she writes about the importance of loving those around us, even those who are hard to love.

Ashleigh Gibb in Bangkok
BMS worker Ashleigh Gibb takes the light of Christ into the darkness of Bangkok’s sex industry.

5. ‘May you know that you are loved with a constant and eternal love’

The Ovendens sit together with new baby Eleanor
Please keep Joe, Reuben, Lois, Eleanor and Connie Ovenden in your prayers.

This may not be the frontline of mission work, but we’re confident you’ll want to read about it. There was much joy in the BMS family when news came through about the newest Ovenden. Eleanor Ada Joy was welcomed into the world on Tuesday 18 September, a third child for BMS workers in Uganda, Joe and Lois. We give thanks today for the blessing of new life, and for everything that Joe and Lois do for BMS. They’ve posted a prayer for Eleanor in their latest blog. After you’ve read it, please pray for Eleanor.

God is with our mission workers, as are you. It is your faithful prayer and giving that enables them to be on the frontline of mission, helping the sick in Chad, children in Nepal, women who have been trafficked in Thailand, and many others in need around the world. Our mission workers across the globe write blogs about their work and we often post them on our Facebook page, along with prayer requests and videos. Please check it out, and please do comment on the blogs with words of encouragement for our workers! We love to hear from you.

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Epic cycling and powerful emotions: the impact of Life’s First Cry

Epic cycling, powerful emotions and teddy bears’ picnics:

the impact of Life’s First Cry

It’s inspired tears in some and action in others – a simple video about BMS World Mission work with mums is having a powerful effect.

A humbling number of churches have already given to Life’s First Cry, and we know more and more of you are being inspired every day by the powerful work BMS is doing to save the lives of mothers and babies in Afghanistan. Thanks to you, we have trained local women to give safe birthing training in Afghanistan’s remote mountains. Thanks to you, families don’t have to fear for the lives of their children any more.

Some churches have used Life’s First Cry at harvest time. Others have shown the video on a mission Sunday or taken a special appeal for BMS work. Again and again, UK Christians are getting in touch to tell us how powerful and moving they have found the video. We believe that is because your gifts are making God’s work happen in Afghanistan. And we wanted to share some of the amazing things you’ve said and done in support of that work, in Afghanistan and around the world, inspired by Life’s First Cry.

Taban, a mother from Afghanistan and her daughter Chehrah
Thanks to your support, Taban can focus on giving her daughter, Chehrah, a future that wouldn’t have been possible before.

After hearing about Life’s First Cry, Stanley Road Baptist Church in Morecambe decided it was important to share its message of hope for mums and babies with their children. They had the brilliant idea of running a teddy bears’ picnic in their midweek toddler group, Toddler Time, as well as a Life’s First Cry service. We think this is a great way to engage young children with mission and the church. Thank you so much, Stanley Road!

Thank you, also, Ian!

Ian Richardson on his bike outside a leisure centre
Ian Richardson took on the highways and byways of the Scottish Borders to raise money for BMS work.

Ian Richardson is a bit of a hero in the BMS office. He watched Life’s First Cry and decided he needed to do something to help. His passion for cycling gave him an idea: why not do a sponsored cycle ride? And ride he did! Ian cycled a whopping 1,016 miles across the country and raised a massive £2,273.75! Thank you so much, Ian, for supporting life-transforming BMS work!

Selly Park Baptist Church decided to get creative to support Life’s First Cry. Their Sunday School created a display that was, by all reports, beautiful, about the work BMS is doing, including information about Afghanistan and pictures of the work going on there. The display was featured in their Life’s First Cry service, where BMS guest speaker and former worker in Afghanistan Elizabeth Lee was also speaking. To top off their service, they held a harvest lunch of soup, bread and cake.

Thank you so much for the creative ways you’re supporting Life’s First Cry!

These are just a few stories of the way in which churches around the UK are using Life’s First Cry. But we wanted to find out what people outside a worship service would think. We showed Life’s First Cry to mums and dads to see what they thought of the crucial work BMS is doing in Afghanistan. The video below captures some of their reactions.

Mums and Dads react to Life's First Cry

Losing babies and mothers dying in childbirth are not easy subjects to think about. We know they bring up hard emotions and painful memories for many people. We’ve heard such encouraging stories about the sensitive way speakers and churches have dealt with it. One BMS speaker, Wilma, told us:

``A number of women expressed how they were deeply moved by the video. An elderly lady had lost a baby over 80 years ago and was able to relate to the sorrow felt by the Afghan parents.``

Thank you, Wilma, for sharing so sensitively. We hope that the support that you have helped to inspire will mean that far fewer women, in a country with less medical provision than our own, will have to experience the pain that so many families around the world face because of lack of knowledge and support.

Thanks to your help, mothers in Afghanistan are getting that support. And we are planning to help more so that they don’t have to be afraid for their children’s lives. So that children don’t have to worry they will lose their mothers.

Every church service, every fundraising activity, every share on Facebook and special collection makes a difference, and we want to say a huge thank you to the UK Baptist Family for the love and support you’ve shown for Life’s First Cry and BMS work among those who need it most.

If you haven’t watched it yet, here’s the video again:

If you’ve been inspired by these stories and haven’t yet held a Life’s First Cry service, it’s not too late! Go to our Life’s First Cry resource page to find everything you’ll need to make sure this important story is told.

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We’d love to be able to personally thank every church that supports us, so even if your church isn’t mentioned here, please know that your supporting is always incredibly important to us. Get in touch by email at mail@bmsworldmission.org or on Facebook to tell us how you have used Life’s First Cry and whether you’d recommend it to other churches to show in the coming year.

Saving lives in Afghanistan: four mothers tell their stories

Saving lives in Afghanistan:

four mothers tell their stories

Christians in Afghanistan are saving mums’ and babies’ lives this harvest.

Can you imagine losing ten children? Many mothers living in remote villages in the mountains of Afghanistan don’t have to imagine. It’s been their life. Giving birth used to be a terrifying prospect for these women: they never knew whether they, or their babies, would survive. For hundreds of women across Afghanistan’s icy mountains that’s all changed, thanks to transformative training courses supported by BMS World Mission. Thanks to you and your support. Children born in these villages are far less likely to die before they’ve had a chance to live. Mums don’t have to live in fear anymore.
We want to introduce you to four of these mothers, so they can share in their own words the way that you have helped transform their lives.

1. Negar: ‘The men are really helping, they’ve had the lessons as well.’

Negar, a mother from Afghanistan

My children didn’t all survive. I’ve given birth to about ten children in all, but three of them passed away from tetanus. Us women used to keep carrying really heavy loads all through pregnancy. We wouldn’t be eating and drinking very much. And we’d give birth down in the barns.

The birthing lessons have really made a difference to the way we look after ourselves when we’re pregnant. The men are really helping, they’ve had the lessons as well. They’re the ones who are saying, ‘don’t do the heavy lifting’. They’ll bring water into the house, they’ll make sure their wives get a couple of hours extra sleep during the day. This has really made a difference to the way that men behave.

And it means our children come into the world healthy and whole. They are not passing away from hepatitis, and pneumonia, tetanus.

2. Maheen: ‘If we had known about this a generation ago, it would have made so much difference.’

Maheen, a mother from Afghanistan

Eight of my children passed away. I have eight living children as well. The others died from bleeding, from other complications, from getting sick after they were born. Even my children who survived had problems when they were young. One of my sons had problems with diarrhoea and deafness for about two years when he was younger, he’s still deaf in one ear. Another had problems with his heart, and other complications. We took him to the clinic and they managed to save his life. He’s a nice, big man now. This was before we had any of these lessons we have now.
I’m one of the local midwives, and since I took part in the training and became a facilitator I’ve delivered about 35 children and they’ve all been fine. I’ve applied what I learned in the lessons and those have been healthy deliveries.

If we had known about this a generation ago, it would have made so much difference. There are so many women from this village who are not here today, because they lost blood and died during childbirth. And children who died from infections. I recently helped my friend here with a baby that couldn’t breathe. We knew how to pat it on the back, how to give it the breath of life and to start it breathing. And he’s okay now. We’ve learned so much. And we want to learn more.

Life’s First Cry, our 2018 harvest appeal, shares the hidden struggles of families in rural Afghanistan.

Click the button below to download the video and visit www.bmsworldmission.org/cry find out more about all the amazing resources that you can use to share how women’s lives are being transformed.

3. Taban: ‘I’m happy to be a mum.’

Taban, a mother from Afghanistan and her daughter Chehrah

This is my daughter Chehrah. I gave birth at home and, because Chehrah was born after we started the lessons, we knew to make the place nice and clean. And, praise God, Chehrah’s fine. She’s really well. We didn’t know much about childbirth before we had the course. Some of my other children had problems with malnutrition and things, because we didn’t really have much idea about feeding ourselves well as mums. This time, I found it a lot easier. I wasn’t so worried, and we had a nice place to have the baby. Chehrah was born in the night, and the next morning we went to the clinic to get her vaccinated.

I’m happy to be a mum. It’s a nice thing. I am really hoping I can bring my children up well, and they will be healthy.

4. Andisha: ‘What we’ve learnt here is the reason that my children are alive.’

Andisha, a mother from Afghanistan

Our kids just kept dying. Some of them would live for a few hours. Some would live for a few weeks. And then they would pass away. And that was just terrible. You can’t really cope with that kind of feeling. But after the course we changed what we do, and our children have survived. Now that we have two living children I am very happy. It’s hard to describe the difference between then and now.

It’s really great being a mum. It’s a really joyful feeling. Our house feels much better. It really made a difference that my husband went on the course as well. He was a real help when I was expecting – he helped around the house and we’ve been more in agreement. It’s brought us closer together. I am really happy now.

What we’ve learnt here is the reason that my children are alive. The lessons you have given have made all the difference in the world.

For these four women, giving birth is no longer a terrifying prospect. But for many other women in Afghanistan, it still is. Please show Life’s First Cry in for your harvest service this year to support this extraordinary work and help keep more mothers and babies alive.

Visit www.bmsworldmission.org/cry to find all the resources you’ll need, including the British Sign Language and subtitled versions of our Life’s First Cry video, collection jar labels and gift envelopes. Thank you for supporting this powerful work and giving families hope for the future.

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Four-month-old Navid yawns in his mother's arms in his home in Afghanistan
Your gifts to BMS are saving the lives of babies like Navid.

The sick baby, the pharmacist and the hospital that needs you

The sick baby, the pharmacist

and the hospital that needs you

Claire Bedford is an extraordinary pharmacist, but she’s not superhuman. She could do with some extra help at work, as could her colleagues. This is where you come in.

Claire didn’t have to go into work. It was her day off and it had been a hard week, just as every week is at Guinebor II Hospital near Chad’s capital. But BMS World Mission worker Claire wanted to go in as a courtesy to the facial surgeon holding a clinic. And God clearly wanted her there too.

One of the first patients to arrive was three-month-old Ache*. Her parents had travelled for a day on terrible roads to attend the clinic at the BMS-supported hospital, and they were desperate for help.

Precious little Ache had a huge growth covering her left eye, preventing it from opening, and it was spreading down her cheek. The surgeon knew immediately what was needed to treat the growth – a mass of small blood vessels known as a haemangioma – only the hospital didn’t have the drug in stock.

Ache’s father hurried into nearby N’Djamena to find a supply, but when he returned to Guinebor II there was a problem: the tablets were too large for a baby.

A three-month-old baby with a growth over her left eye is held by one of her parents.
Ache was unable to see out of her left eye when she was brought to Guinebor II.

Everyone turned to Claire for help. She calculated what the baby needed according to her weight, and used a pill cutter she’d sourced in the UK to chop the tablets to the required dose. Ache and her parents went home with the medication and instructions on what to do with it, and Claire stayed on to help more people.

We tell you this story because it demonstrates how your support allows Claire to show God’s love to patients at Guinebor II. But you should also know that only a few days before, Claire was not in the pharmacy, or on a ward supporting sick people, she was deciding what to do with a pit latrine blocked with bottles and nappies. She was the one making the decision because there was no-one else to do so.

And that’s not the only way pharmacist Claire is called to help with the running of the hospital. She recently had to negotiate the cost of tiling the hospital’s new emergency room, while at other times she’s taken on a HR role.

Her colleagues pitch in too, taking on administration work to ensure the hospital can continue taking in patients like Ache, and those from the Muslim-majority community that surrounds it.

Claire Bedford, a pharmacist in Chad, holds two babies while on a hospital ward
Join BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford at Guinebor II Hospital in Chad and you'll be part of beautiful and inspiring work.

But here’s the thing – you can help make things better.

We have a host of important positions available right now at Guinebor II Hospital. We just need the right people to apply.
“The patients aren’t being neglected,” says Claire. “But we could do so much more if the job vacancies were filled.”

Could you help Claire? Check out these vacancies at Guinebor II

General Manager: this critical role needs to be filled so that Claire and her colleagues can have the weight of administration, finance, and building and project management work taken off their shoulders. The right candidate needs to have managed a small to medium sized organisation. If that’s you, get in touch.

Surgeons and doctors: Guinebor II currently sees 14,000 outpatients a year, has 2,000 inpatients, carries out 1,300 operations, and delivers 1,800 babies. The team urgently needs more surgeons and doctors to cope with the demand for healthcare both now, and into the future. If you think you can help, find out more today.

Nurses: we’re looking for nurses who are well qualified and can train others. Find out more now.

Ophthalmologist: you’ve probably got access to an ophthalmologist at your local hospital, but there isn’t one at Guinebor II. If you’re an ophthalmologist and feeling called to serve God overseas, we want to hear from you.

Family GP: the doctor who takes on this role will be providing life-changing care for those most in need. If that’s what you’re passionate about, we want to hear from you.

Obstetrics/gynaecology doctor: there is no reliable gynaecology service for women in the community that Guinebor II serves. We want to change that by filling this position.

Midwives and community health specialists: Chad has one of the worst maternal and child mortality rates in the world. Help change this by working at the maternal health centre we opened in 2015. Find out more about this role today.

Endoscopist: waiting for an endoscopy can be frustrating, but at least most of us can get one. In Chad, you need to go private, which means you need money. If you’re an endoscopist, we really want to hear from you.

Paediatrician: if you’re a paediatrician, then please consider the infants, children and young people you could help at Guinebor II. Find out what to do next here.

You may not be qualified for any of the roles we’ve told you about today, but it’s quite possible you know someone who is. Tell them to find out more. Tell them about Claire. And tell them about Ache – for she was brought back to the hospital recently and Claire got to see her again. She is getting better, and we hope she’ll have full vision soon!

“Her parents were overjoyed,” says Claire. “You could just tell in their faces how happy they were. The father couldn’t stop saying ‘shukran’ (thank you). With my limited Arabic I couldn’t really converse with them, apart from replying ‘afwan’ (you’re welcome).

“It was a humbling experience to know that such a simple treatment was making such a huge difference to this young girl’s life.”

A baby with a growth over her left eye just about manages to see out of it
Ache can begin to see out of her eye thanks to the help of BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford.

Claire and the team at Guinebor II are desperate for more people to come and join them. If you have any of the skills we are looking for, we would to love to hear from you! You could make a huge difference to patients like baby Ache.

* Name changed to protect identity

Wonderfully Made: See the amazing things God has done in the lives of Tada, Phil and Natalie

Wonderfully Made:

See the amazing things God has done in the lives of Tada, Phil and Natalie

Last year, you met Adventure Man, Mr Determined and Captain Kindness. One year on, we caught up with them and witnessed first-hand how God has been at work in their lives in miraculous ways.

Tada survived a life-threatening head injury. Phil learnt a new skill that has transformed his world. And Natalie is thriving in her foster family. Last year, you came alongside these three superchildren by supporting Wonderfully Made. Now, we hope you’ll be excited to see them again and witness how your prayers for them have been answered.

Watch the video to see Tada, Phil and Natalie, and to hear some wonderful news!

Two hundred and eighty-eight churches supported our Wonderfully Made appeal, and thousands of you gave, raising £157,982.44 for BMS World Mission work in Thailand and around the world. Thank you so much! We are so grateful for your gifts and your prayers. They have had a huge impact in tens of thousands of people’s lives in some of the toughest places on the planet, by God’s grace. And they’ve also made a real difference to Natalie (aka Captain Kindness), Phil (aka Mr Determined) and Tada (aka Adventure Man).

Tada is still as adventurous as he ever was. We’re not sure if he was just showing off for the camera, but he also seems to be using his energy to keep Hope Home looking its best!

As you heard in the video, Tada had an accident at his school that resulted in a serious and potentially fatal head injury. The doctors couldn’t understand how he survived it, but we know that God saved his life. BMS nurse Judy Cook swiftly removed Tada from that school and he now goes to a different one with some of his friends from Hope Home. Thank you so much for praying for him through Wonderfully Made. Tada’s recovery is one amazing example of God answering your prayers through the year. And it’s so exciting to see.

Natalie is thriving in her foster family and is enjoying going to school. She still loves to sing.

We are also really excited about the progress Phil has made in communicating using a specially customised iPad (if you haven’t seen him in action, watch the video!). He’s now able to let his Hope Home family know what he is thinking – freeing him from the frustration of being unable to communicate his thoughts, feelings and desires. He’s also hugely developed his mobility and is now able to walk with support and use his legs to wheel himself around in his wheelchair – giving him much more independence in movement (although admittedly at the risk of other people’s toes!).

We hope that seeing Phil’s newfound ability to communicate, watching Tada scoot around the garden – alive and well against all odds, and hearing Natalie sing Jesus’ love is very wonderful brought as big a smile to your face as it did to ours! You’re a part of their stories and their happiness, and we are so grateful to you.

From Judy and everyone at Hope Home – thank you!

Three survival stories from a hospital filled with Jesus’ love

Life on a children's ward:

three survival stories from a hospital filled with Jesus' love

Three children in danger. You helped them all at a hospital in Chad.

A girl fighting malaria. A boy hurt in a camel fall. Another with a snake bite. Step onto the children’s ward at Guinebor II, a hospital near Chad’s capital that is supported by BMS World Mission.

Two female nurses stand next to a male nurse on the children's ward of a hospital
Patients on the children's ward at Guinebor II Hospital receive the very best healthcare from a wonderful team of medical professionals.

The girl with malaria

Mariam* was bitten by a mosquito and fell sick. The mosquito was carrying malaria, a disease that brings on a fever, headache, vomiting, and severe sweating, and kills a child aged under five every two minutes. Three-year-old Mariam needed to be rushed to hospital, but she wasn’t, because street medicine sellers and the local health centre are often chosen over hospitals by poor families in Chad. Whatever treatment Mariam was given didn’t work. And so she was finally taken to Guinebor II, where Christians in a Muslim-majority community pray for their patients and provide the best healthcare for miles.

Mariam was given the drugs her body needed to fight malaria. The drugs worked, and Mariam survived. You helped make this happen by supporting BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford, who dispensed the drugs that saved Mariam’s life. Claire regularly goes on ward rounds, advising doctors and nurses on the medicine needed to treat patients and bringing her trademark friendly smile to people who are often scared and hurting.

“The infant and child mortality rate in Chad is shockingly high,” says Claire. “So it’s of vital importance that we have a facility where we can provide high-quality, affordable healthcare for the precious children of this country.”

If you support BMS, you’re helping to make that care possible.

What’s a working day in a Chadian hospital pharmacy like? Let Claire Bedford explain

The nomad boy who fell from a camel

Hassan* and his nomadic family travel on camels, using the traditional mode of nomad transport to carry their belongings from place to place. One day, seven-year-old Hassan came off his camel, hurting himself quite badly.

After days of abdominal pain and finding blood in his urine, he was taken to Guinebor II, where the doctors and nurses got to work, taking x-rays and running an ultrasound scan. The tests showed Hassan hadn’t suffered any major damage, but he remained barely alert to doctors and family, and just slept and slept. The team at Guinebor II catheterised and monitored him, and gave him antibiotics. Gradually, he began to pick up.

And then one day, as Claire was doing her ward round, he sat up and smiled. After a little more observation, Hassan’s urine began to flow clear again, and his catheter was removed. Hassan was better and free to return to the only life he knows.

Seeing children get better and go home is such a joy. Thank you so much to everyone in the UK who supports Guinebor II.

Men and woman wait in a shaded area outside a hospital in Chad
The waiting area at Guinebor II is often packed with people waiting for the brilliant care the Christian doctors there provide.

The boy bitten by a snake

Imagine this: you’re ten, it’s night-time, and you feel your skin punctured by fangs. You look down and see that creature that makes so many of us shudder with fear: a snake. For Saleh* that fear was justified. A snake had bitten him and now the clock was now ticking. He needed a dose of anti-venom to counter the snake’s poison and save him from the risk of paralysis or even death. Saleh was rushed into Guinebor II where he was given an anti-snake bite injection and painkillers. The treatment worked and the threat to Saleh’s life passed.

“Seeing children like Saleh get better and go home is such a joy,” says Claire. “Thank you so much to everyone in the UK who supports Guinebor II in prayer and by financial giving. Both are so important and make it possible for us to help.”

You’ll probably never meet the three children you’ve just read about. And you won’t meet the ones being cared for today on Guinebor II’s children’s ward. But thanks to your giving, Claire Bedford can dispense the medicine these young children need to get well. We think that care is worth celebrating. Please share this story to encourage others to support our work in Chad.

Inspired to give? Click here
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Help our surgeons save lives in Chad

In the north of Chad is a beautiful, isolated and dangerous place called Bardaï. It’s where BMS surgeons Andrea and Mark Hotchkin provide life-transforming healthcare at the district hospital. By giving to our Bardaï appeal, you can help keep them there.

* Names changed to protect identities

5 ways you’re making the world a healthier place

5 ways you’re making the world a healthier place

Saving mothers and babies in Afghanistan and helping pregnant refugees. Discover five of the ways your generous support for BMS World Mission is helping to provide healthcare for thousands of people around the world.

1. Meeting medical needs in Chad

Man in the distance looking at the camera. An ambulance in a courtyard at a hospital in Chad.
You're funding pharmacists, surgeons, doctors and nurses in Chad.

There is one qualified doctor in Chad for every 25,000 people. Nearly 40 per cent of children have stunted growth because of a lack of food, and illnesses such as malaria, HIV and Aids affect many people’s lives. But thanks to you, hospitals in Chad (one near the capital and one in the north of the country) are providing much-needed medical treatment and helping people survive. Your giving has enabled us to fund pharmacists, surgeons, doctors, nurses, malnutrition prevention workers, midwives and other hospital staff who are giving the right care to thousands of people. They’re treating gunshot wounds, cancer and malaria, and delivering babies, thanks to you.

2. Giving children with disabilities the support they need

Children with disabilities in Thailand face huge challenges. Many families struggle to cope with the needs of their children, and government orphanages are often unable to provide the one-on-one care and support they need.

Thanks to your giving, BMS worker Judy Cook is providing therapeutic and respite care to children with disabilities at Hope Home, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Hope Home currently provides full-time care for ten children, and offers respite care for many other children and their families.

Check out the amazing work you’re supporting in this video:

3. Coming to the aid of pregnant refugees

The South Sudanese women who make it to Bidi Bidi refugee camp in northern Uganda after fleeing conflict are often in danger of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. But thanks to your giving, an electronic device that measures people’s blood pressure and heart rate is helping to save lives. At least 7,000 pregnant women will receive medical checks that could identify any problems and save their lives, and the lives of their unborn children. To read more about how the device works and the impact your support is having, click the button below.

A woman in a refugee camp carrying a pale of water.
You're helping at least 7,000 refugees get medical checks in northern Uganda.

4. Saving the lives of mothers and babies in Afghanistan

Boys playing football in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Thanks to you, men and women are being trained in safe birthing practices in the remote mountains of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. In remote mountain villages, it’s difficult for pregnant women to get to clinics to give birth, and unsafe birthing practices such as smearing dirt on the umbilical cord, or pushing on the mother’s stomach during labour to make the baby come out, can lead to infection and even death.

You’re enabling us to help train men and women in safe birthing practices in the mountains of rural Afghanistan. You’re helping them learn to spot when something is wrong, and to dispel unsafe birthing practices, and you’re saving the lives of mothers and babies as a result.

5. Giving children a voice through speech therapy

Being unable to communicate your feelings and needs to the community around you can be incredibly isolating. In northern Uganda, BMS worker Lois Ovenden is providing speech and language therapy to children with disabilities. We’ll leave it to her to explain more of the inspiring work she’s doing in this video:

By supporting BMS, you’re funding life-transforming health work like this around the world. Thank you! You can help us do even more by making a donation today.

Inspired to give? Click Here
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The seven must-read chapters of an extraordinary mission worker’s life

The seven must-read chapters of an extraordinary mission worker’s life

“Is this going to be short-term, or for life?” For BMS World Mission worker Ann Bothamley, there was only one answer.

She stared down the devil when she was weak. Overcame dysentery, major spinal surgery and crushing loneliness. She founded a hostel for children of mission doctors, helped thousands of people through her nursing service, and returned to work after retirement to give pastoral care to patients. Ann Bothamley has been an ambassador for Christ in India since 1968. We’re inspired by all that she’s done in the past, and all that she continues to do. We know you will be too. This is Ann’s story.

Chapter one: The beginning

I gave my heart to the Lord when I was nine years old. After Sunday School one day I went to the superintendent and said, “I’ve decided I want to follow Jesus.”

I then went in for a Bible quiz and won a Bible. It had, ‘Presented to Ann Bothamley’, and at the bottom was the verse from Matthew 28: 19, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”. I remember saying to my mother, “I think that means me. I think I have to go.”

So even then, I knew in my heart that God wanted me to go out as a medical missionary somewhere.

A black and white photo of Ann Bothamley smiling in her nurse's uniform
Ann in 1967, months before leaving for India, where she has been serving with BMS for over half a century.

Chapter two: The call

I was quite sure that God wanted me to be a doctor, but I didn’t do terribly well at school. I went to work in the microbiology department of St Thomas’ Hospital, and one day the professor said to me, “why don’t you go in for nursing?”

Within six weeks, I was in. I really enjoyed it and knew I was in the right place. I wanted to have more qualifications, so I did a ward sister course, but twice during my training I slipped a disc in my back. After the second time, the matron said, “I think you might have to give up nursing”, and I thought, ‘no way’.

I ended up having a laminectomy [the removal of part of a vertebrae] after my fourth year. There was a lot of waiting and I wondered what God was saying to me. But I got through all that and got better very quickly. I did midwifery in Glasgow, and then did a year as a night sister in a large hospital in Croydon. I decided then that it was the time to go to BMS.

Chapter three: The journey

I think God planted it in my heart that I was going to India. I knew, too, that it was going to be for life. I was asked at the candidate board, “is this going to be short-term, or for life?” That was how it was put in those days. I said, “no, for life”. And so I was accepted by BMS.

The journey to India was a very long one. We travelled across Europe to Venice, where we boarded a boat to Brindisi, and then went on to the Canary Islands, and down to Cape Town where we boarded the boat to Mombasa.

You can’t send me home. My God is greater than you.

From Mombasa we went to Karachi and on to Bombay, as it was then. I got on the train about 2 pm and arrived the next afternoon, about an hour from Vellore. I was met by someone called Miss Thompson. We were sitting squeezed up on the front seat of the car and she said to me, “well, I hope the Lord has brought you here. Because if not, you might as well go back now.”

A view from high up on a hill of a city in India, with homes and many trees in view.
Vellore has been Ann Bothamley's home since she arrived in 1968, after a gruelling journey that began at Victoria Station in London.

Chapter four: The attack

There was no question of going back. I was where God had put me. I had quite a few problems to begin with. I had dysentery and it was a very horrible thing.

I also remember being sent up into the hills after suffering sunstroke. I was sitting in a garden and it was as though the devil was saying, “I’m going to get you home.” I can remember telling him, “no, God is with me and I am not going home, and don’t think you can send me because God is greater than you.”

One of the amazing things in those first six months was that every so often Miss Thompson would hand me a little note with a verse of Scripture on it. It was quite amazing, and always seemed to me that God was saying, “I am with you.”

Chapter five: The loneliness

There have been times when I have known great loneliness. Sometimes one can be in a huge institution and still be very lonely.

But every so often God would send somebody I could pray with. I’d be tremendously encouraged and God would say to me, “I want you to rely on me more. Just keep relying on me.”

A mature woman with grey hair sits at a table in a hospital cafe with an elderly man on one side, and an elderly woman on another.
Ann Bothamley catches up with friends at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. Friends back home support her too, ringing her to chat and ask for her prayer requests.

Chapter six: The blessings

God has blessed me through some of the experiences I’ve been through. Three years ago, when I had major surgery on my spine, two families I didn’t even know were amazing to me, absolutely amazing.

God has been so faithful to me over the years, and blessed me so much in enabling me and giving me the privilege to meet such a diversity of people and patients.

Watch the moment when Ann is presented with a gift to mark her 50 years’ service with BMS.

Chapter seven: The support

I could not be here, but for the support and prayers of people at home. I have two friends who phone me about every two weeks and jot down all the things I would like them to pray about. And there’s a church too that does the same thing.

Prayer makes a difference, a huge difference. I’m sure there have been difficult times when I’ve been carried by the prayers of people at home.

If you're praying for Ann Click here
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Could you be the next Ann Bothamley?

BMS has mission workers all over the world showing people what following Christ looks like, just as Ann is doing today. If you’re sensing God calling you overseas, you need to read the article 10 reasons why you should serve with BMS.

You can confront injustice. Free women from trafficking. Teach children robbed of an education. And you can introduce people to Jesus. We’ll be with you every step of the way. Start by getting in touch here. We would love to hear from you.

People are meeting Jesus in hospital

People are meeting Jesus in hospital

Hospital patients become Christians in a Muslim-majority community. Thousands receive prayer and pastoral care. And the healing that only Jesus can provide is experienced by people for the first time. All of this happens at a BMS World Mission supported hospital in Chad, where the gospel is being spread in traditional and innovative ways.

Waiting rooms can often be the most terrifying place in a hospital. Anxiety thrives among the rigid rows of chairs. And sadly, for many, so does loneliness.

The waiting area at Guinebor II Hospital near Chad’s capital may appear different to those most of us are familiar with – there are benches, not chairs, and the space is open to the elements on three sides. But we’re all familiar with the feelings that people experience there.

BMS-supported chaplain Pastor Djibrine knows them well too. He sits with patients, talking to them as they wait to be seen by a doctor or nurse.

The Bibles available for people to read provide scope for discussion, as do the Christian films shown on the solar-powered television in the corner.

Pastor Djibrine also makes bedside visits, praying with people, comforting them, and answering questions about Jesus. And while some patients ask to keep the Bibles they find at the end of their beds, others receive Scripture through micro SD cards for use in their mobile phones.

People in the waiting area at Guinebor II Hospital.

The cards contain 35 Bible stories in four languages, and Pastor Djibrine gives them to people interested in the gospel. Your gifts pay for these cards, just as they do for the Bibles. And lives are being transformed.

Pastor Djibrine (right) talks to a man at a BMS-supported hospital in Chad.
Pastor Djibrine (right) shares tea and conversation outside a BMS-supported hospital in Chad.

Abdelhaziz* was at the hospital receiving treatment for cancer. While he was there, Pastor Djibrine spent time with him, chatting and explaining his faith. Through these conversations, Abdelhaziz met Jesus and decided to follow him. When he was well enough to go home, Pastor Djibrine gave Abdelhaziz an SD card and put him in touch with believers in his home town. Having gone into the hospital unwell and far from Christ, Abdelhaziz left with his faith placed in Jesus, and part of a new community.

Another person who wanted to know about Jesus was Hassan*, a young Muslim man studying religion at the University of N’Djamena. Not only did he leave the hospital with his own Bible, he also asked Pastor Djibrine for a copy for his friend. The Holy Spirit at work outside the hospital’s walls.

Healthcare excellence and God's love – BMS worker Kat on the work at Guinebor II Hospital

Look what you've achieved in 12 months:

• Over 5,000 patients at Guinebor II Hospital were touched by the love of God through prayer, conversation, and home visits – work that continues today.

• An average of 35 people a month were given a Bible or CD with narrated biblical stories.

• One hundred people received micro SD cards containing Bible stories.

• Almost 3,500 people watched a Christian film in the hospital’s waiting room, and the films are still being shown regularly.

Through your giving, you’re helping people who are sick and frightened find healing, comfort and strength in Christ. People are getting to read the Bible, hear its truth in their own language, and receive prayer from Pastor Djibrine. And some people, such as Abdelhaziz, have decided to follow Jesus for themselves and have been welcomed into a community of believers.

Thanks to your support, Guinebor II Hospital has become a shining beacon of hope in Jesus, and we think that’s amazing.

Want to help us do more? Give today
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* Names changed

Coming to the aid of pregnant refugees

Technology and mission:

Coming to the aid of pregnant refugees

Women in refugee camps in Uganda are in danger of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. That threat is about to change for thousands of them, thanks to an electronic device and your support for BMS World Mission.

They’ve fled a civil war, trekking for days to cross the border from South Sudan into Uganda, seeking sanctuary from crippling food shortages and men with guns and machetes. They’ve fled to save themselves, their loved ones, and the ones yet to be born.

The South Sudanese women who make it to the Bidi Bidi refugee camp in northern Uganda find a settlement of tents and mud-brick huts that sprawls for miles. The number of people living there, roughly 280,000, is higher than the population of many a British city, and most of them are women and children.

Refugee women and children walk along a dirt track in northern Uganda
Women and children have walked for miles to escape conflict in South Sudan.

Left behind because they were killed, abducted, forced to fight, or too weak to travel, are brothers, sisters, grandparents, children… and future fathers. An estimated one in five women of childbearing age in humanitarian emergencies like this are likely to be pregnant. Keep that in mind when you read the following:

– An estimated 830 women die every day from pregnancy and birth-related causes around the world.

– Of these maternal deaths, 99 per cent happen in developing countries.

– More than 50 per cent of maternal deaths are caused by conditions that could be detected if vital signs were assessed.

A £20 handheld device that measures blood pressure and heart rate can change these statistics. It is called the Microlife Cradle VSA (Vital Signs Alert), and from March, hundreds will be used in the Bidi Bidi camp, and the Nakivale refugee settlement in south west Uganda.

A patient in Haiti has her blood pressure and heart rate checked.
The device has already been used to help pregnant women in Haiti. Picture by Hope Health Action.

How does the device work?

The device needs minimal training to operate and uses a traffic light warning system that shows the risk of shock or high blood pressure in a patient.

– A green light shows the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate are normal, and they are likely to be well.

– A yellow light shows the blood pressure is high, and the patient could have pre-eclampsia, a condition that occurs in pregnancy, or soon after delivery. If untreated, it can cause a pregnant woman to suffer a seizure, stroke or even die.

– A red light shows that blood pressure is very high and the patient could have severe pre-eclampsia, or may have severe bleeding or infection.

Watch a step by step guide to using the device

Thanks to your gifts, at least 7,000 pregnant women will receive a medical check that could save both their lives, and the life of their unborn children. The device will alert volunteer health workers to a problem that can then be referred to a doctor or nurse.

BMS funding of £18,000 will help partner organisation Hope Health Action (working with King’s College London and the United Nations refugee agency) distribute more than 700 of these devices into the two camps from March and train people to use them.

South Sudanese refugees climb a hill at the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda.

By giving to BMS, you’re making a life-saving difference to women in the Bidi Bidi and Nakivale refugee settlements.

But it could lead to so many others being helped, as it’s hoped a successful programme will prompt the Ugandan health ministry to distribute the device to other refugee camps.

We give thanks for your gifts. Amazing things are happening because of you.

What to help us do more? Click Here
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This is what a life transformed looks like

Uganda:

This is what a life transformed looks like

Joshua is full of potential. He is a bundle of joy. He is treasured.

His life is different from how it was before, and your gifts have made his transformation possible.

When Joshua was two years old, his life began to change. His parents discovered that his diagnosis of Down’s syndrome didn’t mean that his life was hopeless. They began to dream for his future.

It all started when Lois Ovenden, a BMS World Mission speech therapist, entered their lives.

Meet Joshua, his wonderful mum Flavia, and BMS worker Lois in this video, and find out how your support has helped to transform a family in northern Uganda by watching the video (above).

Support people like Joshua. Give today.
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Helping babies and mothers survive in Afghanistan

The mountains in Afghanistan are breathtaking. Red, gold, and rusty orange soils swirl together in giant ridges, pressed against a brilliant blue sky. It looks unreal – a beautiful painting. But, as with all art, it’s important to look beneath the surface for truth. Beneath the beauty in Afghanistan, there is a country where babies and mothers are dying.

Babies and mothers don’t stand a chance in Afghanistan. Their odds of surviving pregnancy and birth in a country with one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world are very poor. That’s why BMS World Mission is hard at work, standing alongside Afghan communities to bring about lasting change for the people of this beautiful country.

A woman and child in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan currently has the worst infant mortality rate in the world, 112 babies dying in every 1,000 births. It also has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, ranking 11th on a list of the 200 most dangerous countries to be a mum. A blend of poor access to health care, unsafe birthing practices and cultural barriers all contribute to these devastating statistics. And beneath the numbers, there are human stories of pain and loss and hopelessness.

At BMS, we are determined to do something to help. That’s why we help to run a training programme in the mountains of rural Afghanistan to educate men and women about safe birthing practices.

Most of the people BMS is helping are at least one hour away from a clinic by 4×4, and most people don’t have access to that kind of transport. Understanding pregnancy and birth better can be crucial for the survival of both the baby and mum. “In a rural area like this that’s so remote, they don’t have access to good health care,” says Tim*, a BMS development worker in Afghanistan. “It’s really important to tell people the danger signs that they need to look out for so they will be prepared in case they are unable to make it to a clinic.”

help us do more click here
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Challenging dangerous practices

A big part of our training is dispelling some of the unsafe birthing practices that are common in Afghanistan. Making women give birth in the dirtiest room in the house, pushing on their stomachs during labour to make the baby come out and smearing animal dung on the umbilical cord after it’s cut are just a few of the dangerous traditions that can lead to infection and even death.

“It’s not just about saying, ‘this is wrong’,” says Tim. “It’s more about saying ‘this is safe, this is what you can do.’” Knowing what to do if a woman is bleeding after labour or if a baby isn’t breathing and how to stay healthy during a pregnancy are all covered by the BMS-supported courses, and have already saved lives.

Involving men

And, by making men part of the training, more lives will be saved. “Maternal health is seen as a woman’s business in Afghanistan,” says Tim. “But it’s actually men that are making the decisions.” Educating men about safe birthing practices is often vital to survival. Tim remembers one woman who came to the course but whose husband did not. Having been on the course, she knew she should call for medical help when something went wrong with her labour. But her husband said it was best to just pray, and that it was in God’s hands. Sadly, the woman ended up dying.

There are many sad stories like that in Afghanistan, but health education, made possible by donations from UK Christians, is paving the way for a safer future for babies and mothers in remote mountain villages. Now, 100 per cent of the women who receive training breastfeed their babies within the first hour of giving birth. Before the training only 50 per cent of them did. Take-up of antenatal care has also improved. Before attending the course only 11 per cent of women were having regular antenatal check-ups and now 52 per cent of them are receiving the care they need.

Thanks to people like you, many babies and mothers are getting a chance to live, and the blessing can be passed on to future generations.

“If only I had known”

At the end of one of the courses an Afghan grandmother named Aliah* pulled a trainer aside. Through tears she explained why this course was so important. Her own daughter had died during childbirth. Facing complications during labour, her family had tried everything – they prayed, offered sacrifices, performed traditional rites, but still she died. “That’s why I’m bringing my granddaughter to this course,” Aliah told a BMS-enabled trainer. “I don’t want the same thing to happen to her. I don’t want her children to live life without a mother like she had to.”

Beneath the surface, Aliah had a real sense of guilt about her daughter’s death. “If only I had known then what I know now,” said Aliah. Today she is more hopeful, and her granddaughter has a far better chance of a healthy labour and childbirth. We want to see more mothers have the same hope. And you can help today.

Want to support our work in Afghanistan?

You can help us save more babies and mothers lives in Afghanistan right now by supporting our Christ-centered work around the world. Donate now to give the gift of life.

*Names changed

First four photos taken by Graeme Riddell, 2016. Final photo taken by Carol Turner, 2012.

You helped to save this 20-year-old cancer patient in Chad

You helped to save this 20-year-old cancer patient in Chad

BMS World Mission is transforming lives both physically and spiritually in a country in desperate need. Read Jamila’s story today.

Jamila was diagnosed with cancer and treated at the BMS-supported hospital, Guinebor II in Chad.
Jamila's life was saved at a BMS-supported hospital in Chad

“You’ve got cancer.”

The “C-word”. It’s not something that you want to hear. Not something you would wish upon your worst enemy. And it’s definitely not something you want to be diagnosed with when you live in a country where there is one doctor for every 30,000 patients.

“Cancer” is the word that begins Jamila’s* story. But, thanks to BMS heath work at Guinebor II (G2) Hospital in northern Chad, the life-destroying disease did not have the final word.

BMS helps to run G2 Hospital in a predominantly Muslim area, and we’re working tirelessly there to provide hope and health in a country where countless people struggle to access care and many die young. BMS surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and administrators from the UK and Chad have pioneered the work at G2, ensuring that as many Chadians as we can reach face less suffering. Chadian’s like Jamila.

Guinebor II hospital in Chad

Saving Jamila’s life

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At one point, Jamila’s future was looking bright. She was 20 years old, intelligent, full of life and half way through her studies at University. But when she developed skin lesions and her health began to deteriorate, she faced a painful present and a future clouded with uncertainty.

Jamila arrived at the BMS-supported hospital, in desperate search of answers. Doctors at G2 examined Jamila and they were concerned with what they saw. They decided to do a biopsy and send it for further testing. About a month later, Jamila’s results came in: she had an aggressive form of cancer.

Devastating news. Jamila’s life was in serious danger. Doctors knew that they needed to act quickly. But it would not be simple. They told Jamila that her best chance of surviving lay in a complicated operation to remove the tumour – but it would leave her with a life-changing condition. “It was either that or she was facing death,” says Doctor Bert Oubre, G2’s hospital director. “But I also knew that this was a big decision for a young lady to make, especially culturally in Chad.”

After taking a few weeks to think about it and consult her father, Jamila decided that she would go through with the surgery. During a six and a half hour operation, G2 doctors were able to remove the tumour. Jamila was going to live. “Jamila should heal,” says Doctor Oubre.

Jamila and Doctor Oubre at the hospital in Chad
Jamila and Doctor Oubre at the hospital in Chad.

Sharing Christ’s love with Jamila

Jamila’s story is not just about medicine. It’s about faith. As Doctor Oubre watched Jamila wrestle with the difficult decision of whether to go through with the operation or not, he wanted to do something more to ease her fear.

He felt compelled to share the reason for his hope with her on one of their visits. “I felt a tug by the Spirit to share the gospel,” says Doctor Oubre. “I shared my own testimony and how I became a Christian when I was 45 years old. I shared how my first wife had died of cancer and that both she and I had found Christ and were spiritually saved in the midst of that crisis.”

Doctor Oubre could sense that she was open to the idea. It’s just one example of the unique way the hospital is sharing God’s love in a region of Chad where they don’t often get to hear the gospel.

The entrance to Guinebor II hospital in Chad.

So much more

Jamila’s life was saved. She’s not the only one. There are countless others who have had their lives transformed at G2.

The hospital provides more than just surgical operations. G2 offers general care, and has a pharmacy and a maternity unit. Mission staff at G2 live out their Christian faith in their work, sharing the gospel with those who are open to it and offering to pray with patients. The G2 chaplain is supported by BMS and ministers regularly to the majority-Muslim community in the area.

Healing bodies and offering hope beyond this life: this is what truly life-transforming health ministry looks like in Chad. And you have made it possible. Thank you.

Will you pray for our health work in Chad?

BMS-supported hospital chaplain, Pastor Djbrine has a special message for UK Christians who would like to pray for the work in G2:

“Pray that God would open the hearts of the people here. Many people understand the word of God when I share it with them, but many cannot allow themselves to accept Jesus Christ. I would also like prayers that God would give me wisdom, patience and compassion for the people as I share Christ’s love with them. Also that God would continue to motivate the doctors and nurses who are involved in this mission. May God bless all who are praying for us.”

Thank you for praying with us for God’s will to be done in Chad.

Pastor Djbrine is a BMS-supported hospital chaplain at Guinebor II in Chad.
Pastor Djbrine is a BMS-supported hospital chaplain at Guinebor II in Chad.

*Name changed