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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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!

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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Top 5 stories of 2017

Looking back:

Top 5 stories of 2017

Last year was filled with inspirational stories of lives being transformed through your giving. Here are our top five most-read articles from 2017.

Students being baptised in barrels. Young French Christians finding community. Nepali children excelling at school. These are just a few of the incredible things your gifts and prayers have made possible this year, through BMS World Mission. There were so many stories to choose from, but only five could top our news story charts! We hope you’ll be inspired as you look back at what we achieved together in 2017.

1. Big thinking for little minds

Children in Nepal are benefiting from Annie Brown's teacher training programme.

Millions of children in Nepal are getting the opportunity of a better education, thanks to your support for BMS worker Annie Brown.

With her teacher training programme being adopted by the Nepali Government, every teacher of students aged between five and 13 in all government schools will have the chance to receive Annie’s training. They’ll be better-equipped to teach, and Nepal’s children will face brighter futures!

2. Pray for our new mission workers

James and Ruth Neve, who are preparing to move to India to work with us.

Tucked away in our centre in Birmingham, new BMS mission workers are busy preparing for overseas service. For them, it’s daunting, but also exciting, as they get ready to serve God abroad in different ways. From a family heading to Nepal to help with disaster relief, to a couple heading to Albania to teach children of mission workers, there are plenty of things we can be praying for.

Loads of you loved catching up with our new mission workers’ prayer requests, making this our second most popular story last year.

Pray for them today by clicking the link below.

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3. 5 ways you're fighting violence against women

We're working in Uganda to help primary schools devise and implement child protection policies.

For thousands of vulnerable women and girls around the world, gender based violence is a daily part of life. But, thanks to your support, BMS is taking a stand against it. From helping girls know their rights, to freeing women from prostitution, you’re helping to empower women and prevent trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Find out more by reading the story.

4. Baptised in a barrel in Phnom Penh

Students are meeting Jesus in Cambodia! We loved witnessing the amazing moment when Srei got baptised in a barrel and by our stats it looked like you did too. Read about how she and Chan came to find God at a BMS-supported Christian hostel in Phnom Penh, and how, thanks to your support, more and more people are finding Jesus.

5. Feeding of the 400

You’re helping to build Christian community in France – where young Christians often feel isolated and lonely.

Connexion 2017, an event put on by BMS worker Sue Wilson and her team, helped young French Christians realise they’re not alone. Watch the video above to find out about what it meant to the people who were there, and click the link below to read how you’re helping bring young French Christians together.

Want to help us do more? Give today
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Thank you for supporting us in 2017. Your gifts have helped people find God, and have transformed countless lives. With your continued support, we can’t wait to start doing even more in 2018!

Other great stories made possible by you

Five stores aren’t enough to sum-up how much you did last year. So here are a few extra ones we’d love you to read too.

  1. Meet the inspiring Mozambican Christians you’re supporting: they’re bringing justice to abused women and teaching communities their rights.
  2. From witch doctor to church planter: the story of a witch doctor who found God, and then started planting churches.
  3. Baptist church brings light in Uganda: one simple action is raising money, helping people’s lungs and introducing people to Jesus.
  4. Refugees are like you and me: BMS worker Ann MacFarlane has seen God at work in the lives of refugees in Italy.
  5. This is what a life transformed looks like: meet Joshua. You helped give him a reason to smile.

Our workers need your prayers right now

Got a moment to pray? Great! Our workers need your prayers right now

Courage, safety and an improved hospital generator all feature in the latest prayer requests our mission workers have sent us. Please read on and pray with us for lives to be transformed.

Annie Brown

Annie is a teacher trainer working in Nepal with the Kathmandu International Study Centre’s Education Quality Improvement Programme (KISC EQUIP).

Annie’s prayer requests

• Pray for a Nepali teacher friend in Lamjung District who recently got baptised, that he continues to grow in his new Christian faith and is encouraged and protected when making visits back to his Hindu family.

• After ten years of prayer we have recruited a new Christian female EQUIP teacher trainer. Pray that Santona settles into her new work.

Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus

Paul and Sarah Brown

Paul and Sarah are working in Bangkok, reaching out to women who have been sexually exploited or are survivors of sex trafficking. Sarah runs the Freedom Bakery project.

Paul and Sarah’s prayer requests

• Pray for the continued enthusiasm and purpose of the women who work in the Freedom Bakery. They have grown in amazing confidence, and have even begun teaching other women!

• Pray that the women will not be fearful, but will remain confident.

Women working on cupcakes at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Please pray for the courageous women working at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.

LINDA AND TIM DARBY

Linda and Tim are working in Gulu, northern Uganda. Tim is an environmental consultant and Linda has a legal background.

Linda and Tim Darby have asked for your prayers.
Linda and Tim Darby are working in Uganda and would love for you to pray for them.

Linda and Tim’s prayer requests

• Pray for the direction of the agricultural development work which is up for renewal early next year.

• Pray for the appointment of a Child Protection Policy Trainer to help protect children in schools.

if you're praying for this Click Here
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Claire-Lise and David Judkins

David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.
David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.

Claire-Lise and David work in Brive-la-Gaillarde, south west France, with a long-term vision to see a church-planting network take root.

Claire-Lise and David’s prayer requests

• Pray for a couple of ladies who are part of our fellowship, but haven’t yet taken the step of following Christ. Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

• Pray that God may lead our young disciples to ‘people of peace’ who are open.

CLAIRE BEDFORD

Claire is a pharmacist working near Chad’s capital, where she’s continuing the development of the pharmacy service at Guinebor II Hospital.

Claire’s prayer requests

• Pray for the mission workers at the hospital who will be in Chad this Christmas. Pray they would be able to experience peace and joy at this time of year, despite being far from family and friends.

• Pray the hospital would have all the resources it needs to function well.

Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Andy and Jenny Saunders

Andy and Jenny are serving in Kathmandu, Nepal. Jenny is a trained counsellor and uses her skills to train Nepali counsellors. Andy is a Baptist minister and has been teaching at a Bible college.

Andy and Jenny’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and good health for Jenny, so that effective research into mental health in Nepal would bring lasting change.

• Pray for Andy, who is really enjoying his teaching. Pray for patience and good working practices at Nepal Baptist Bible College (NBBC).

Rory* and Catherine*

Rory and Catherine are working in health and development in Afghanistan.

Rory and Catherine’s prayer requests

• Pray for friends and colleagues to pick up on the joy and hope that this season brings us.

• Pray for chances to talk about what real peace is.

Andrea and Mark Hotchkin

Andrea and Mark are surgeons in Chad. Earlier this year they moved from Guinebor II Hospital to the north of Chad to continue their mission.

if you're praying for this Click Here
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Mother and child in the mountains of Afghanistan
Please pray for our work in Afghanistan.

Andrea and Mark’s prayer requests

• Please pray for developing relationships with the new team of nurses and technicians at the regional hospital as we start working there full-time.

• Pray for the arrival of a technician from the capital N’Djamena (1,700km across the Sahara desert) as the hospital generator is weak, meaning equipment such as the X-ray machine can’t be used.

Christine Kling

Christine is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris.

Christine’s prayer requests

• Pray for the work in Gif, that through different events we will connect with new people.

• Pray for the new people who have started to join the church, that we will be a source of encouragement and support in their journey with God.

Christine Kling is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris
Christine Kling has asked for prayers of "encouragement and support".

Simon and Wendy Hall

Simon and Wendy serve in Nepal with KISC EQUIP. They met while teaching in Kathmandu and now work in Lamjung.

Simon and Wendy’s prayer requests

• Pray for a meeting coming up with the district education officer where I (Simon) hope to influence how he allocates and spends a significant amount of Government money on ICT labs/equipment in schools.

• Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Simon and Wendy, in the mountains of Nepal.
Simon and Wendy Hall would love you to pray for their family.

Mary*

Mary is using her skills in palliative care in Tunisia.

Mary’s prayer requests

• Pray for each person who is far from loved ones to feel, as well as know, they are part of a worldwide family over Christmas.

• Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day, that each of us will remember the original Christmas seemed to be an ordinary day too, when in fact our extraordinary God put on flesh.

Daniel and Regiane Clark

Every day I am overwhelmed by the support I know I have behind me from those so faithful in prayer.

Daniel uses his experience and theological training to teach at the Baptist Seminary in Lima, Peru, while Regiane works with low-income communities.

Daniel and Regiane’s prayer requests

• Pray for the ministry of the Baptist Seminary, especially as there is a shortage of pastors in the Baptist Convention.

• Pray as we seek to support the Social Action Department of the Baptist Convention in providing relief and community development resources in Piura.

David and Dorothy McMillan

David is Interim Director at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTSC) in Amsterdam, while Dorothy serves as Managing Editor of the centre’s two academic journals.

David and Dorothy’s prayer requests

• Pray for David as he carries out the role of Interim Director until a new director is appointed.

• Pray for our 40 plus students across the world as they balance family, ministry and study responsibilities.

Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day

Angus and Helen Douglas

Angus and Helen, together with their children Caleb, Charis and Esther, moved to Nepal in 2012. Angus is overseeing the development of a new KISC school site.

Angus and Helen’s prayer request

• Pray for the current challenges of the new site to be resolved, for safety for the construction workers and for some additional funds to complete the project.

Angus and Helen Douglas and their children
Angus and Helen would like you to pray for the development of the KISC school building project.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn moved to Thailand earlier this year and will be using her nursing skills in Chiang Mai.

Kathryn’s prayer request

• Pray for help with learning the language and culture of Thailand. Being able to speak the language helps connect on a deeper level with the people around you.

Judy Cook

Judy, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, founded and manages Hope Home, a home for children with disabilities.

Judy’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and patience during the busy times at the Church of Christ in Thailand’s Aids Ministry and at Hope Home.

• Pray for new staff to join the team at Hope Home with a heart to serve special children and their families. Pray too for the staff to come to know our Lord and Saviour for themselves.

Judy Cook based in Chiang Mai, Thailand founded and manages Hope Home
Judy Cook has asked for prayers for "energy and patience".

Laura-Lee Lovering

(more…)

Do something wonderful: support Wonderfully Made

Do something wonderful:

support Wonderfully Made

We believe that every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made. And that includes children with disabilities, like Sam.

Sam is blind. He also has a brain condition that manifests a bit like cerebral palsy, which means he can’t really control his limbs. He is five years old.

Sometimes Sam wakes up in the middle of the night laughing. Happy. He has a beautiful little giggle and a lovely smile. He likes to be hugged very tightly – a big, strong cuddle calms him down when he’s upset.

Sam’s mum died when he was a baby, and his dad handed him over to the Thai state soon after. He’s been living under the care of BMS World Mission nurse Judy Cook since he was 18 months old. “He is absolutely gorgeous,” says Judy. “He has got this little giggle and this smile, and he is so cuddly.”

My hope is that he knows throughout his life that he is loved

Sam with Becca, one of the carers at the BMS-supported Hope Home
This is Sam. He is getting excellent care thanks to your gifts to BMS.

Without the BMS-supported Hope Home, run by Judy, Sam would most likely be living in an orphanage for children with disabilities in Bangkok, alongside hundreds of other children. And he wouldn’t be getting the one-on-one care and attention he needs.

While the team at Hope Home are doing as much as is possible, it’s unlikely that Sam will make huge progress in his physical development due to his condition. What we can give him, though, is love.

“My hope is that we give him as much love as we can,” says Judy, “and that he knows throughout his life that he is loved.”

Sam is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Although he can’t articulate what he is thinking or feeling in words, every time he wakes up laughing, or smiles when Judy or one of her team gives him a hug, we know he knows what it is to be happy. And we are so glad.

Sam Hope Home Thailand 2017

Sam is just one of the wonderful children benefitting from your support in Thailand. We’d love to introduce you to Tada, Phil and Natalie, three of the other children you’re helping. You can meet them by watching our Wonderfully Made appeal video.

Andrew Dubock, former Editor for BMS, thinks these children are so important that he’s come back to BMS to tell you why you should get involved. Watch his video message now:

Wonderfully Made logo

If you are looking for an upbeat, positive, and important message to share with your church this harvest (or sooner, if you like!) please speak to your minister and encourage them to use Wonderfully Made. We would LOVE for churches in every village, town and city in the UK to get to know Tada, Phil and Natalie and to see how wonderful they truly are.

Support Wonderfully Made Click Here
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And we would love to raise lots of money through the appeal to continue to support them and thousands of other wonderfully made people around the world.

As Andrew says in the video: “The important thing is that we, as Christians, help people.” Will you help us to help them by supporting Wonderfully Made?

If you are looking for an upbeat, positive, and important message to share with your church this harvest (or sooner, if you like!) please speak to your minister and encourage them to use Wonderfully Made. We would LOVE for churches in every village, town and city in the UK to get to know Tada, Phil and Natalie and to see how wonderful they truly are.

Super children - Wonderfully Made
Natalie is Captain Kindness, Phil is Mr Determined and Tada is Adventure Man in Wonderfully Made, this year's BMS harvest appeal.
Pray for Sam and the children and team at Hope Home
  • Pray for Sam to be happy and healthy
  • Pray for all seven children who live at Hope Home, that they would encounter the love of God as they are cared for by Judy and her team
  • Pray for the children who come to Hope Home for respite care. And pray for strength for their families, as they look after children with complex needs
  • Pray for energy, strength and patience for Judy and her team. Pray that they would be filled with the joy and love of the Lord as they serve the children at Hope Home, and that they would find time to rest
  • Pray for our Wonderfully Made appeal, that thousands of Christians would be encouraged by it, and that it will help us to transform even more lives
  • Pray for all the people, in Thailand and beyond, who will be helped by the money raised by Wonderfully Made. Pray that they might experience fullness of life