Help us fight child abuse in schools

Help us fight child abuse in schools

The threat of abuse is very real for pupils in many Ugandan schools. You can help by getting your church to pray for our child protection work.

Imagine a classroom with 100 or more primary age schoolchildren in it. Put aside how crammed it might be and concentrate on this: more than two thirds of the children in front of you have been sexually abused by a male teacher, according to a Unicef survey. The percentage of children who have been caned is even higher, yet their abusers get away with the abuse, free to inflict suffering on a child in a place every child should feel safe: school.

The survey on the prevalence of abuse in Ugandan schools shows that people are aware of the abuse – but it still continues. Do not think it is going completely unchallenged though. Ugandan officials are making strides. And, with your support, BMS World Mission lawyer Linda Darby is working tirelessly in Gulu, northern Uganda, to change attitudes towards child protection in schools.

BMS mission worker Linda Darby guides teachers in child protection policy work
Linda Darby’s mission to tackle abuse in schools begins with training future nursery teachers about child protection.

Backed by local government, Linda has so far taken 21 schools through training on how abuse can be identified, reported and prevented. And the message of protecting children from sexual and physical abuse is not restricted to the school environment. Community leaders also attend the training, alongside the school’s senior staff – and ends with a school developing a child protection policy. With your prayers, we hope even more schools in Gulu will develop more effective child protection approaches.

“At first, people can be defensive, but as we explain the types of abuse, especially sexual, they realise it is happening and they are more open to listening,” says Linda. “This work is important because it is helping children thrive in school, and that will improve their circumstances in life.”

A BMS project worker helps teachers identify signs of child abuse
We’re helping teachers and community leaders in Gulu, Uganda, identify signs of child abuse.

The work Linda does in Uganda couldn’t happen without your prayer support. We encourage you and your church to please pray today for:

1. More local trainers to come forward to help Linda in her work. Pray for the right people, with the right skills, and with huge hearts to protect children from harm.

2. Energy, wisdom and strength for Linda in her work. Pray that she knows the encouragement of your prayers when she talks to schools about why child protection policies must be developed and put into practice.

3. The children who are being abused. Please pray for the abuse to stop, and that the children sense God’s love for them in their lives.

4. The adults who commit abuse. Pray that they understand the darkness of their actions and are guided towards a new life in which they never hurt a child again.

Through your prayers today, we believe that even more schools in Gulu will take child protection more seriously. We know it’s possible. You can play your part today in protecting children you will never meet.

Please pray.

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Lessons from a secular state: four ideas to help your church

Lessons from a secular state:

four ideas to help your church

The Church in France has long faced hostility. After decades of hard work, one BMS couple is seeing people begin to open their hearts to Christ.

John and Sue Wilson have been serving in France with BMS World Mission for 30 years. When they first arrived, they were treated with hostile suspicion. But after years of dedicating their lives to the Church across France, they are seeing fruit, and more people than ever before are coming to Christ. Here’s how John and Sue’s experience in France could help you and your church engage more people.

People worship in a church
The Wilsons committed themselves to using these four ideas in every aspect of their work. Now, their church is bigger than ever before.

1. Pray

It may seem obvious, but we so often forget. Praying about your situation and struggles is one of the most powerful strategies for growing and engaging your church. “Through the people who pray regularly, we have constant support and encouragement,” says John. “Without them, we couldn’t be here.”
Could you create a prayer network that is regularly praying for your church? The benefits could be breathtaking.

Through the people who pray regularly, we have constant support and encouragement

2. Learn to trust

It’s not unusual for churches in France to be investigated by the Government. So, it’s natural that, when a woman who worked for the French Government rang up the Wilsons’ church, they were suspicious. “She had bought a Bible in a shop and didn’t understand it,” says John. “So, she contacted me at the church and asked if she could come to our Bible study.” She could have been spying on the church. John could have turned her away. But he didn’t. Next year, she’s planning to be baptised.
It’s easy to distrust new people, even if you don’t realise you’re doing it. By making a conscious decision to open your heart to new people at your church, you can create a space that is safe and welcoming for all.

It’s really difficult to keep time with them because they spend ages afterwards just chatting together and talking about things

3. Understand the needs of new Christians

For new Christians, getting more involved in church can be a daunting prospect. It’s easy to be put off by people who are confident in their faith. John and Sue saw this happening in their church and decided to do something about it. “The existing Bible study is more for mature Christians,” says Sue. “People who have just come to faith don’t feel able to ask what they might consider obvious questions.” The Wilsons set up another Bible study group specifically for new Christians to explore their faith. And they’re seeing real results!
“It’s really difficult to keep time with them because they spend ages afterwards just chatting together and talking about things,” Sue says. They even ask for homework!
Why not set up a group in your church that specifically makes space for new Christians? It’s a great way to ensure that they have a safe space to ask questions without feeling alienated from the rest of the church.

4. Be patient

John and Sue have seen powerful changes in France. But they’ve been working there for 30 years. Don’t lose heart when you don’t see results straight away. It might take a while to see a real difference in how people are engaging at your church. But keep attempting for God and expecting from him. It might take months, it might take years, but if we humble ourselves, pray and make space for God to work, he will be faithful. Just ask John and Sue!

Please pray for:
1. The Wilsons, that they continue their work in France with the same determination and enthusiasm that they have for the last 30 years.
2. French people who may find it difficult to profess their faith due to France being a secular state—that God would encourage them and empower them with love.
3. BMS mission workers Christine Kling, Claire-Lise and David Judkins and Philip and Rosemary Halliday, who, like the Wilsons, are currently working to strengthen the Church in France.
4. UK churches who might be struggling to engage members of their church family.

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Indonesia earthquake and tsunami: update on our response

Indonesian earthquake and tsunami:

update on our response

BMS World Mission is responding to the situation in Indonesia, where over 1,500 people have died after an earthquake and tsunami struck.

You will have seen images of the devastation on the island of Sulawesi, which was hit by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday. Access to the affected areas is challenging for responders due to damaged bridges, landslides and fuel shortages.

The official number of people killed in the disaster is expected to continue to rise. Many of the deaths happened in the city of Palu.
BMS has been communicating with partners in Indonesia in response to the tragedy. You can help today by joining us in prayer, and you can also make a donation at the bottom of this article.

The scene of devastation caused by an earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi
You can help the response to the devastation on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Please continue to pray as agencies and governments from around the world help people on the island.

Prayer points for Indonesia:

– Please pray for the people of Sulawesi who are suffering unimaginable grief right now. Pray that they have the basics of food and clean drinking water, and medical help.

– Please pray for the first responders as they search for survivors. Pray they have shelter themselves and are kept safe as they work in dangerous, very difficult conditions.

– Please pray for the partners we’ll be supporting. Pray they are given all the resources they need from agencies and governments from around the world.

– Please pray for the long-term response. Pray that people will remember Sulawesi in the months and years to come, and that this city and the surrounding area would recover from this tragedy.

“Your prayers are crucial at this time, so please continue to pray for people in Sulawesi,” says BMS World Mission Relief Facilitator Rachel Conway-Doel.

“Please pray for our partners who are on the ground assessing both the immediate and longer term needs for the area. We will be working closely with the local churches, as they respond to the affected communities. Thank you for your continued prayers, generosity and love shown towards all those affected by this disaster.”

We’ll bring you updates on how BMS is supporting the response in Sulawasi. To make a donation to the response, please click the button on the right.

Thank you for your prayers and generosity in this most traumatic and difficult of times for people in Indonesia.

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Pray for Europe: the oppressed, poor and politicians need help

Pray for Europe:

the oppressed, poor and politicians need help

Atheists, people living as slaves and the future of the UK can all be helped by you today. Please read on as we focus our prayers on Europe and its people.

Let’s start with that thing you are probably fed up with: Brexit

Whatever your position on Brexit, it’s clear that prayer is needed. So, let’s leave our personal views to one side, the barbs we’ve heard and possibly spoken, and pray for healing and a way through all the confusion.

• Pray for families and friendship groups with positions that clash. Pray that Brexit would not divide them, and that opinions would be listened to.

• Pray for an end to bitterness, personal attacks and recrimination. Pray that the starting point for discussion is respect.

• Pray for God’s will to be done. Pray that he would guide political leaders into creating a better, fairer, more peaceful Europe. One that he wants for all his children.

• Pray for God’s continuing provision and opportunities for BMS World Mission’s work in Europe, and a political landscape going forward that is conducive to building his kingdom.

Pray for those trapped in modern slavery in the UK

You might have unknowingly passed a slave today. There are thousands of people being exploited in the UK as you read this –perhaps washing a car, tarmacking a drive, or painting a shopper’s nails in a salon. They’re working exceptionally hard for long hours, being paid a pittance and their health and safety are often disregarded. But you, your friends and your church can show them that they’re not ignored. You can show them that they are loved, and they’re loved by the one who loves you.

• Pray for freedom for the captives and that God would use his Church to break the chains of oppression.

• Pray that those who are trapped in modern slavery would sense Jesus’ presence in their lives; that they would draw strength from him, and know that he is with them.

An illustration of a man washing a car with Help written about it
Join us today in praying for victims of modern slavery in the UK.

• Pray for those who are exploiting people. Pray they too would have an encounter with Jesus, one that transforms them into people who stand up for the oppressed instead of imprisoning them.

• Give thanks for Dan Pratt who BMS is helping to raise awareness of modern slavery and to help churches across the UK to fight it. Pray too for energy and wisdom for Dan and his team as they confront the darkness of slavery with the light of Christ.

Know the signs of modern slavery? Hear from Dan Pratt on what you should look out for

Pray for secularist France

You no doubt know that France is a hyper-secular nation, and that our Christian brothers and sisters face personal and official hostility in openly showing their faith. And yet, people are coming to faith in France. It’s happening because Jesus wants to reach everyone. And it’s happening because of the support you’re giving to BMS church planters. Let’s give them some extra help today.

• Pray for our BMS colleagues in France. Pray for a powerful sense of conviction in their work, and for Holy Spirit-touched conversations, with believers and non-believers.

• Pray for those who turn to the occult for answers to medical and spiritual suffering. Pray they would know the healing power that only Jesus can give. Pray for those who have turned their back on God and do not believe in the truth of his love for them. Pray that they would have an encounter with him so powerful they would want to share their experience with others.

Two men and a woman stand on a stage with microphones and instruments
Young people are finding faith in France. Together, we can help more people come to know Jesus.

Pray also for the Netherlands, Albania, and Kosovo

• Pray for BMS workers David and Dorothy McMillan in Amsterdam. Pray that they would continue to build strong relationships with their non-Christian neighbours, and that people would come to know Christ through them.

• Pray for children from Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania who face poverty and hardship. Pray they would be nourished with food and learning, and that they have hope of a better future.

• BMS is supporting mission in Albania by teaching the children of mission workers at GDQ International Christian School. Pray that the teachers would continue to be faithful in prayer and in seeking God’s direction. Pray, too, for the finances for building work and for a sense of unity during this exciting time for the school.

Two girls sit at a table, drawing pictures on pieces of paper
You can help children in Albania know what it feels like to have a happy, fulfilling education.

• Give thanks for BMS work in Albania. The BMS-supported team of five Albanian workers and three British workers at Tek Ura (a BMS-founded NGO) has set up a community centre in one of the poorest and most marginalised communities in Europe. Through their flourishing health, social inclusion and education ministries, God has provided thousands of opportunities to be a blessing – and even a baptism to celebrate!

• Pray for reconciliation for communities in Kosovo that remain divided by past conflict. Pray too for BMS workers Robert* and Rose* as they build relationships in the country through teaching children. Pray for more children to attend their classes and that Robert and Rose would shine the light and love of God into the children’s lives.

Just before you leave, we have one more important request. To get more people praying, please share this article with your friends. It really does make a difference, so thank you. For daily prayer updates, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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* Names changed to protect identities

Annet couldn’t get a visa to enter Britain – please help her

Our mission worker couldn’t get a visa to enter Britain – please help her today

Annet Ttendo Miller should be in the UK right now, telling people about the brilliant work God is doing in Mozambique through BMS World Mission. She’s not here because her visa application was turned down, which is why we need you and your entire church to pray for her.

It was meant to be so special. BMS lawyer Annet would finally meet her father-in-law, and he would get to hold his granddaughter for the first time. All that Annet needed was a visa to enter Britain.

She didn’t want to move here, or stay a long time, she just wanted to come with her British husband – BMS worker Damien – and their daughter, Patience. She wanted to visit in-laws, her friends and colleagues at BMS, and to tell people about God’s work in Mozambique. And then she’d go back home and continue fighting for the oppressed; for women who have been abused, for the vulnerable without a voice.

A man in a multicoloured shirt stands next to a woman in a blouse, holding a baby
Annet and Damien Miller were all set to visit Britain with their daughter, Patience, when they were told Annet’s visa application had been turned down.

But the Millers’ visit hasn’t happened as Annet’s visa application was turned down. A new application will be submitted, so today we’re asking you to pray for Annet, Damien, and Patience, because we believe in a God that listens.

• Pray that God will make a way for the Millers to visit the UK. Pray that Annet and Patience will get to meet Damien’s father, and that churches will hear about the vital legal work being done in Mozambique.

• Pray that Annet and Damien would have a strong sense of God’s presence during this stressful time. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to be with them at work and at home.

• Pray thanks for what God is doing through Annet and Damien at the Association of Mozambican Christian Lawyers (AMAC). Please pray for more people to hear about the association, and that they ask for help.

The time when Annet was pregnant and told to leave Britain

Annet moved from her native Uganda to Mozambique in 2012 to lead the launch of the BMS-supported legal ministry, AMAC. She married Damien in 2015 and they had hoped for Patience to have been born in Britain.

When they arrived in June 2016 for a visit, Annet was pregnant and had a five-year visitor visa to the UK. She was allowed into the country, but only after being detained for hours, and having had her visa cancelled because it was suspected she would misuse NHS funds.

Allowed to stay in UK for just a few weeks, Annet and Damien had to fly to Uganda, seeking the care every expectant mother deserves. Patience Michelle Miller arrived early in Kampala, premature, but healthy, a blessing from God during a difficult time.

A woman with a grey jacket and black top stands in a garden smiling and with her hands crossed
Annet Ttendo Miller is working to help the oppressed in Mozambique. Please join us in praying for her today.

Hear more about the life-transforming work Annet and Damien are involved in

You may have already watched the video above. What we were all anticipating was for more stories about AMAC’s work to be shared by Annet and Damien in the UK.

“It is a huge disappointment for them, and us, that their visit has been postponed,” says BMS Regional Leader Mark Greenwood.
“They are doing priceless work in Mozambique. Our prayer is that you will hear them tell you all about it in the UK, in your church.”

God called Annet and Damien to Mozambique because he has a heart for justice. They stand alongside person after person who is alone and needs support. Now it’s our turn to support them with prayer.

Please share this article with your friends. We want the Millers to feel lifted up in prayer from churches across the world, not just for their visa and family situation, but for God to use their lives for his kingdom.

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Release from addiction, safe pregnancy and our very latest prayer requests

Release from addiction, safe pregnancy and our very latest prayer requests

We believe God intervenes when we pray. Would you please pray for these people today?

A pregnant mission worker recovering from a terrifying health scare. Villagers enslaved by addiction. And a family facing the demands of moving countries. These are real people who need an outpouring of love and prayer, and they need it from all of us today.

Lois and her unborn baby

A few weeks ago, BMS World Mission worker Lois Ovenden, based in Gulu, Uganda, was rushed to hospital, suffering extreme pain under her ribs. The fears for her health were magnified by the fact that she was 19 weeks pregnant at the time. The doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong and transferred Lois to Kampala, 200 miles away from her two young children.

After days of worry and pain, Lois was told she had pericarditis (inflammation of the fluid lining around the heart). The condition is treatable and shouldn’t affect her baby, and Lois is back home now with her husband, Joe, and their children, Connie and Reuben. Praise God! Please pray for Lois and the family.

A woman and a man, and a boy and a girl, smile at the camera, with the girl holding a cat
Pray today for Joe and Lois Ovenden, and their children Connie and Reuben.

• Pray for Lois’ swift return to full health and for the health of her unborn baby. Pray there would be no complications from the medical scare.

• Pray that God provides an assistant to support Lois in her speech therapy work with children and that the right person comes forward today.

• Give thanks for the Ovendens’ BMS colleagues, Linda and Tim Darby , who looked after Connie and Reuben while Joe was at Lois’ bedside. Pray for a blessing over them, and their children, Joshua, Annabelle and Elsa.

A village shackled by addiction

Alcohol addiction is ruining lives in the village of Wang Daeng, in northern Thailand, where BMS church planters Helen and Wit Boondeekhun work in what is largely a Thai Buddhist community. But alcohol isn’t the only problem. A highly addictive drug called yaba – a toxic mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine that leads to aggressiveness and paranoia – also has its destructive grip on the village.

• Pray that Got* breaks free from alcoholism, and that his wife, Suree*, returns to the Bible study where Wit has been supporting her.

• Pray for wisdom for Helen and Wit as they try to start a group for people who want to liberate themselves from addiction. Pray that people would be open to receiving help and to hearing about the gospel.

A village road is covered with tarmac. There are shops on one side, and trees on the other.
Stand alongside BMS church planters Helen and Wit Boondeekhun as they tell people about Jesus in the village of Wang Daeng, in northern Thailand.

Politicians, women in Nepal, and many of you

• Pray for continued peace in Mozambique following the recent death of opposition leader, Afonso Dhlakama. Pray that his successor and politicians across Mozambique will promote unity.

• Pray for the women who are being helped at a gynaecology outreach service in Jajarkot, west Nepal, this week. Pray their surgeries would go as planned, and there would be no complications afterwards. Give thanks for all the personnel at the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) who are helping them, and for BMS worker Chris Drew who is working with INF.

• Pray for all those attending the Baptist Assembly in Peterborough this Saturday (12 May). Pray for safe journeys for us all, and for a day of joy and community.

• Pray that Ann*, a worker at a BMS-supported home for children with disabilities in Thailand, opens her heart today to Jesus. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work a transformation in her life.

Our brothers and sisters in France

Christians in a nation as secular as France can sometimes feel like they’re on their own. We can change this.

BMS mission worker Christine Kling gives a sermon in France
Pray for BMS worker Christine Kling, who is telling people in France about Jesus.

• Pray for the 400 people at the three-day French Baptist Assembly that starts in Lyon today (10 May). Pray for a great sense of unity and fellowship, and for inspired worship and teaching, and that every logistical issue would be overcome.

• Pray that people who have never stepped into a church before will hear about the Saturday evening services about to start at the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris. Pray the services would help BMS worker Christine Kling connect with people who do not attend church.

• Pray for the couples who have come to the end of a marriage course in Brive-la-Gaillarde south west France. Pray thanks for their deepening relationship with God, and pray their marriages continue to become stronger.

• Pray that God will guide BMS Action Team staff as they choose the right person to fill the final space on the next France team.

A family facing a stressful move

Arthur and Louise Brown have been BMS workers for years in Beirut and are coming to the UK with their children, and it’s all very stressful as moving can be. Please pray for the whole family, for Arthur in his role as Regional Leader for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and particularly these things:

• Pray for energy for Louise who must complete her dissertation this week if she’s to graduate before leaving for the UK.

• Pray for Arthur and Louise’s daughter Jessica as she sits her IGCSEs. Pray Jessica would get the rest she needs during her exams.

• Pray for the family to feel God’s presence as they face the emotional and logistical demands of moving countries.

A woman in a grey dress and a man in a green t-shirt stand on a terrace with the countryside behind them.
Please pray for Arthur and Louise Brown who are preparing for a big move to the UK.

We’ve one more request, but it’s a really important one. Please share this article with your friends, family and church before you do anything else.

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* Names changed to protect identities

Pray for Peru: our workers need your prayers today

Pray for Peru:

our workers need your prayers today

The land of Machu Picchu, rainforests and stunning mountains is loved by God and served by faithful Christians. All of BMS World Mission’s workers in the beautiful and diverse country of Peru will value your prayers this week.

Local Peruvian BMS workers America and Jorge are running social and recreational projects, as well as discipleship programmes for children and families in the town of Chincha.

• Pray that America and Jorge receive fresh energy when they are feeling tired.

• Pray they are encouraged in their work, and pray for the children they are serving. Pray they experience joy and form strong friendships.

Denise and Melany run an after-school club at the BMS-founded El Puente Baptist Church in Cusco. We rejoice that a church founded by BMS is now being led by Peruvian Christians and we give thanks for the privilege of partnering with them.

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in Denise and Melany’s lives and ministry. Pray they would feel guided in making decisions, and every day they would sense the joy that knowing Christ brings.

• Pray for Pastor Amilcar at the church. Pray for continued wisdom in his work, and that he would feel God’s strength in his meetings and conversations.

Children wave at an after-school club in Peru
Children at the after-school club at the El Puente Baptist Church.

Daniel and Regiane Clark are based in Lima, working at the Baptist Seminary. They also support children and adults in deprived areas, helping to organise medical check-ups with a team of volunteers that includes a doctor, nurse, dentist and a psychologist.

• Pray for Daniel’s teaching at the Seminary to be blessed and for Regiane to sense God’s presence in her administrative work and with student placements.

• Pray for the medical work they support. Pray that God would provide the resources needed to help people who are sick.

Pastor Luis is serving at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre, where Christian leaders from river communities in the Amazon region are taught theology and biblical literacy, as well as practical skills in caring for their land.

• Pray that Pastor Luis senses your encouragement today. Pray that he feels a fresh sense of conviction in his teaching, and that doors are opened for him to show the love of Christ.

• Pray that supported partner workers Judith and Pedro feel lifted up today, with fresh enthusiasm and energy, and discernment in their work.

• Pray for all the students who have attended the training programme. Pray they would lead their communities wisely, reflecting God’s love for them.

Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly looks at a camera
Pastor Luis is strengthening pastors in rural Peruvian communities.

Baptist ministers Dave and Michele Mahon and their three children are based in the city of Iquitos, in northern Peru. They work with nine churches in their region and support the running of the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre.

• Dave, Michele and their children Jonathan, Ruth and Phoebe, arrived in Iquitos last month. Pray that they settle in well.

• Pray that Dave and Michele find local people to come alongside them in their work, and that Dave builds strong relationships with pastors.

Show this video in your church to inspire prayer for the Mahon family

Laura-Lee Lovering is helping to develop the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. As an environmental scientist, she’s teaching community leaders sustainable ways to care for their land.

• Pray for Laura-Lee to find extra strength this week as pastors from river communities are trained at the centre. Please pray that more pastors attend the training, and that they arrive safely.

• Pray for the pastors training at the centre. Pray they would be inspired by what Laura and her colleagues teach them, and that they would encourage others to come forward and learn.

Life on the Amazon: a behind the scenes tour of Laura-Lee Lovering's workplace

Lori and Neil Brighton are BMS volunteers serving at the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. Lori is helping with the centre’s finances, and Neil is helping to redevelop the training course for pastors.

• Pray for their Spanish language development so they can become more effective in their roles.

• Pray the Holy Spirit would guide them in their work, and they would sense the support of people around the world praying for them.

Thank you so much for praying with our mission workers today, and for your continued support of them.

For daily prayer updates, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Women around the world need you to pray

Women around the world need you to pray

Freeing women from the sex trade. Giving women a voice in Afghanistan. Equipping women to start their own businesses. These are just some of the ways that BMS World Mission is working to empower women around the world. And to thrive, these women and these projects need your prayers.

Empowering women to set up businesses in Guinea

Guinea, where Caroline and Victor are empowering women by setting up self-help groups.

Women in Guinea are underprivileged, often not having the same standard of living as men in society. BMS workers Caroline* and Victor* are helping these women to set up self-help groups, where around 20 women come together each Sunday to save money corporately, which can then be loaned to members of the group. This then lets women borrow money to set up small businesses, so they can provide for their families and the community around them.

Caroline and Victor’s prayer requests:

– Pray for the woman who is borrowing £80 every two months to finance a restaurant, so she can continue to provide for her family and those around her. Pray for success.

– We’re looking for four stakeholders to form a committee, who will then provide training so more self-help groups can be established. Pray that we would find the right people for the job.

Freeing women from the sex trade in Thailand

Paul and Sarah Brown are reaching out to survivors of sex trafficking and women who’ve been sexually exploited in Bangkok, Thailand. They’re empowering these women by teaching them how to make jewellery and cakes, as well as giving them opportunities to receive business training.

Their prayer requests:

– Pray for ways we can support, empower and enable women who are survivors of trafficking.

– Pray that more traffickers will be brought to justice and that Bangkok’s local authorities will become better equipped to find them.

Paul and Sarah Brown, who free women from sex trafficking.

Giving women a voice in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan often don’t have a say in what goes on in their village, where men are generally the key decision makers.

Afghanistan, where our team give a voice to women by setting up women's councils.

BMS partners in Afghanistan are working to change this by creating a women’s council in every village they work in. Making sure that the council is representative of all women in the village, it regularly meets alongside a men’s council which often already exists. This allows women to have a say in important decisions that will affect them, like where the water pipelines and latrines should be built.

BMS workers Catherine* and Rory* are part of our team in Afghanistan.

Their prayer requests:

– Pray for women-headed households in these villages, where men are away working and send money back when they can. Food shortages are predicted this year, and these families will be the ones hit the hardest.

– Give thanks for the local female staff that work with us in Afghanistan – they’re amazing role models. They are showing that women can work and empower people.

Empowering women in France

It’s dangerous to be a homeless woman in France, as many face abuse or are at risk of being forced into prostitution. Christine Kling, alongside a group of volunteers, set up a day shelter for these women. It gives homeless women a place to stay, rest and eat a meal, and it’s a place of dignity and respect.

As a pastor, Christine also wants to see more women in France step into Christian leadership. Through training and mentoring, more women are becoming confident in their gifts and calling.

Christine’s prayer requests:

– The homeless shelter requires many volunteers to keep it running. Give thanks for the people currently volunteering, and pray for new volunteers to come forward to join the project.

Christine Kling, a pastor of a church near Paris.

– Pray that more women in the new generation of Christians in France will feel confident and supported in their calling as pastors.

Providing employment for survivors of sex trafficking in India

Kolkata, where we work to provide employment for women wanting to leave the sex trade.

Thousands of women from rural villages in India have been trafficked into Kolkata to work in the red light district. BMS works alongside local partners offering employment to those wanting to leave the sex trade. The women also receive training – including learning how to read and write – as well as one-to-one counselling.

Prayer requests:

– Pray for the health and safety of foreign staff in India, as they do what they can to help empower women in challenging conditions.

– Pray for wisdom and guidance as our partners look to create a further 200 jobs over the next three to four years for women wanting to leave the sex trade.

– Pray for BMS volunteers Annette and Ron Salmon as they work alongside vulnerable women in India.

We have many more workers and partners who are involved in empowering women. From projects in Uganda and Mozambique that work to educate women on their legal rights, to workers in Nepal who provide teacher training, leading to better education for girls. Please continue to pray for our workers all over the world as they help women see their God-given value. Let us know you’re praying by hitting the big blue button!

*Names changed to protect identity

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Meet the Vokuhls

Nepal bound:

Meet the Vokuhls

Pippa, Toby, Jakey, Ella and Millie Vokuhl fly to Nepal on Saturday with BMS World Mission. Find out why they feel called to mission and what they’ll be up to overseas.

After months of preparation, Pippa and Toby Vokuhl are ready to begin an exciting new chapter of their lives, serving God in Nepal. They are part of Headington Baptist Church in Oxford and have three children: Jakey (nine), Ella (seven) and Millie (three).

Amidst packing up their house, saying goodbyes and doing other last-minute tasks, Pippa and Toby sat down with us to talk about the adventure they’re getting ready to embark on.

Pippa and Toby, along with their three children, Jakey, Ella and Millie.
Pippa and Toby, along with their three children, Jakey, Ella and Millie.

Have you always wanted to work overseas?

“I would say yes for both of us – since our teenage years we’ve felt called to work overseas,” says Pippa. “We both worked in separate places overseas before we got married. I worked as a physiotherapist in Uganda and Toby worked as a carpenter in Nazareth.
“Toby and I actually met at All Nations Christian College,” Pippa continues. “So even from the start of our marriage, mission was very much on the agenda.”

How did you decide to move overseas?

“When we started to consider whether an overseas assignment might be right for us as a family and if that was something God might be calling us to,” says Toby, “it led us to start having conversations with BMS.”

“We had a Skype call with someone in Nepal telling us about the project and whether Toby would consider taking this role,” says Pippa. “As we got off the call, we both looked at each other and went, yes! This is the right one! So we both had a deep peace about this being the right thing to do.”

I’m looking forward to being able to encourage Nepali Christians and likewise them to encourage us

What will you be doing in Nepal?

“My background is in construction management,” says Toby. “I will be working with a local BMS partner as part of their disaster response and resilience department, based in Pokhara – there’s still a lot of ongoing work in terms of the reconstruction of housing that was damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.

“I’ll be working with local colleagues to help with the construction of houses, as well as training craftsmen, giving people the necessary skills to build a better future for themselves by teaching them how to improve the quality of their own homes.”

“For me, it’s a bit less clear at the moment,” says Pippa. “Initially when we get there it will be about settling the family in.

The Vokuhl family will be based in Pokhara, helping with relief work.
The Vokuhl family will be based in Pokhara, helping with relief work.

“We’ll both be doing some language study for a couple of months, and then after that I’ll be praying that God will give me the right role.”

The Vokuhls were the 'family of the week' on the BBC Oxford radio breakfast show back in November
The Vokuhls were the 'family of the week' on the BBC Oxford radio breakfast show back in November.

How did your children react when they found out they were moving?

“We were really encouraged by their response – they were really up for it and excited,” says Toby. “They’re now working through the sort of thoughts of losing friendships and how they can maintain them in Nepal, but in general they took it really well.”

What are you looking forward to when you go?

“Getting to know local Nepalis,” says Pippa. “Getting to know Nepali Christians and learning from them, being able to encourage them and likewise for them to encourage us – to be part of that global Christian family. I’m also looking forward to seeing my kids having new cultural experiences as well.”

“For me,” says Toby, “I’m really looking forward to meeting local colleagues, meeting with local Christians and joining in with the ongoing relief efforts, as well as the cross-cultural experience and the chance to learn new things.”

Even from the start of our marriage, mission was very much on the agenda

What can people be praying for?

“If you could pray for the kids,” says Pippa. “Toby and I have had experience overseas, so we know what to expect. But if people could pray for them with the transition, that they would just feel really settled and happy.”

“I think pray for general health really, that would be great,” says Toby. “It would be a shame to catch the flu just as we’re getting ready to go out!

“You can get tired and weary with all the work involved in a move, so also pray for energy, calmness and for peace. And please pray for the journey to Nepal and our stay in Kathmandu, before our journey to Pokhara where we will then settle ourselves in.”

If you’re an individual and want to commit to giving regularly to support the Vokuhl family, you can become a 24:7 Partner by clicking the box on the right.

If you’re a church and want to support the work they’ll be doing out in Nepal, you can become a Church Partner with us by clicking here.

Want to support the Vokuhls? Click Here
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Could you be called to mission overseas?

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.