News Update: Online Fundraising & Donations

As you can imagine, in this strange new world, coffee mornings in church, bake sales and the usual fundraising activities have been hard to come by in the last three months. But we are encouraged that there are still donations coming in towards our Mobilising for Mission project.

We might not be allowed out to socialise, but there are plenty of good fundraising ideas going on from our own houses. Have you tried a Zoom quiz yet? Or Kahoot? Anyone who has tried to buy flour recently will know that there is a resurgence in baking; the great British coffee morning has gone virtual! If you haven’t already tried any of these, could this be a chance to socialise virtually while raising some funds for the Project?

Online Donations (New!)

With our new online donation form, it is now easier than ever to donate to the Mobilising for Mission project. Alternatively, you can send donations to Mairi Macdonald (Donations Secretary) by post or directly to our WfM account – all the information can be found here. Every penny is greatly appreciated!

This year, we are supporting Donald and Rosangela Fraser, working with WEC in the Netherlands,  the Free Church Camps (which we look forward to seeing back in 2021), World on our Doorstep in Govanhill and Operacion San Andres in Peru. Please remember to pray for all who are involved in working with these organisations as they seek to serve the Lord in the new ways we are all having to adapt to.

The extended fundraising deadline for the Mobilising for Mission project is September, when we look forward to launching the next project. Normally, this would happen at the biennial Women’s Conference, but sadly this has been postponed.

Pray, Support & Encourage

Perhaps it is more important now than ever to remember, support and pray for mission going on throughout the world. Some may have noticed during lockdown that the ‘ancient’ art of letter-writing is seeing something of a comeback. Maybe use some of your spare time to write a letter or a card – or even just an email – to someone working in mission? Children can get involved too, and might enjoy writing to a missionary kid! We all benefit from encouragement.

Thank you, as ever, for supporting the work of Women for Mission.  Please remember to like of follow us on Facebook and share any encouragements you may have there.

Sometimes it’s hard to hear the birds singing…

Marsali Campbell, who was raised on the Isle of Lewis and then in Skye, has served with Dwelling Places in Uganda for 19 years, providing healthcare for children living on the streets in Kampala and Karamoja. Below is her update from May 2020, including a few videos which provide an insight into her work in Africa.

The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.’
Psalm 104: 12

Whether I’m home in Scotland, or home in Africa, one thing remains constant – I love the sound of birds singing, especially in the early morning. In Scotland, even if the morning is cold, I love to open the windows and return under the duvet, and just listen to their songs of worship. In Africa, it’s usually warmer, so it’s lovely to open the windows and bring some refreshing air into my room, and listen to the birds singing. I love the rhythm of beginning each day with that blessing from God.

But sometimes it’s hard to hear the birds singing. Not because my hearing ability has changed, but rather in this season, my mind and spirit are so often full and distracted, especially with work-related issues.

This morning as I was awake before dawn, and opened my windows, what a blessing to witness the day of a new day and listen to God’s precious creation singing.

Gen 1 v 20

Isaiah 40 v 31

Psalm 84 v 1-3

Matthew 6 v 25-30

With thanks,

Marsali

Here are links to four short videos below to give you a snapshot into my life here at the moment. I hope they are helpful as you think and pray.

A Personal Introduction

Easter Update

17th April Update

27th April Update

WfM Annual Meeting 2020 – Cancelled

In-line with Government guidelines and the guidance issued by the Free Church of Scotland, the WFM Annual Meeting (AGM) which was scheduled for 16th May will sadly be cancelled.

We are experiencing a difficult and uncertain time but we are thankful that our Lord reigns and is in control. Please continue to pray for our NHS staff and all front-line key workers and for those who are isolated and reliant on others for help and support.

Please remember the Mobilising for Mission project this year as many group fundraising events have had to be cancelled. However, we are currently in the process of setting up online donations and will keep you updated.

At the moment, funds can still be sent in – please contact Mairi at donations@womenformission.org for more information.

Many thanks for your understanding and may we stand together in prayer for our nation and world.

May God bless you all.

Western Isles WfM Event

On a beautiful, warm, sunny evening – Friday 7 June 2019 – WFM Western Isles held their 13th Annual Event in the Caberfeidh Hotel, on the outskirts of Stornoway.

Friends and acquaintances were greeted warmly. The Baking Stall, laden with delicious fare was doing a brisk trade as was the Craft Stall with its display of fine items. In the Dining Room, which was so beautifully arranged by the staff of the Caberfeidh, our Chairperson, Donna Maciver welcomed everyone in her own inimitable style and invited Fiona Maclean to say the grace. A feast was then laid before us by a very slick team, and we ate our fill.

Praise was then led by Sheila Nicolson whose rich voice encouraged us all to sing praises to our Lord from Psalm 80.

Donna then outlined news of last year’s fundraising and outlined the projects for which we will be fundraising this coming year.

Our solo singer for the evening was Katy Graham, who sang two beautiful items of praise – one in English and one in Gaidhlig. What a wonderful gift she has.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Megan Patterson. She has several years’ experience working in Benin Republic, West Africa, also in Niger and Burkina Faso, along with her husband, Jim. Currently she works as an Education Consultant with SIM (Serving in Mission), engaging with teachers worldwide. Her passion is to help Christian teachers think about the impact of worldview on classroom life. She regularly runs seminars in biblical worldview for teachers, globally.

She and her husband have two adult children and four grandchildren. She lives in Livingston with her husband and daughter.

The title of Megan’s presentation was Listening to the Shepherd’s Voice. Here is a brief outline of her presentation.

She began by relating a conversation she had with a young man in the ETS library. She asked him what he was going to do when he finished his studies, to which he replied that he didn’t know, but that he was willing to do anything. “That’s great” she replied, “the Lord will open a door for you” Then she asked her audience if it was right to say that to the young man. Is it hard to discern what God wants us to do in the big decisions of life e.g. where to work, where to live, who to marry? What about everyday decisions like should we invite friends round for dinner, and if so, what should we give them to eat?

She asked “What is the prompting of the Spirit and what is our own inclination and is it possible for the two to be the same? What about the evil one? Does he mess with our heads and drown out the still small voice of the Lord?”

John 10 v 27 says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. If we are His then we can say “The Lord is my shepherd. What a kind and tender Master! He knows me. He knows which gifts He has given me; He knows my weaknesses better than I do, He doesn’t taunt me or play games with me. He leads me beside quiet waters.”

Yet we tie ourselves in knots, trying to make decisions. A helpful hint is to use the G. TEST. We should ask ourselves these three questions:-

“Is this to God’s glory?” “Is this for other’s good?” “Will this lead to my spiritual growth?”

Psalm 27 v 4 helps us to become attuned to God’s voice, as does Isaiah 2 v 3 and Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6. God also speaks to us in the world he has created as in Psalm 19 v 2, 3, 4. We are living in the theatre of God’s glory. Look how great and powerful and beautiful He is. Our shepherd, the one whose voice we want to listen to was there when God established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep – Proverbs 8 v 28, 29, 30.

She is often asked how she and her husband came to work in Benin in French –speaking West Africa. Jim, her husband, failed French at school but he met her, a French teacher and they became friends when Jim wanted to learn French. Jim is a water engineer and the people in Benin were short of drinking water. The local church wanted to help provide water and introduce them to Jesus, the living water, at the same time. So, the couple were invited and off they went!

What is the relationship between becoming captivated by the beauty and glory of Jesus and listening to his voice? When we are gripped with the glory of Jesus, when we know that He is King and that this world is not our home and that we are made for another world, then decision-making isn’t complicated. But, obedience sometimes is. Love leads to obedience. We sheep follow the Master we love, he who first loved us. We read in Hebrews 5 that during the days of Jesus’s life on Earth he offered up petitions and prayers with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death and he was heard because of his reverent submissions. Although he was a son he learned obedience from what he suffered. If Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered, so must we. So often the issue isn’t knowing what to do it is wanting to do it.

God’s revealed will tell us what to pray in Luke 10 v 2. His revealed will tells us how to live in Matt. 28 v 18. His revealed will is crystal clear. It is not a matter of not knowing in our part it is a matter of obeying.

Then there is God’s secret will, made known in his providence. Sometimes we make plans and God turns them upside down. Proverbs 16 v 9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

But God only permits what we are able to endure, by His grace. She told that the most painful experiences has been in connection with her daughter’s emotional and physical health, which meant they had to return home from Benin.

Megan brought her presentation to a close by reading Psalm 27. Then followed a short Question and Answer session.

Shona Davidson brought the evening to a close by giving a vote of thanks to all involved in making the evening such a success.

Wedding dresses put to unusual use in North Harris!

Finding imaginative ways to raise funds for mission is rarely easy. The North Harris and Scalpay Women for Mission group have managed to do exactly that though, as Shona Davidson reports.

Fifty ladies (and one brave gentleman) congregated at North Harris Free Church on Saturday 16th February for an unusual WFM fundraising event.

After an appeal for the loan of wedding dresses we got an amazing response from the public – 35 wedding dresses, as well as bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ dresses. Some of the dresses were modelled by the girls from Tarbert Youth Fellowship while others were displayed around the church.

Every dress displayed a number and participants had to try to match names to dresses. After much discussion and deliberation only 3 points separated the top three teams. Well done to the team who guessed 20 out of 35!

After grace was said by our Chairperson Mrs Liza Macsween, we all enjoyed tea and cake. After which the owners of each dress were revealed and then the correlating photo albums and framed pics were laid out for perusal by each dress.

We raised a total of £683.50 for Women for Mission.

The success of the evening was entirely due to the community, those who entrusted us with their precious dresses and those who participated in the evening and donated so generously.

God bless you all.

Our deepest thanks to Shona Davidson and the North Harris community for their report and fantastic fundraising venture – we are so grateful!

Could you organise something similar in your church community?

WfM Annual Meeting 2019

Women for Mission’s 2019 annual meeting will take place at 2.00pm on Saturday 18th May in Glasgow City Free Church.

Join us as we give thanks for the funds raised through our Community Connections project and as we launch our new project for 2019/20.

We look forward to hearing from our speakers who’ll update us on their work in various places around the world. Barbara Davies will tell us about her work in Marseille, Caitriana will speak to us about her work in East Asia and we hope too to hear from some of the young people who received a grant from our Support a Volunteer fund.

If you’d be interested in the possibility of booking a seat on a bus to Glasgow from Dingwall & Inverness, please contact Marion Gray by email at marion.macaulay@hotmail.co.uk or by phone on 07717452226 by Saturday 4th May.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS – PROJECT 2018/2019

Over the last year, various groups over the country have been raising funds for the following projects:

  • Building Work in Manila
  • Medical Support in Bulgaria (Bear Necessities)
  • Helping disabled refugees in the Middle East (DARP)
  • WfM’s ‘Heart for Home’ Fund

Thank you to all congregations and groups who have already sent in their donations!
It’s not too late to organise a fundraising event to raise money and support the work of these projects. Could you organise an event in your church or in your group? How about quiz nights, bake sales, coffee mornings, afternoon teas … or a sponsored walk or run, if you prefer something more active! Whatever your fundraising events are, please know that all efforts and donations are greatly valued!

Please send all donations to Mairi MacDonald:

Post: ‘Greenfaulds’, 8 Linicro, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9YN For bank payment information, please email donations@womenformission.org

Away Day 2018

On Saturday 15th September 2018, almost 200 women of all ages met together at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness for a special day of fellowship, singing, hearing about mission work in both Benin and Bulgaria as well as exploring the theme of continuous prayer with main speaker Catriona Murray.

A huge thank you to all who came to enjoy the day – it was a real encouragement to see so many people there, of all different ages, supporting the work of WfM.

Special thanks must also go to all the crafty ladies who worked so hard to provide such lovely goods for sale which contributed an amazing £2000 towards our 2018/2019 fundraising project Community Connections.

Find out more about our women’s conferences here.

WfM Annual Meeting – Glasgow 2018

On Saturday 13th May around 90 women gathered together in Glasgow City Free Church for the Women for Mission (WfM) annual meeting.

Helping to Help, WfM’s 2017/18 fundraising project, raised £38615 which will be used to help Shekinah Evangelical Church in Nepal buy land to build a church, Richard and Barbara Davies to share the gospel with a particular people group in Marseille and WfM to provide small grants through their Support a Volunteer Fund.​

We were delighted to welcome Duncan Peters who spoke to us about his work in sharing the gospel amongst the Muslim community and Fiona Christie who has recently returned from serving in Colombia. We also heard about Derek and Catriona Lamont’s trip to Nepal and from Marsali who will soon return to Dwelling Places in Kampala, Uganda, having completed her studies in London.​

As well as giving thanks for the response to the closing fundraising project, every year the new project is introduced at the annual meeting. The 2018/19 project, Community Connections, will raise funds for medical work in Bulgaria, helping disabled refugees in the Middle East, building work in the Philippines and for WfM’s Heart for Home fund which provides small grants for community outreach in the UK.

With many WfM supporters based in the Western Isles, we’re grateful to those who make it possible for us to link with those who meet there.  Some of the ladies from the WfM group in Uist have sent us their thoughts on the day.

Several Uibhistich crossed the Sound of Harris to make their way to Stornoway on a breezy Saturday in May to join friends from Lewis and Harris for the WfM video link-up to the AGM in Glasgow City Church. Owing to the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the 19th of May 2018 will be embedded in the national consciousness for a long time. The main focus, for those of us gathered in the Murdo Alex Memorial Hall that day, however, was primarily on the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Having said that, we did follow the biblical command to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice’ though, and happily took advantage of the big screen that was laid on for us; and which, despite the occasional glitch, enabled us to appreciate the joy that a wedding brings. While some of us marvelled at the fabulous fascinators on show, those of us unable to distinguish between a Versace and a Valentino set about serving the delicious soups and puddings prepared for the occasion. It is surely significant that our Lord Himself chose to launch his public ministry at a joyous occasion: a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In the course of a weekend dominated by the grim news of another American school shooting and of a Cuban air crash, it was a pleasure to be focusing for a little while on a happy event. It was also, as weddings generally are, a reminder to us of the wonderful celebration awaiting all who follow Jesus Christ, irrespective of their earthly ethnicity or status.​

The diversity of Christ’s family was reinforced as we moved upstairs to link-up with our Glasgow friends and hear from speakers who serve Christ in this country and abroad. We feel very blessed to be part of a network of Women for Mission groups who have raised almost £40,000 to be spent between missionary endeavours in Marseille and Nepal, in addition to supporting short-term mission workers.​

It was good to hear from Fiona Christie regarding her current missionary endeavours in Scotland, and of her plans to stay here after many years of service which included short and long-term mission work in Hungary, Moldova, Germany and Colombia. Rev Duncan Peters, a Free Church minister for Asian Outreach, also addressed us with a particular focus on the Holy Injil, Luke – A New Translation from the Original Greek Text with Commentary, recently published with support from WfM, and proving to be a useful tool in explaining the Gospel to Muslim friends. Although the sound quality prevented us from hearing presentations by both Marsali Campbell and Catriona Lamont, the pictures on the screen were well-received as we saw the obvious delight on Suraj Kasula’s face on welcoming Catriona and Derek Lamont to Shekinah Evangelical Church in Nepal!​

We are sorry to hear that Rona Matheson is stepping down as Chairperson this autumn, but we know that Janet Murchison, our new chairperson, and her committee, will continue the good work.

We echo the sentiments of Psalm 145, which we all sang heartily, whereby through God’s leading and our endeavours that: Thus all will hear about your mighty acts and know the glorious splendour of your reign. Your kingdom will endure for evermore; For all time your dominion will remain.

Thank you to WfM Uist for their contribution!

Helping to Help – Update

Helping to Help, Women for Mission’s 2017/18 project, has been raising funds to help with outreach work in Marseille, God is Good Africa’s (GIGA) building work in Kitale, the purchase of land for a church in Nepal and to boost our Support a Volunteer fund. 

GIGA have informed us they are no longer involved with the building work in Kitale and as such will not be able to receive funds for that work.

When our Helping to Help project closes in mid May, it has been agreed that funds will be distributed to the other three strands of the project.

More details will be available at our Annual Meeting in Glasgow City Free Church at 2.00pm on Saturday 19th May.

WfM Annual Meeting – Glasgow 2017

Over 130 women gathered in Glasgow City Free Church on Saturday 13th May 2017 for WfM’s annual meeting.

It was a wonderful opportunity to give thanks to God for the amazing response to our 2016/2017 fundraising project, Encouraging Education. A total of £47,326 was raised for bursaries for students at Dumisani Theological Institute in South Africa, to mark the centenary of Colegio San Andres in Peru and to build a classroom in Kenya.

We were greatly encouraged to hear from Rachel Rae about her work with OMF in the Philippines, from Mairi Murchison about the six months she spent working with a minority community in Kosovo and from Fiona Dolan about her work at Capstone in Alness.

​Helping to Help, our 2017/18 fundraising project was launched at the annual meeting and we look forward to another year of supporting mission together.