The Great East Swim

11401140_10153341562598187_5759151938055780642_nOur very wonderful friend & supporter Rebecca Carter is taking part in the Great East Swim at Alton Water, Suffolk on 20th June 2015.

She will be taking part in the 1 mile sponsored swim to raise money for RSVP.
To sponsor Rebecca, please text RSVP01 followed by the amount you wish to sponsor (for example ‘RSVP01 £5′) to 70070.

Your support will both encourage Rebecca, AND help people in real need in the UK and Africa.

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In Gethsemane

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‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful’

Mark 14:34

Some thoughts by Don Egan

The events of Holy Week are the real roots of Christianity. We follow a suffering Saviour. Much of Christendom has dumbed down the message of Jesus to some Disneyesque-positive-thinking-trite-slogan religion where the idea is, if you pray enough, God will make everything OK and we’ll all live happily ever after. That is not the message of Jesus at all.

Life involves suffering for every man woman and child born on earth.

Some suffer more than others. Some suffering is physical while others suffer emotionally.

For thirty years I was hurting badly. Emotionally traumatised by grief, I somehow got on with life but was only ever firing on two or three cylinders at most. If the Disneyesque Jesus was real, he’d have sent the Fairy Godmother and waved a magic wand and taken my pain away before now. But he didn’t.

When I read the account of Jesus in Gethsemane I am encouraged. I know I’m following a Jesus who understands entirely what it is to be bowed down with grief and sorrow.

This is the mystery of God. While some do get miracles of healing – and I’ve seen many – others continue to suffer badly. In these situations Jesus seems to enter into our suffering rather than taking it away. I don’t know why that is.

One of my frustrations over the years has been seeing many people healed and set free through a healing ministry God seems to have given me, while at the same time I couldn’t get my own wound healed.

If we go beyond the Gospel according Walt Disney, we can see the profound mystery of the wounded healer. There have been many down the ages and even today, a large number of good therapists are themselves wounded healers.

Jesus, of course, is the greatest example of the wounded healer, even quoting a proverb of the time – ‘You will surely say this proverb to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’’ Luke 4:23.

I’ve written about my own struggle in a new book Jaded Heart – to be published in a few weeks time. But as I think about Jesus, overwhelmed with sorrow shortly before his arrest, I am encouraged. There is a Saviour who still comes to me, who visits me in the dark times of my soul.

I know so many are facing horrible times just now. I know others, like myself, whose present life is not bad but the past still drags them down. I have no magic wand to take away your pain. But there is great value in meditating on Jesus in the Garden of darkness, and allowing his gentle spirit to connect with our pain. He is the Good Shepherd. He will lead us through to better days ahead.

At the end of May, I will be returning to Rwanda – a place that has known incredible suffering on a scale unimaginable. We will be taking food and bedding to the poor, feeding the hungry and speaking of the Jesus who enters into our world.

If you would like to be a partner in this Mission of Mercy, you can donate a gift towards the costs via our website or through the mail.

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Sharing a little Easter love

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As part of our Chaplaincy Project at RSVP, this week we have been out seizing the opportunity to take Easter eggs and a little thought for the day to some of the people we work with. We have also spent time praying with them.

Thank you for making it possible for lives to be touched.

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Partnership with Stowmarket Foodbank

RSVP Trust’s Chaplaincy project works alongside vulnerable women and people with addictions.

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Beckie And Alison helped pack up the food parcel this morning at Stowmarket Foodbank.

Our new partnership with Stowmarket Foodbank means we will be able to provide these people with food parcels to make life a little easier for them and their families occasionally.

Today we’ve been able to deliver a food parcel to a struggling young family in Suffolk.

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Foodbank are also able to provide essential items for the men and women we work with who have been rescued from trafficked or exploited situations. We are very happy to be in partnership with a shared vision to be a blessing.


Find RSVP on Facebook here. Find Stowmarket Foodbank on Facebook here.

A touch of Frost in Africa

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Alison & Richard Fenning with Pastor frost, in Rwanda on a recent mission of Hope.

Alison set up Breakout Bible School five years ago to invest in leaders/pastors through training and relationship across Africa. Since that time we have held training weeks in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. Leaders travel from Congo, Tanzania and Burundi to attend the training.

Having just returned from Rwanda Alison was able to interview some of the leaders and ask how the School is helping their ministries. Pastor Frost has a Church near the airport. He explained how the training had opened his eyes to see the needs in his area and he has started two new outreaches one being reaching out to women in prostitution and the other reaching out to street boys through developing a football outreach. The main initiative is to teach them how to fight the disease of Aids.

Many of the boys have now come into a normal life and have started looking for jobs and are getting married. Their lives have been changed and the Church has changed from maintaining people into missionally impacting the area. Alison intends to visit these projects on her next visit to Rwanda.


 

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Alison Fenning has a vision to equip leaders around the world who will go on to equip others for the works they are called to’ connecting with the lost, preaching the gospel, making disciples and helping the poor.

Find out more about Breakout Bible School here.

Freedom Project update

The women on the Freedom project course have been learning to sew.
As they sew they also learn patience.
Patience with themselves, others in the class and their teacher. This is something they may not have been able to practice before, but is a significant skill that is needed when stepping out of addiction and prostitution.
They also receive acceptance and love from the teacher and others in the class.
All of these things raise their self esteem making lasting change possible. All of this through learning to sew!
Thank you for supporting this  project. Alison will be out in Rwanda next week and will be spending time with the women.

Christmas food hampers

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Alison and Richard have collected Christmas food hampers this week. Stowmarket and Area Foodbank have generously donated these hampers. We will be distributing these next week to some of the vulnerable women that Alison has ministered to for many years through our Chaplaincy project that meets and cares for women involved in the sex industry.

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Christmas is often the loneliest time of year when you have battled with addiction and the dark places that can lead you into. Many have children but don’t have access to them and with all the media hype about a perfect family Christmas this can lead to deep sadness and despair. So it is wonderful that we are able to visit next week and take a gift to bless the women and pray with them.

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Thank you so much to the foodbank for your generous help and all of the people who have donated food.