Richmond Community Church is proud to support Missions locally and internationally, sending practical help where and when needed. Read on to discover more about some of the Missions our church is involved in.
Ross and Yvonne Ferguson have led several volunteer dental health teams to locations where dental care was either unavailable or unaffordable. Through these missions the Ferguson’s have travelled to Papua-New Guinea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mozambique and Fiji. Missions have also been regularly conducting to a unique clinic, Dental Volunteers for Israel Clinic in Jerusalem, which provides free dental care for Arab and Jewish children in need.
Many individuals and teams from the Richmond Community Church have travelled overseas in recent years providing general medical, dental and optometry care as well as helping with community development programmes, especially to isolated communities in the Pacific region in association with Marine Reach Ministries (YWAM International) .
Other teams from the Richmond Community Church have been involved in
- Building projects with Habitat for Humanity in Cambodia and Nepal
- Almost a year in Cambodia working with young people
- Spending time in China working on food production projects in China and the adjacent countries of Central and North East Asia. These projects aim to help people in extremely cold climates to have the ability to cultivate vegetables and fish during winter in specially designed greenhouses
Without exception the comment from everyone who has had the opportunity to be a part of a cross-cultural missions team is that the experience has been life-changing and the benefit has been not only to those who have received the aid, but to the individual and also it has motivated others to ‘go and do likewise!’
Quote from one of our congregation who has been a part of at least fifteen short term overseas missions trips:
‘People often ask me if short term mission outreaches can make a difference to people. In answer to this question I would have to say yes most definitely. I have been involved with short term mission trips since 1989. Each trip never ceases to amaze me by what God is doing in my life, in the lives of the other team members and in the lives of the people we meet along this incredible journey.’
Afri-Lift Missionary Society
The Afri-Lift Missionary Society was established when Robin & Margaret Aim came from New Zealand in 1983. With their 3 children they went on a 2 year trip which has now lasted more than 30 years.
Throughout this time they have established churches, childrens ministries, child sponsorship programs, vocational training centres and held many crusades. They have built Afri-Lift into a multi-cultural team made up of international volunteers and local employees.
In January 2003, education was declared to be free to all Kenyans, which has resulted in a million children per year entering school. While in theory it is free there are still fees, tuition, uniforms and books to pay for. Resources are limited but class sizes aren’t. It is not uncommon for a teacher to have 100 students in their class.
Due to a lack of available funds for school fees many students have to drop out and look for work to bring in extra income for their family. With 50% unemployment, those who are unschooled and unskilled are fast tracked to a life of poverty and homelessness. They are left to fend for themselves, often forced into gangs, streetwork or stealing. Without a social welfare system and few ways to earn money it leaves many desperate.
This is where Afri-Lift steps in. We don’t bring in programs, we bring in hope. We give young people an opportunity to escape from poverty through education, training and lifestyle changes.
Over the next 5 years Afri-Lift would like to see the following achieved:
– Three classrooms built
– Staff accommodation
– A training centre
– Establishment of a fish farm
– A youth centre in the Kibera Slum
– A Christian boarding school
Mt Hope Foundation
During a visit to Borneo in 1998 Sam Soukotta was moved by the poor living conditions, hopelessness, lack of education and opportunities amongst the 2.5 million Dayak people in the area.
Sam had a vision of a thriving community, which included children’s homes, where the children live in a family environment with people to care for them, a kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior high school, a polytechnic and university, medical clinic and hospital.
Spurred into action to give these children who have little or no opportunity, the chance to live, grow and learn in a loving, nurturing and safe environment, Sam, together with Carol, Abraham, Melani and a dedicated team of like-minded people got to planning. A plot of jungle land was miraculously secured, and so Mount Hope was born.
The team comes from many different islands in Indonesia – Sumatra, Sulawesi, Ambon, Timor, Java and of course from West Kalimantan, many of the team leave home and families to serve in this less developed part of Indonesia, and use their skills and abilities to open doors for the whole community. A heart to serve God wherever they are needed is the underlying drive behind this dedicated team of people.
The Mt Hope Foundation team want to extend a hand up to the Dayak people of West Kalimantan because they care about their future and believe their lives are so much richer when they give of their talents and themselves.
After 12 years in youth work and mission mobilisation with Operation Mobilisation, Simon and Heather are excited to be back in local church ministry, serving as pastor/teachers in a leadership team with two French couples. The ‘Estuary Church’ (so-called for the estuary of the river Loire, that runs through Nantes), goes by the acronym ‘EPEE’ – which is also the French word for ‘sword’. EPEE is a ‘church without walls’, with a major focus on house church gatherings, alternating with larger worship celebrations. Seeking and hosting God’s presence in worship, prayer and intercession is very much part of our DNA, as well as encouraging the priesthood of all believers.
Another important focus is the Maison des Parfums – ‘house of incense’, a particularly French expression of the prayer house movement, launched in 2012. While no longer formally part of OM, Simon and Heather continue to support this ministry in different areas, such as logistical support for work with victims of human trafficking in the region, and LinkUp events for Christian youth.