Church Mission Society Ireland (CMSI) works to ‘Equip the church in Mission’ by supporting Mission Partners in 9 African countries and in Nepal, and developing links with parishes, groups and individuals here in Ireland. Not content to simply send missionaries to evangelise overseas, they work to establish long lasting relationships to develop Christian faith abroad and at home, raising awareness and funds through these relationships, and underpinning all their work through prayer. St Marks established a link with CMSI in the 1990’s, when following a visit to the parish by Mission Associate Isabelle Prondzynski, a group of parishioners began to support a nursery school in the poor community of Kayole, Nairobi, Kenya. Isabelle painted such a vivid picture of the community, who despite having been moved without warning many miles from their previous slum, had been given small plots of land by the Kenyan government but no other resources, and had come together under the name Tujisaidie, which in Swahili means ‘We help ourselves’. Isabelle organised support for the 250 families by establishing the Urban Development Programme (UDP) through All Saints Cathedral, the capital’s Anglican Cathedral, and over the past 25 years they have gradually built for themselves latrines and small homes, obtained limited supplies of water and occasional electricity, but most importantly to them a community school has developed from a nursery into a full primary school teaching 300 children up to approximately age 13. We have been blessed by a number of visits by Isabelle and UDP coordinator Louise Githire, and Tujisaidie community leader Lucy Irungu. In July 2015 a parish team from St Marks joined a team from Christ Church Bray, Co Wicklow, for a 2 week Mission Experience to Kenya. They spent time at the Cathedral and painted 8 newly plastered classrooms in the school, getting to know the children, teachers, principal andmembers of the community. In March 2017 the Provost of the Cathedral Very Rev Sammy Wainaina joined us in St Marks along with Louise for a week long visit, to learn about our parish life and strengthen our link. You can support this link by praying for our partners on a regular basis. Prayer diaries are available at the back of the Church, along with the latest magazines from CMSI. If you wish to support financially, you can set up a standing order with CMSI (with Gift Aid if appropriate), you can support one of our regular fundraising events, or you can drop a donation into Dorothy Adair’s little tin, which you will in Church (this has raised £1000s over the past 25 years).
To find out more, please speak to our parish CMSI representative Lynn Wilson 07855 455121, or follow the link to the CMSI website,
A link was established with CMSI partners in Yei Diocese in South Sudan a number of years ago, where a vocation training centre was being built. While this is still supported by some parishioners, conflict in the area has led to a huge displacement of people, and the future is very uncertain. As a result, the parish link has not been able to be developed further. Two parishioners (Lesley and Philip Burton) were asked to join a CMSI Mission team to Nepal in 2017, partly due to Lesley’s physiotherapy experience, and the parish supported them with prayer and fundraising. We have learned about the growing church in Nepal as a result of their trip, but no formal parish link has been pursued.
CMSI News - from CMSI Parish Representative Lynn Wilson It was wonderful to hear in February from Lesley and Philip Burton of their work with the CMSI team who visited Nepal in November, and to hear the impact that the funds we helped to raise has made on the church in Kathmandu, as well as the impact on them personally. Our CMSI connections have continued through Lent when our Sunday School children learned and shared with us about their project focussing on the persecuted church in Egypt, and they sold coffee, cakes and craft items from CMSI Marketplace. Thank you to everyone who supported our children’s efforts, to date the proceeds including donations through the CMSI Lenten boxes has raised over £500. I am delighted to share the following update on our Kenyan mission link through All Saints Cathedral/UDP Nairobi, and a visit made by the CMSI Mission Director to our friends in the Tujisaidie primary school in February. Jenny Smyth writes “I witnessed a highly organised school, neat children engaging in class, taught by motivated and interested teachers, all operating in a small and very basic school, but with hope and optimism. I also visited Tumaini ‘hope’ youth centre, a well-kept hall with books, lighting, furniture and several teenagers happily studying. It is run by Antony Njoroge, Lucy Irungu’s son, who organises a football league and a whole range of other activities. The most striking is the monthly meal the teenagers organise when they cook and serve a drop-in lunch for the elderly folk in the area.” The school is currently planning a major refurbishment using funds raised through the 2017 CMSI Children’s Resource ‘Growing in God’ to upgrade facilities to meet standards set by the County authorities so they can be registered for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. Funds will also be used for teacher training, the purchase of textbooks and to provide blankets for the young mothers support group. Over the Christmas holidays a first instalment was sent by CMSI to carry out urgently needed repairs to the classroom floors. A CMSI team from St Columba’s Portadown, and Drumglass, Dungannon is currently preparing to visit the school in July/August this year to work with the teachers and children and to help out with some of the renovation work. Please keep this team in your prayers, and we look forward to sending some messages with them to our friends, Louise, Lucy and Provost Sammy and hearing their first hand reports on their return.