Visit to Guinea, West Africa

International, News, Poor, To the Nations
I have recently returned from Guinea in West Africa where I have been visiting the church in the capital, Conakry, which was planted over ten years ago with refugees from the Sierra Leone civil war. Guinea is a very poor nation. Let me give you some of the bare facts: Population: 10 million, 2 million being in Conakry. Four primary tribes, 32 tribes in total. Health. Life expectancy high 40s. Poor health provision. No provision for disabled children etc. HIV levels unknown but growing. Bird flu wiped out all poultry recently but no profile given to bird flu. How many people died? Poverty. In bottom ten of UN poverty scale. High inflation - prices have doubled in the last four months. More than 80% of population live on less than…
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When Helping Hurts – Part 3 – Practical Strategies for helping without hurting

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Good Practice, International, News, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations
Concluding the review of this excellent book we shall now look at one very practical application. Short term mission teams. Like the story of the elephant and the mouse dancing together at a celebration - both benefit and enjoy it until the mouse is squashed - such can also be the effect of a short-term mission team. Who is really benefitting? Perhaps neither. The team have a ‘life changing experience' - but may learn the wrong things. The hosts can feel crushed. At the root of the problem is lack of sensitivity to others' cultures eg "Mine is the plumbline so any deviation is ‘wrong'". Consider time. In the ‘west' time = productivity; the emphasis is on good stewardship and using every minute productively. In the majority world there is…
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When Helping Hurts – Part 2 – General Principles for helping without hurting.

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Good Practice, News, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations, Training
Continuing this somewhat protracted commentary on the strongly recommended book, When Helping Hurts, we will now see what the authors say about Principles that need to be followed to avoid causing damage to those who are in need. Relief, Rehabilitation and Development First, it is important to distinguish between Relief, Rehabilitation and Development. In true crisis (e.g. tsunami) people cannot help themselves and need Relief. After the crisis there is Rehabilitation when people can start to help themselves but need others alongside Development is about empowering, the point at which great discretion is needed - ‘handouts' can be very damaging, especially if the reason for needing help is of a person's own making e.g. through irresponsible living such as alcohol abuse. Cultural sensitivity At all times we must be careful…
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Floods in Pakistan

News, Pakistan, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations
The floods which hit Pakistan in August were the worst in living memory and their magnitude eclipsed some of the recent disasters in other parts of the world. Newfrontiers have several churches in Pakistan and one, in Nowshera, was particularly badly affected. People lost their houses and all their possessions, and the church building and office were severely damaged. Many in the community were similarly affected and the church was able to reach out and feed over 150 people, which included Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Now the rebuilding is starting.  A few days ago I was able to interview Pervez Sohail who oversees many of these churches. He shared with me some of their experiences. Churches help with Floods in Pakistan from Newfrontiers on Vimeo. The Finance Team Newfrontiers The…
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Newfrontiers in Dubai

Dubai, International, News, To the Nations
Recently I had the joy of meeting up with Steve and Heather Oliver who moved from South Africa to lead the Newfrontiers church in Dubai. Here Steve shares some of the differences they faced on moving to Dubai, a brief look at some of the cultural issues and the vision he has for the church.   Steve Oliver in Dubai from Newfrontiers on Vimeo. Have a look at some of the photos of Dubai - from the world's tallest building at night to the ski slope!        
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Country report – Visit to Kenya pt 3. Foundations for Farming

Agriculture, Good Practice, Kenya, News, Poor, To the Nations, Zimbabwe
From Zimbabwe to Kenya In March I attended the 6-monthly Foundations for Farming Champions Conference in Zimbabwe. It was a great pleasure to meet two men from Kenya. One, Ashford, I knew from a previous visit to his country when I accompanied him on a medical visit to an unreached people group in Tharaka. He is an Ophthalmologist (eye specialist) so I was surprised to find him attending a Farming Conference! However, I learnt that he had been brought up in a farming environment and was keen to do well. I had not met his colleague before, Peter. He works for the ministry of Agriculture in Kenya as an agricultural advisor. For various reasons I wondered how they would get on in Zimbabwe at the Conference. Why would an ophthalmologist…
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