’The Vine’ - magazine
As I write, we are about to support the Day of Prayer for our Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East and Suffering Church Sunday. We are reminded thereby of our strategic location in Cyprus just off the coast of the Middle East. Many troubled nations are within 100 miles of this Island, which has been a place of refuge for Christians for centuries. It may be needed as such again. We will be supporting the Open Doors campaign for ‘Right to Believe - Arab World’ and have many friends serving God in many nations across our region. In particular, we remember Lawrence of Jerusalem (not Arabia!) who serves as Headteacher with his wife Rhoda at the Anglican School, but also ministers at both St.George’s Cathedral (Arab believers) and Christ Church Jerusalem (Messianic believers). Open Doors has an encouraging letter from a pastor in Syria who reports of great unity amongst believers and many opportunities for sowing seeds of love in the current crisis in that nation. They are confident that they are ‘more than conquer-ors through Christ’ and remain prayerful and hopeful for a good outcome in the end. How do we cope with difficulties and problems in our lives? The Apostle Paul gives us some help in 2 Corinthians 4 especially. He reminds us that ‘the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers... but God made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.’ Note minds and hearts. Also, he goes on to say ‘we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’ (v7) Do you feel like a cracked pot at times? It is so that God’s glory can shine through.. ‘Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair...struck down, but not destroyed... So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.’ Paul does not give up during such hard times. He sees the bigger picture. Also he goes on to say ‘Therefore we do not lose heart..... We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ (v16-18). Above all, Paul learnt to fix his eyes on Jesus, who went through hell for us! May we also focus on Jesus.
A LETTER from CANON MARVIN BAMFORTH.
KINZIZI - South West Rural Uganda. AN URGENT APPEAL
A LETTER from CANON MARVIN BAMFORTH.
KINZIZI - South West Rural Uganda. AN URGENT APPEAL
Please forgive this email 'out of the blue' -
the following will explain why you have been sent it!
Many of you will know of the long-standing commitment which Sue and I have to the people of Kinkiizi in deeply-rural south west Uganda.
The latest challenge to come the way of our amazing Kinkiizi friends is an influx into their region of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire). This situation is a direct result of Kinkiizi Diocese/Kanungu District geography - because this area is right on the border between Uganda/DRC/Rwanda and the occasional outbreaks of civil conflict in the so-called DRC
I received a heart-rending email a week ago from our dear friend Dan Zoreka - the Bishop of Kinkiizi - appealing for outside help as the Diocese - through its people, network of Anglican Parishes, Schools, and Health Centres - is trying to care for upwards of 10,000 people from over the DRC border - and with more arriving by the day. This tragic civil conflict in eastern DRC - in what is an extremely remote part of Africa - is not widely reported on; although I gather it's been discussed on the fringes of the recent UN General Assembly in New York. Communal violence from time-to-time causes immense disruption to the lives of ordinary people in the region. DRC (formerly Zaire) is a huge country the size of western Europe with tremendous resources of gas, oil, and minerals but in the east it is lawless due to long-standing, and very complex, fac-tional, and tribal conflicts which thankfully in Africa as a whole are much less of a problem nowadays than for many years past.
Following a recent outbreak of violence in eastern DRC many vulnerable people (mostly women and children) have fled from their homes and a subsistence way of life - and Kinkiizi/Kanungu is a safe place to go! The last such exodus of DRC people was 3 years ago. At that time, Kinkiizi Diocese with local government assistance, plus help from the Ugandan national government, UNHCR, and The Red Cross, set up a well-organised refugee camp at Matanda just outside the town of Kihiihi, which is about 30kms north of where we live when we make our annual visits to check up on the Kinkiizi Scholarship Program which, as many of you know, we help to run. I will be paying a visit to this area at the end of this month to check on the education project we coordinate out there. The refugees have shelter in the camp I mentioned earlier but they need food, clean water, medicines, clothes and, for the women, items like sanitary towels - and all of these cost money.
I could pledge some funds for relief work from the UK education fund charity account - but, strictly-speaking, this is not what we receive funds for - but what else can we do? I have contacted the two MP's for Kinkiizi whom I know (one of whom is the Ugandan Prime Minister) to urge their support to that of our friends in the Diocese. I know from experience that local people in Kinkiizi are very generous - they share what little they have without question - it's just what they do.
I'm sure that some of you have your own economic problems, and that many others al-ready make a generous financial commitment to various charitable organisations - faith-based or not it matters little if people are helped. So - obviously the choice is yours to respond or not but if you don't realise it already all who receive this email are very well off compared to the people some of us know and love in Uganda! For those of you who belong to a church/congregation a RETIRING COLLECTION is a good way of enabling many people to 'lend a hand' by giving a little support - which when added up can mean a lot of help! If you feel that you are 'AIDED OUT' then please forgive me for asking again!
Those of you who know me very well will understand that I find it hard to ignore a plea for help when I receive one! Yet it is not possible for anyone person to solve all the problems of our troubled world!! BUT when we do hear or know directly of a situation of desperate need it is our humanitarian and Christian duty to try and do what we can to help - hence this email
So - If you feel moved by the Spirit to help with this appeal then please be in touch. For UK income tax payers our STEWARDSHIP account is a good way of support - to whom you can send off a GIFT-AIDED donation - let me know. If you are given to prayer then please pray for an end to the current outbreak of DRC violence and for community, political, and military leaders to be given the will and wisdom to find a lasting solution to what is a largely forgotten conflict on the edge of the jungle.
"Thank You" for reading what has become a long email.
In Christian care and concern,
Chaplain’s Comment:We know, love and trust Canon Marvin and want to support him in this appeal. He travels to Uganda to gain a first-hand account and photos soon and will come to report back on Thursday 30 November. We hope some of our Christmas giving can be directed to this appeal and other projects also.
From Rudi and Sarah Scobie
Dear Friends, It is now a little over three months since we left Cyprus, it seems like so much longer.
Such a lot has happened in that short space of time. We flew to New York to see our eldest son Adam and spent a lovely time with him, we arrived on Independence Day and that night Adam took us to a rooftop restaurant in the Meat Packing District where we had a spectacular view of the fireworks on the river. We then had a week sailing back across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. Quite coincidentally our friends from Vrysoulles, Eric and Jean were on the same crossing. Needless to say a good time was had by all. We've also been to see many shows and gigs in London and locally. More shows in the last few months than in the last seven years. We lived with Sarah's Mum for the first couple of months and then, following a successful job interview we moved to Puddletown in Dorset at the end of August. We manage Walpole Court, a small estate of 24 houses and apartments for the over 55's. Our oldest resident is an ex Commando of 91, who still rides his bicycle to the village shop every day, and our youngest residents are in their late 50's. We're responsible for keeping the grounds in good order, so when the weather permits we spend a lot of our days in the gardens. We keep an eye on the residents, and have to respond to any emergencies triggered by their pendant alarms. We have to man the office for an hour each morning, but apart from that we pretty much decide our own working day. We live on site in a nice apartment overlooking the gardens. We recently had a lovely visit from Stuart and Sandra, so they will be able to fill you in.
We have started attending St. Mary's Church in the village, parts of which date back to the 12th century. The congregation is very small, but we have been made to feel very welcome. We have a lady vicar called Sarah and an assistant vicar also called Sarah, gets a bit confusing sometimes. We do miss the fellowship in South East Cyprus though. We get out and about at every opportunity, Dorset is such a beautiful county, we feel so blessed to be here. Rudi's Dad and Sister live just over 30 minutes away and Sarah's Mum and our other two boys are just over 2 hours away so we can see them pretty much when we want. So, dear friends another chapter in our lives has begun. Much Love
Rudi and Sarah
Chaplain's note: Rudi and Sarah Scobie lived in Vrysoulles for 7 years after a lifetime with the Police, living in Sussex. Sarah served as Warden and Rudi as Diocesan Synod rep, amongst their many roles in the life of the fellowship. They are dearly loved and missed.
We hope to feature other 'Where are we now' stories in future editions of the "the Vine"
In September we remembered,
When the trees were fresh and green,
Springtime makes us clean,
And all is waking up.
But as the fall approaches,
The autumn season soon encroaches,
Leaves are turning brown,
As they scatter on the ground.
Farmers reap their crops and hay,
Put away for a rainy day,
Woody woodpecker taps to have his say,
Whispering winds and balmy breezes,
Then winter brings colds with many sneezes.
Mother Nature is closing her shop,
As the crumpled leaves begin to drop.
October with autumnal colours displays,
So many browns in so many ways,
Orchards dripping with their loads,
Frogs mingle with the toads.
As the nights are drawing in,
Then the winter will begin,
Summer’s lost its best,
Leaving behind a bountiful harvest,
So rejoice to God and say, "Amen"
As we wait for spring to come again.
Let everyone see that you are unselfishPhilippians 4:4
In "Campus Life" a young nurse tells of a patient called Eileen. Acerebral aneurysm had left her with no conscious control over her body. The doctors thought she was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain, unaware of anything going on around her. It was the hospital staff’s job to turn her every hour to prevent bedsores, and to feed her twice a day through a stomach tube. "When it’s this bad," an older nurse told her, "you have to detach yourself emotionally" As a result Eileen came to be treated as a thing, a vegetable. But the young student nurse decided to treat her differently. She talked to Eileen, sang to her, and even brought her little gifts. One Thanksgiving Day she said to Eileen, "It was supposed to be my day off, but I couldn’t miss seeing you on Thanksgiving." Just then the telephone rang. As the nurse turned to answer it, she looked quickly back at the patient: "Eileen was looking at me....crying. Big damp circles stained her pillow" That was the only human emotion Eileen ever showed. But it was enough to change the attitude of the entire hospitals staff toward her. Not long afterward, Eileen died. The young nurse closes her story by saying "I keep thinking about her... I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen, I might never have known what it’s like to give myself to someone who can’t give back".
Love, God’s love, means giving to those who seem to have little ornothing to give back. It challenges the innate selfishness in each of us and goes against our grain. But it’s love in its highest form!
To Make You Smile
Two men were out fishing when they caught a mermaid. She begged them to set her free, and said she would grant each of them a wish.
The first man said, " If you can really grant wishes, double my IQ."
The mermaid said "Done!"
Suddenly the man started reciting Shakespeare and expounding mathematical theorems.The second man was so amazed, he said "Quadruple my IQ."
The mermaid looked at him and said "You know, I really wish you would reconsider. Won’t you ask for something else- a million dollars?"
"No, I won’t, and if you don’t do it, I won’t set you free," he said.
The mermaid sighed and said "Okay, it’s done"
And he became a woman!!
(Submitted by a man!!)
My life in the Anglican Church in Ayia Napa
(Flora has asked that I correct her grammar to make it easier for reading, but although I have done this, I have not changed her sentiments, remembrances or opinions. Jane)
Over the span of 10 years, I have witnessed the progress and growth of this church. When I was invited to join the congregation in 2002, it was under the ministry of Rev Robin and Val Brookes. The numbers attending the service were few and there were only 8 migrant workers. Usually the Anglican church used the small room at the old monastery in Ayia Napa, though in summer time our numbers grew and we used to bring chairs outside for the service, then for some reason we moved to the Scandinavian Church.
I have witnessed the continued growing of our congregation, with different races, and many languages, but I am sure it is all one people of God coming and going from the service.
For me and all the household workers, Sunday is a dream, I am happy when Saturday comes, and excited because the following day is Sunday. It helps to lessen the grave effect of homesickness, and tiredness as I always receive sweet smiles, hugs and kisses, comfort and love from God.
After 5 years, Rev Robin and Val had to move to Famagusta as God called them to serve the people there.
And we are blessed to have Rev Michael and Jacqueline Crawford-during their ministry everything went well, with the support of the licensed readers and everyone else.
Another 5 years gone, and Rev Michael and Jacqueline decided to retire for their own good reasons. So we were all very blessed when Rev Simon and Pauline came.
I have witnessed the changing from one vicar to another, every chaplain having their own styles and different ways, but to me, it doesn’t matter much what method and technique they use, what I understand as important is to listen to and receive the word of God.
These last few weeks, I have been confused since the news broke, and
I don’t understand why there are now 2 services. Whatever the problems going on I think splitting the church or going away is not the solution or answer. Anyway, maybe God has a plan for both sides, and for everyone but I do still pray and hope that some day somehow, God will fill up our senses and that we will be united in our service again, happy together as unity is the will of God. Thank you and God bless us all!!!
A meditation on Psalm 101:1-8.I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. Sing along with Christian radio songs. It’s good for the soul and God smiles. I will be careful to lead a blameless life. Protecting a Christian testimony is no accident, but the fruit of good decisions. I will walk in my house with blameless heart. Your family needs a good role model. And an empowered intercessor. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. Keep your TV and computer monitors free of images that soil your faith. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they (such people) will not cling to me. Reject the requests of God-mockers to hang out with them on their turf/terms. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. When you’re invited to join a hurtful scheme, reject the offer and explain why. Whoever slanders his neighbour in secret, him will I put to silence; When another gossips to you, tell them you don’t want to hear it. Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. Don’t enter into close fellowship with people gripped by pride.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me;Look for good role models and seek to spend time with them. He whose walk is blameless will minister to me. Make sure that those influencing your faith are growing in faith themselves. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; Habitual liars or schemers should not find welcome in our homes. No one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Don’t condone lying by remaining in fellowship with those in rebellion toward truth. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; Don’t listen to sin-saturated TV or radio shows. I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD. Make sure to confront someone spreading divisive poison or false teaching in your church.
Th e Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
An Opportunity to Support and Pray for our Province. All Saints Festival. Our Bishop Michael has written to encourage all churches in our Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf to join in the Provincial Days of Prayer and Support for the Province in our region, which is an annual reminder to all the Episcopal/Anglican churches in this region that we belong as one family, though dispersed in many challenging contexts. The Diocese of Egypt covers Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia & Somalia as well as Egypt. Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis is the Presiding Bishop of the Province in Egypt The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf covers Oman, Yemen, 7 United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq & all of Cyprus. Bishop Michael Lewis is the Bishop for this area, with cathedrals in Nicosia and Bahrain, and two Archdeacons - John Holdsworth in Larnaca and Bill Schwartz in Doha. Our Link Dioceses are : Exeter in UK and Thika in Kenya. The Diocese of Jerusalem serves Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan & Syria with Bishop Suheil Dawani leading the Diocese. The Diocese of Iran is coterminous with the Republic of Iran. It is slowly rebuilding itself after great attrition in and after 1979. It is led by Bishop Azad Marshall who is living in Pakistan. There are a number of significant institutions which serve all peoples in these regions - especially hospitals, clinics and schools. Lawrence and Rhoda Hillditch serve in the Anglican School in Jerusalem. We can support through our prayers, gifts and advocacy for the right to believe for people of all faiths throughout the Middle East especially. Our support is channelled through the Diocese for the Province and through Open Doors for the suffering church in this region.
The Late Summer BBQ, held at the home of Rev SimonIt was Kennith’s birthday too, and this gave us double reason for celebration. Helenita, her mother, who also lives and works here, presented her with a birthday cake, delighting her daughter as a . .birthday cake is a.rare treat for her. Rev Simon Holloway
Many thanks to Kevin, Roy and especially Jem and Debbie for all their hard work organising it. Simon and Pauline were very good to open their home for it, and we also give thanks to themIt was a lovely sunny evening when the church celebrated an International Day at the annual minister’s BBQ in Frenaros. The theme of different nationalities carried through the outfits, as Stuart demonstrates below, and Simon represented the Middle East amongst his outfits. The theme was taken up in the games as well, including a quiz where we had to identify the European Union flags hanging around the pool, and identify countries by short passages of music, though we still reckon it was cheating to have "Hungry like the wolf" for Hungary!!
It was thanks to Roy and Kevin that the food was barbequed to perfection, and many people contributed to the wonderful meal we shared.
It was lovely to have a performance of the jubilee song by some of the ladies of the Philippines who attended; they have beautiful voices, and enjoy entertaining us.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: "hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength." The second is this: "Love your neighbour as yourself." There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28 - 31
How do we view these commandments? Do we love God with all our heart and with all our strength? DO we love our neighbour as ourselves? DoI love my neighbour as myself? Do I love my neighbour? DO I love myself?
If I do not love myself, how can I love my neighbour? If I do not love myself or my neighbour, how can I love God? Who are my neighbours?
God loves me and my neighbours, so what right have I to withhold my love for my neighbours or myself Because I want to love my neighbour, do I need to forgive my neighbour for any perceived wrong? Do I need to ask God for His forgiveness for me before I can love myself? Do I need to forgive my-self?
If we do not love our brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we show love to those who need to hear about Jesus?
In difficult and hurtful times, we need to be asking these questions.
God has all the answers so ask Him the questions.