Joint Commissioning Service for 2012 Summer teams to Uganda and Northern Ireland Sunday, July 9, 2012 at 7:30 at Southland Christian Church
On Sunday, July 8, 2012 there will be a joint commissioning service for the summer mission trips to Northern Ireland for FUSED and to Uganda for work at New Beginnings in Uganda. Please join us at 7:30 at Southland Christian Church (right after the 608 service) in Room E109 (to the right of the service center) to celebrate and commission both teams.
Children at New Beginnings
FUSED Staff and Volunteers
For the eighth year, a team of students from Lexington (made up of high school students, young adults and 608 and CSF types) will work in and around Newcastle, a town of 4,000 or so that sees its population more than double in the summer with vacationers from Belfast and other nearby communities.
We will join forces with nearly 30 workers from local churches (mostly young adults and students from Baptist, Presbyterian, Brethren and Elim churches) to do morning, afternoon and evening programs for all ages—from elementary to middle school to high school—as well as young adults and families. We usually see over 200 students in the program. The combined team will live in community at Ardaluin House for the two weeks and meals will either be “self-catered” or be provided by the local church.
The dual goals of this work is to provide discipleship to young people and additionally do outreach to youth, adults and families throughout the Newcastle area. In a country torn by denominational divisions and other political and economic issues, it is unprecedented to see a number of local congregations come together as one body, as the church, to do a program of this type. It is also unusual to see a program that is community-wide and focused on outreach. The church is largely irrelevant in Northern Ireland (and Europe for that matter) and membership in a local body is for the most part defined by your surname or neighborhood. In short, either you are “born” into a church through family, or you simply don’t belong. And even if you start in a church, it is often the case that by the time you are a teenager church has become dull and unimportant so you leave.
Into this dynamic we insert our team, a group highly energized by the challenge of Northern Ireland. Our team helps act as a catalyst for the larger team and that encouragement is a big part of what we do. Many of our team members see themselves, their own life and faith journey, in the youth of Northern Ireland who are struggling with life and church. We form relationships with youngsters, teens and families that show us that God and His church is so much bigger than Lexington or Southland. And in a way we bring water, the living water, to a dry land that needs the hope that only Jesus can bring.
For the second year, another team of young adults from Kentucky and Tennessee will be joining forces with another team from Northern Ireland to spend two weeks working in northern Uganda to help orphans and the surrounding community with everything from building projects to Bible lessons and just daily reminders of God’s love.
New Beginnings (NBCT) is a non-profit making organization set up by a group of volunteers in Northern Ireland. NBCT works closely with an experienced and carefully selected team in Africa to help bring a better quality of life to some of Uganda’s most vulnerable young children.
NBCT has purchased approximately 8 acres of land beside a small rural village in the Nakasangola District in Uganda adjacent to the local school. We plan to purchase additional land for farming in the area.
This area has suffered greatly both from the effects war and from AIDS.
Uganda has a population of approx. 30,000,000 people there are an estimated 2,300,000 orphans below the age of seventeen. NBCT aims to bring hope to children who feel hopeless, and embrace the rejected. Children are selected from the following backgrounds:
- AIDS Orphans from the Nakasongola district.
- Direct from those sleeping rough on the streets.
- National Rehabilitation Centre; for captured street children, abandoned children and young offenders.
- Domestic Violence Victims — Some communities in Africa still use harsh disciplinary methods towards children and some need to be rescued.
- Those orphaned due to war — many children have lost both parents due to the war in Northern Uganda and need help and support.
- Abandoned babies —babies who have simply been abandoned and on the streets.
NBCT aims to offer care, protection and love through the establishment of Children’s Villages in which:
- House parents will be a mother/father figure to approximately eight children accommodated in a traditional African style village.
- The development was started with the construction of three larger homes, cooking area and toilet facilities followed by a number of smaller traditional homes.
- Children will be encouraged in academic, vocational and basic life skills, to enable them to become productive and self-sustainable members of the community.Each child’s medical needs will be monitored, and catered for.
- Counseling will be offered to each child. It is hoped that some of the children, with short term problems, will eventually be reunited with their families.
NBCT works with local authorities and local communities to ensure that this work done in a way that does not alienate the people of the area, but rather involves them in the project. We want to encourage community ownership and support.